Historic Works by Minnesota Artists Return to the Mall

During Fall 2015, all of the public art was removed from Nicollet Mall in anticipation of its reconstruction. Carefully de-installed were the Sculpture Clock by Jack Nelson, the only piece remaining from Lawrence Halprin’s original Mall design of the late 1960s, as well as artworks commissioned during the last renovation in the early 1990s. Many of these works, by Minnesota artists who were establishing their reputations at that time, will reappear on the Mall along with the most significant public commission created by George Morrison, one of our state’s most esteemed artists. In 2018, Morrison’s granite carpet entitled Tableau, A Native American Portrait will return to the Mall.

The first artworks will be reinstalled in August 2017, including Shadows of Spirit by Seitu Jones, Ta-coumba Aiken and Soyini Guyton, and Kate Burke’s beloved Hail Minnesota manhole covers. Shadows of Spirit will be inset in the pavement between Grant Street and 11th Street, sited among trees and seating in the South Grove and Loring Woods, providing a welcoming entry to the new Mall from the Loring Park Greenway.

Jones, Aiken and Guyton created Shadows of Spirit over 25 years ago, early in their artistic careers. Committed to living and working in the Twin Cities, they became locally- and nationally-respected public artists. During a 2013 interview, they looked back on the Nicollet Mall project and its impact upon their careers and art. Read the interview here.

Kate Burke produced the popular series of manhole covers in 1992, before personal computers, digital cameras and ink jet printers. She searched her studio for the original design materials and photographed the plans and drawings, digitized old photographs, and shares her creative process with you here.

Future blog posts will feature an interview with Kinji Akagawa, creator of the seating ensemble Enjoyment of Nature which, along with Stone Boats by Stan Sears, will reappear on Nicollet Mall later in the fall.

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