Created By: Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District
Nicollet Lanterns, 2017
Stainless Steel Lighted Globes
Blessing Hancock with poets Moheb Soliman, Sagirah Shahid, Junauda Petrus and R. Vincent Moniz, Jr. (Nu’Eta)
Collection City of Minneapolis
Photo: Regina M. Flanagan and Kurt Moses
Nicollet Lanterns contributes to a two-block long experience that celebrates light, art and the four seasons in this most urban and busy area of downtown. Peeking through the branches of a row of oak trees are twelve illuminated globes. Each lantern is unique and incorporates a different approximately 100-word poem written by local poets. These works offered sculptor Blessing Hancock, who often collaborates with other artists, her first opportunity to work with writers.
The four-foot diameter globes are constructed of stainless steel with sanded acrylic panels lining the inside. During the day, sunlight bounces off the steel’s shiny surface and passes through the translucent globes, creating a soft, diffused glow, and at night, color-changing LEDs light them from within.
Nicollet Lanterns celebrates the voices and perspectives of Minneapolis poets Moheb Soliman, Sagirah Shahid, Junauda Petrus and R. Vincent Moniz, Jr. (Nu’Eta). Each poet wrote three poems, and when Prince passed away unexpectedly in April 2016, all four were moved to memorialize him in one of their contributions. Look for these lines:
…Saw his Purple Majesty perform at Paisley Park three times as his symbol shined across night sky I let possibility wash over me... – Moniz, Jr. (Nu’Eta)
I got nothing but love or purple joy that felt like anointed rain riding this crowded bus… – Shahid
…Lavender cloud sky opened and divine poet warriors became ancestor… – Petrus
…The whole state helped write this part for you Princes & your 1,000 backup dancers… – Soliman
The lines of poetry run horizontally around the globes, but looking from different angles as you walk past, the text recombines into evocative word-clouds. New word connections will emerge every time you see the work – and the poems come alive through your personal observation and interpretation.
The complete texts of the twelve poems may be viewed online.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Nicollet Public Art Tour