Master Lei Yixin’s sculpture “Meditation” was first installed and dedicated at Phalen Park July 15, 2007 during the annual Dragon Festival where it has graced the park since.During the night of July 12, 2008, the sculpture was vandalized by being painted with messages of hate.
“Citizens and organizations of the Phalen Park neighborhood are devastated by the appalling vandalism that occurred in Phalen Park,” said Sarah Fehr, Executive Director of the East Side Arts Council. “Public Art Saint Paul, District 5 Planning Council, East Side Neighborhood Development Corporation and many others are joining with us to collectively restore Meditation to its beautiful presence as a symbol of peace and tranquility for residents of St. Paul’s East Side.”The East Side Arts Council and Public Art Saint Paul announced plans today to repair the Phalen Park sculpture, Meditation, in response to the hate crime. Public Art Saint Paul owns the sculpture by Chinese artist Lei Yixin that was created through the 2006 International Stone Carving Symposium, Minnesota Rocks! Master Lei is currently working in China completing his sculpture commissioned for the Martin Luther King Memorial Park which will reside on the national mall in Washington D.C.
The following organizations are contributing to Meditation restoration and community awareness efforts surrounding the vandalism: East Side Arts Council, Public Art Saint Paul, East Side Neighborhood Development Company, Dragon Festival Committee, Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans, East Side Peacemakers and District 5 Planning Council.
The investigation for the Phalen Park hate crimes is currently open.