Many thanks to Lauren Pahmeier & the Pioneer Press for this great article!

Get your claws on some original art at the new Art by Skill Crane.

Remember skill cranes, where just a coin or two gave you a single chance to snatch up your choice of stuffed toy with its mechanical claw?

You can indulge your nostalgia with the new Mni Wiconi: Art by Skill Crane at Can Can Wonderland. Except this time around, the purpose — and the prizes — are a little bit different.

Created by the Interfaith Action’s American Indian Youth Enrichment program over the summer, the interactive machine challenges players to try their skill at grabbing an art object, which the youth made from recycled and found items.

Local artists worked with the young people to create the skill crane and the art.

The theme of the project was “Mni Wiconi,” meaning “water is life.” The skill crane evokes waves in water, and the prizes — the art objects — are recycled water bottles containing paintings, or assembled art from pipe cleaners, beads and wood. Even the paint is water-based.

Mni Wiconi makes its debut Sunday from 2 to 4:30 p.m. at Can Can Wonderland, 755 N. Prior Ave., in St. Paul, where it will permanently join the other interactive art — mini-golf — there.

Funds from the skill crane will go back to AIYE for further art making. AIYE is an after-school (for grades 1-5) and summer program (for grades 1-8) providing Indigenous cultural activities for St. Paul youth.