EN AVANT (2011) Hiawatha Maintenance Facility, Minneapolis, MN
Media: Recycled bridge deck, steel, cut and cast aluminum, formed copper, kinetic elements, ornamental grasses, and mixed flowering vines
Dimensions: Concrete screen wall: 10’ (H) x 488’ (W); Trellis: 11’ (H) x 6’-8” (W)
Commissioning Agency: City of Minneapolis Art in Public Places, Department of Public Works
Design collaboration with Brad Kaspari. The artists chose to work with an existing concrete screen wall that surrounds the maintenance facility; they stained the wall, built trellises from recycled bridge deck, and installed landscaping in front of the wall. Special inserts in the trellises include city vehicles above and collages below that reflect the activities behind the wall, thereby celebrating the people and jobs that make the city “work.” The use of materials for this project very clearly reflects changes in contemporary society and a movement toward an ecologically conscious public. Using remnants of recycled bridge deck that the City of Minneapolis salvaged from the Old Lowry Avenue Bridge demolition provides an innovative example of how public art can act as a model for creative uses of re-purposed materials. Because the materials are incorporated from artifacts from old city structures, the site of the artwork was infused with historical meaning and created a restructured landmark for the demolished bridge.