Client: Hennepin County Government Center
Location: Minneapolis, MN, United States
Completion date: 2008
Artwork budget: $700
Public Art Agent
Forecast Public Art
In this installation, an under-used, overlooked, and largely forgotten civic fountain in the heart of downtown Minneapolis was temporarily activated through an artistic intervention using the geometry and existing structure of the fountain as a framework.
This project was intended to call renewed attention to the subterranean fountain, visible from street level as well as from a sunken gallery. Working on an extremely limited budget, the artist used nylon mason string, a chrome commercial clothes rack, and stamped metal scrap to create the bulk of the installation. The design of the existing handrail system was carefully studied so that adaptations and fasteners could be attached and removed leaving no trace of the installation. The artist considered the intervention from the perspective that added elements not counter the spirit or geometry of the existing space.
The artist created presentation materials, including renderings, fastener details, and installation plans, to the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners for approval. The installation took place over the course of two weeks, primarily over the lunch hour so that the artist would have an opportunity to interact with downtown workers on lunch break.
This project, while small in terms of budget and scale, encapsulated some of the most challenging and rewarding aspects of public projects many times larger. The utmost economy was necessary in the selection and sourcing of materials and means of installation in order to gain maximum artistic effect.