By Kirstin Wiegmann, Forecast Public Art
Roosevelt High School, a public school located in the Standish-Ericsson neighborhood of South Minneapolis, has been quietly working on plans for a large scale outdoor sculpture for the school and the larger community. In collaboration with Forecast Public Art and artist Randy Walker, the Connections Gallery is a permanent structure with changeable components that Roosevelt, Minneapolis Public Schools and the community can enjoy, use and access to make connections through art and across curriculum.
In 2012, students at Roosevelt began exploring issues of community art with artist residencies facilitated by Forecast and classroom educators. As the discussions developed, students and faculty hatched the idea of having a permanent public art installation at Roosevelt. Artist Randy Walker, a fiber and mixed media public artist who has created temporary and permanent installations throughout the United States, was selected by students and staff to be the lead artist on the project.
Walker began working in the spring of 2013 with a select group of Roosevelt students on designing and clarifying the purpose of their permanent public art sculpture. As they planned, they envisioned a structure and space that could be constantly reinvented, was accessible to all and that they could use to find connections in their learning. The final design shows 14 metal frames radiating outwards like wheel spokes from a large circular open air gallery. Like a rice paper screen or stained glass window each metal frame is divided into a smaller cells of acrylic panels. Within these panels students will be able to insert pictures, words- anything that they can create on paper.
On May 28th, as the school year came to a close, the community gathered to celebrate the arts at Roosevelt, Connections Gallery’s groundbreaking and a new mural by artists Greta McLain, Claudio Valentino and Kate Rogers. Now, almost a month later, the installation has its footings in the ground and the piece is very close to completion.
Arts / Article