May 25, 2018
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"Speaking of Home" Immigration Project Receives MAC Award



Minneapolis Arts Commission selects recipients for the first annual MAC Awards

Mayor Rybak will present the awards at the MOSAIC festival opening night event



 (MINNEAPOLIS) The Minneapolis Arts Commission has selected three public art projects to be recognized with the first annual MAC Awards. The selected projects include a colorful park bench crafted by youth in North Minneapolis, a Nicollet Avenue mural project that increases awareness of the city’s heritage with historic images of the city, and the installation of dramatic photographs in a downtown skyway to give voice to the Minneapolis immigrant community. 


Mayor R.T. Rybak will recognize the winners June 6 at the MOSAIC opening night event at 7:20 p.m. at the Pantages Theatre (710 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis). The award ceremony is free and open to the public.


“In a city known world-wide as an arts capitol, we take great pride in the fact that so many artists call Minneapolis home,” Mayor Rybak said. “The artists we recognize with these awards represent the best and brightest among a growing and vibrant arts community.”

Award for Community Involvement in Public Art 

The recipient of Award for Community Involvement in Public Art has stimulated participation in and appreciation of the arts by all city residents, including Minneapolis youth.  The recipient has encouraged cooperation and coordination between artists and the various arts, and inspired others to get involved in public art.

·               Project: Speak Project for the Cottage Park: Community Park Bench.  Twenty five neighborhood youth and former street gang members worked with SPEAK Project artists to learn to express themselves through poetry, photography and metal arts in the process of creating a brightly colorful park bench to replace a bench that had previously been stolen from Cottage Park.  The bench incorporates the word JUSTICE into its frame, and is a symbol of hope for the neighborhood.

·               Artist: Community members, with assistance from Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center SPEAK Project.

·               Commissioning Agency: Pohlad Family Foundation.

Award for Celebrating the City through Public Art

The recipient of the Award for Celebrating the City through Public Art has contributed to the visual character of the community through a work of public art.  Through the work, the recipient has fostered the city’s sense of spirit, heritage, and/or diversity.  The recipient strives for high standards of quality of public art, and has created work that has become a symbol for the city.

·               Project: Walldogs on Nicollet.  The Walldogs project created ten murals along Nicollet Avenue in the Lyndale and Kingfield neighborhoods during July 2008, which were painted by local and national artists, as well as community members.  The murals depict elements from the history of the city, including the city’s historic and current skyline, the work of Joseph Nicollet, the Nicollet Baseball Park, the history of the Lyndale neighborhood, and the historic street car system. 

·               Lead Artists: FranCisco Vargas, Bernie Gietl, Randy Szarzynski, David Butler, Dale Manor, David Petri, Adam May, Dawn and Steve Lane, Bob Parsons, Bill Diaz, and Judy Grossman.

·               Commissioning Agency: Lyndale and Kingfield Neighborhood Associations, together with local businesses and community members.

Award for Integration of Public Art in Private Development 

The recipient of the Award for Integration of Public Art in Private Development has integrated public art in a development or redevelopment project in an exemplary way.  Through its use of public art and urban design, the recipient has created a welcoming and social public space.  The recipient has also provided opportunities for local artists.

·               Project: Speaking of Home.  Utilizing one the busiest skyways in Minneapolis, the project transformed the bridge connecting the IDS Center and Macy’s with a 150-foot long, walk-through exhibition from August through October 2008.  The stories of  23 new Americans were installed on the windows of the skyway, represented by 13 x 10-foot photographs from their country of origin, together with panels featuring quotes and stories.  The project was designed to give voice to the city’s expanding immigrant population.

·               Artist: Nancy Ann Coyne.

·               Commissioning Agency: Forecast Public Art, together with the Family Housing Fund and the Institute for Advanced Study at University of Minnesota.

About the Minneapolis Arts Commission

The Minneapolis Arts Commission was chartered in 1974 with the mission to strengthen the arts and enrich cultural life in Minneapolis.  The Minneapolis Arts Commission works closely with the staff of the Department of Community Planning & Economic Development-Planning Division, Cultural Affairs and shares their goal of developing a strong and vital arts community throughout Minneapolis. In 2005, the Arts Commission and Cultural Affairs launched a comprehensive cultural planning process that will result in the City of Minneapolis Plan for Arts and Culture a ten-year strategic plan that defines the role of the City of Minneapolis in supporting the arts and culture.




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