Public Art Completes Nicollet Mall’s Design

Public art installation activity on Nicollet Mall is reaching a crescendo for the season. During a walk from the north to south ends of the Mall on sunny Wednesday, October 25th, I observed expert restorers and installers completing their work.

Enjoyment of Nature by Kinji Akagawa, one of several historic works from the 1990s, now graces the North Grove. Carefully restored and beautifully sited to interact with the landscape, last touches include power-washing prior to applying mortar around the base of the boulders, and protecting the wood seating surfaces with sealant.


Hail Minnesota manhole covers by Kate Burke with patterns of wild rice and oats are discovered in the sidewalk between 2nd and 3rd Streets.


Incised sidewalk pavement in front of the barriers marks the future location of the sculptural work Nimbus by Tristan Al-Haddad to be installed in spring 2018 at the Theater in the Round in front of Central Library.


Stone Boats, a pair of sculptural granite seating forms by Stanton Sears are mortared in place on the east side of Nicollet between 5th and 6th Streets.


At the intersection with 11th Street near WCCO, Prairie Tree, a new kinetic sculpture by Ned Kahn, undulates, sparkles, and draws eyes upward to an interplay with surrounding architecture and cloudless sky.


The long-awaited reinstallation of Jack Nelson’s Sculpture Clock was underway on the southeast corner near Orchestra Hall. Conservator Kristin Cheronis and her crew packed and moved the over 900-piece work from the restoration studio in Northeast Minneapolis to carefully re-assemble it inside the confines of the cabinet below the clock dial. On October 26th, the gleaming perpetual motion sculpture was activated for the first time in over fifteen years.


Between 12th and 13th Streets, Shadows of Spirit by Seitu Jones and Ta-Coumba Aiken with poems by Soyini Guyton is encountered in the pavement.

During summer 2018, Tableau: A Native American Mosaic by George Morrison, the final artwork in the collection of new and restored works, will be installed in the South Grove near the Loring Greenway.

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