Created By: Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District
Welcome to public art that you can experience, use, study and enjoy – the largest collection of public art in the city outside of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Art that exemplifies different generations of artists, styles of artwork, approaches, materials and technologies from the 1960s to the present, brought to you by downtown organizations, institutions, businesses and the City of Minneapolis.
From the start, Nicollet Mall has included ground-breaking public art. Dayton’s department store displayed an Alexander Calder sculpture in front of their building (it’s now in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden) and Lawrence Halprin, original designer of the Mall, invited artist Jack Nelson to create a kinetic sculpture to be incorporated into a public clock.
Public art took on new forms during the next incarnation of the Mall in the 1990s. Artists produced functional elements like manhole covers and carved benches and created gathering places to bring people together. This art reflected artist’s beliefs and explorations of the time, and engaged, celebrated and served the public.
Nicollet’s current re-design by James Corner Field Operations, designer of New York City’s famous High Line, choreographs movement along the street, and everything – the public, the art – becomes a part of that. Newly installed works bring fresh perspectives to the Mall. Each person will experience the artwork differently with their imagination and senses.
Public art on Nicollet Mall spans decades of artistic production – how artists work and approach their art, and the physical making of it – and celebrates the contribution of artists of all cultures to the flavor and character of our city.
These artwork descriptions have been produced by Regina M. Flanagan, one of four artists creating new work for Nicollet. She curates and integrates public art through a blog and website at www.nicolletmallart.org featuring photo essays and stories that give an inside look at the creative process.