Regina Flanagan is an artist, landscape architect, arts administrator and writer.
The environmental awareness and writings of Aldo Leopold, and philosopher Marcia Eaton’s assertion in her essay, “The Beauty That Requires Health,” that art with landscape as its subject has an ethical obligation to reveal underlying functions informs and motivates Regina’s work in photography. For the past thirty years, she has photographed emotionally resonant and ecologically distinct landscapes in the Upper Midwest. Compelled to deepen her understanding of the landscapes she was observing, she left a career in arts administration and returned to school several years ago to study landscape architecture and ecology.
Regina holds Master degrees in Fine Art from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and in Landscape Architecture from the University of Minnesota College of Design. Her photography has been featured in over 85 exhibitions and numerous collections. In 2014 she was awarded a Minnesota State Arts Board Artists Initiative Grant to continue a series about the aftermath of the Pagami Creek Fire in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. The Fall 2011 fire caused by a lightning strike was the largest in the region since 1894, consuming nearly 100,000 acres. Regina says, “this event exerted a magnetic pull on me – I had to witness this landscape first-hand, and through networking with landscape architects, I connected with scientists, including renowned disturbance ecologist Lee Frelich at the University of Minnesota, who have become my guides and mentors.”
Regina has directed public art programs for the States of Wisconsin and Minnesota and developed public art plans for the cities of Madison and Milwaukee, and guidelines for the City of Saint Paul, with support from Public Art Saint Paul. She specializes in operationalizing public art legislation and ordinances, devising programs that enable the creation of public art that is relevant, innovative and high quality through clear processes and engaging procedures.
Her landscape architecture work builds upon her landscape photography and public art planning experience. She has created landscapes for cultural institutions including The American Swedish Institute’s display gardens for the Turnblad Mansion in Minneapolis and currently, the Monroe Art Center in Wisconsin. The Discovery Garden at Alpine Park, a two-acre children’s playground with an environmental emphasis for the City of Ramsey, MN also involved artists Keith Christensen and Peter Morales who Regina brought in to work with her. The Garden was featured in You Are Here, Exploring Art in the Suburbs published by the McKnight Foundation and Forecast Public Art. While at HNTB Corporation, Regina worked on large-scale transportation infrastructure projects. She was a team-member producing design work and guidelines for I-94 in Detroit and led the public art process for the Bagley Pedestrian Bridge connecting Mexicantown across the I75/I-96 corridor.
Regina’s writing includes “The Millennium Park Effect: A Tale of Two Cities” published in The Practice of Public Art, and also the Artistic Significance Report for the City of Minneapolis which examines the artwork commissioned for Nicollet Mall from 1986-1992.