NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
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Blooming Together!

Blooming Together!

Semilla Teaching Artists Angela Barrera and Sarah Schulz trained and led 13 neighborhood youth in creating a very large mural on the corner of 26th St. and 15th Ave. S., teaching them mosaic skills, picking up litter, creating a poetry ‘zine with Patrick Cabello Hansel, and teaching them leadership skills in our Young Leader program. Photos by Semilla Center for Healing and the Arts By BART BUCH, Director of Semilla Center for Healing and the Arts This summer Semilla has been busy creating peace through beauty on and around Bloomington Avenue South in the Midtown Phillips neighborhood, our home. Last summer our theme was “Together/Juntos,” as coming together again after being separated from the pandemic was thrilling. This year we take that theme a step further with “Blooming Together.” We hope to reflect and create a wave of new togetherness, with us each trying to bloom anew. You are going to see quite a few flowers in the work that is going on, and amongst this new garden we are in, we acknowledge the persistent hardship, desperation and violence in our midst here in Midtown Phillips, and especially on Bloomington Avenue. The situation we are in is complex in this neighborhood, in this time. More complex than we can understand or deal with alone. We also recognize the beautiful blossom of each person and being on Bloomington Avenue as sacred, and the land and sky of Bloomington Avenue as sacred, with a flowering heart. In the work Semilla does this summer we try to hold these two realities with care.

“New Dawn” Sculpture Wins Greenway Contest

“New Dawn” Sculpture Wins Greenway Contest

By Project Advisory Team members scottie hall and Tim Springer The winning design Artist Heather Doyle. Photo by Sharolyn Hagen. 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 [...]

Vote for your Favorite Light-emitting Sculpture Design!

Vote for your Favorite Light-emitting Sculpture Design!

By Tim Springer Want to help determine a new sculpture in the neighborhood? Phillips residents and Midtown Greenway users are invited to vote for your favorite design from among three finalists for the proposed Light-emitting Sculpture. The sculpture will be owned by the Midtown Greenway Coalition and installed at the top of the Greenway’s 18th Avenue entrance ramp. The sculpture will bring beauty and joy, provide light, and become a landmark helping people find their way to and from the Greenway. Thank you to the design phase donors: Circulo De Amigos, Ingebretsen’s, East Phillips Improvement Coalition, and the City of Minneapolis Southside Green Zone.  You are eligible to vote if you live in the greater Phillips Neighborhood or are a Midtown Greenway user who lives in the Twin Cities.  Which sculpture makes you say “Wow!”, inspires joy, whimsey, laugher, or awe, and/or welcomes you, and conveys peace, love, and unity? Consider the three options below and cast your vote!   The voting deadline is March 31, 2022. Vote Online: visit www.midtowngreenway.org and scroll down on the homepage to find a link to the poll. Vote by Text: Text 612-355-9600 and answer the following questions: (1) Which voter category are you in, greater Phillips Neighborhood resident or general Greenway User? (2) Which sculpture is your favorite, New Dawn (flowers), Sunflake, or Falcon? (3) What is your zip code? (4) Optional, your email address if you want project updates. For example, “Phillips, New Dawn, 55407, suzy.doe@gmail.com”  Here are the three finalists, presented in an order that was generated randomly.  Art Piece Name: New Dawn Dimensions: 17-foot tall, 12-foot wide Materials: Stainless steel, porcelain enameled steel and LED lights Inspiration: Inspired by the moment when flowers have spun open to greet the new dawn Artist Name: Heather Doyle (she/her) Artist location: [...]

Call for Sculpture Concepts Deadline Extended

Call for Sculpture Concepts Deadline Extended

By Abdi Hassan Jr. and Tim Springer An example of whimsical art on Portland Avenue. Photo by Tim Springer. The deadline has been extended for proposing designs for a new Midtown Greenway light-emitting sculpture. An advisory team composed of East Phillips residents who live near the site of the future sculpture voted to extend the deadline for responses. The previous deadline was December 3, 2021. Now artists have until February 4, 2022, to submit sculpture concepts.  The sculpture will be in the public space above the Midtown Greenway entrance ramp at 18th Avenue South, where it will provide joy, light, and wayfinding. It will be owned and maintained by the Midtown Greenway Coalition. The 29-year-old nonprofit organization stewarded the creation of the Midtown Greenway and currently serves as the community’s voice in promoting Greenway improvements, maintenance, and use. The revised Call can be found linked at www.midtowngreenway.org. The most important criteria the Advisory Team will use when selecting three finalists is the desired impacts on viewers. Our neighborhood went through a lot in the year of 2020 which brought us together to make this a beautiful neighborhood, a safe place for our families, and a cared for area to live in. The installation of this sculpture will have a meaning of unity behind it. The desired impact we’re looking for is to amaze neighbors and Midtown Greenway trail users. We want Greenway users to look forward to showing this beautiful art to their friends and families they take on this trail. Submittals from artists prior to the December 3 deadline will be automatically kept in the running. Those artists may also submit revised proposals or submit entirely new sculpture concepts.  Three finalists will be selected by the Advisory Team to have their sculpture concepts presented to the public for voting. Eligible voters will include people who live on the two most impacted blocks, plus East Phillips residents [...]

New Mural at Phillips West Community Garden

New Mural at Phillips West Community Garden

By LAURA HULSCHER The Phillips West Fall Fest and Annual Meeting was held on November 6th outside the Swedish American Institute. Here neighbors led by Daja Shanklin of Self Made Creative Learning paint a mural for the new Phillips West Community Garden. The garden is on the northeast corner of Portland Avenue South and 28th Street.

Artists Invited to Submit Design Ideas for Light-Emitting Sculpture

Artists Invited to Submit Design Ideas for Light-Emitting Sculpture

By TIM SPRINGER The Midtown Greenway Coalition is issuing a call for artists to submit their ideas for a beautiful and stunning light-emitting sculpture. As mentioned in a previous Alley article, the purposes of the sculpture are to create exciting art that brings joy and makes you say “WOW!”, light up a dark area, and serve as a wayfinding beacon to help people find their way onto and off of the Greenway. This is a project of the Midtown Greenway Coalition with an Advisory Team composed of seven residents from the 2800 and 2900 blocks of 18th Avenue South, adjacent to the proposed sculpture location. I am honored to serve as Project Manager (a volunteer position) and work with the Advisory Team on this exciting project.  The sculpture will be located at the top of the entrance ramp to the Midtown Greenway at 18th Avenue. It will be about 12 feet wide and will be suspended up in the air about 12 feet above the trail surface. The body of the sculpture will emit light; perhaps through sheathing made of translucent acrylic material or perforated metal, or a surface that glows or has lights. Out of the bottom of the sculpture there will be lights aimed downward to the pavement to light up the pathway and adjacent sidewalk, and perhaps also out onto the roadway at the trail/roadway intersection.  Location of the desired public art piece. After receiving sketches from artists showing design ideas, the Advisory Team will select three finalists based on feasibility, artist capacity to complete the project, and how exciting each design is. Community members, Midtown Greenway trail users, and the public will then be invited to vote for their favorite design from among the three finalists.  After a design is selected, the winning artist will be invited to enter into a contract for up to $8,000 to create a detailed design that can be submitted to the City of Minneapolis for approval. The detailed design will include sculpture dimensions, [...]

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