Monday March 27th 2023

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“New Dawn” Sculpture Wins Greenway Contest

By Project Advisory Team members scottie hall and Tim Springer

Voters selected Heather Doyle’s proposed “New Dawn” sculpture, a 17-foot-tall stylized spray of flowers, as their favorite design for a proposed light-emitting sculpture for the Midtown Greenway’s 18th Avenue entrance ramp. This is the result of a Call for Artists that resulted in proposals from around the United States. Finalists were selected by an advisory team, and then voted on by the public. Voting outcomes from three voter groups were weighed equally: (1) residents on the block where the sculpture will go; (2) greater Phillips residents; (3) Twin Cities residents who use the Greenway.

Doyle is a founder of the Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center here in South Minneapolis. She designed New Dawn to recognize and celebrate our community’s resilience in dealing with so much trauma in recent years. Doyle commented “I am so thrilled to have the opportunity to work with you all on this project. This community’s story is incredible and I am honored to have been chosen to realize your vision for this space.” Doyle will engage local residents to influence selected elements of the design.

The sculpture will be located in what was an epicenter of drug dealing in 2020. That July, block residents barricaded the block and sat at the barricades for eight days around the clock. The barricades remained in place for much of that summer.

Project Advisory Team member Abdi Hassan Jr. shared his interest in the sculpture, saying “I’m excited for the passerby to enjoy this beautiful sight.” Another Project Advisory Team member, Lauren Evans, says, “I’m hoping for a transcendental effect from the regular world to a world of possibility.”

The project now goes from concept approval into a detailed design phase to prepare for approval for installation by public agencies. Midtown Greenway is owned by the Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority, which partners with the City of Minneapolis for approval of art projects in the Greenway. The sculpture will be submitted for approval to the Minneapolis Arts Commission and Minneapolis Public Works.

As the owner of the proposed sculpture, the Midtown Greenway Coalition, will raise money for implementation as the design phase now moves forward. Supporters are encouraged to visit to contribute. Between fundraising and City approvals, we are still a year or two away from sculpture installation.

Thanks again to funders of the design phase, including Circulo de Amigos, East Phillips Improvement Coalition (EPIC), Ingebretsen’s, the Southside Green Zone (a program of the City of Minneapolis), individual donors, and to the the alley for helping keep our community informed about this exciting project.

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