Client: University of Minnesosta

Location: Minneapolis, MN, United States

Completion date: 2020

Project Team


Barbara Grygutis


University of Minnesota


Industrial Stainless International


Perkins + Will


The University of Minnesota’s new iconic, illuminated aluminum sculpture “Dialogue” is located in front of the campus’ Health Sciences Education Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The two sculptures which comprise the work are approximately 20 feet high, 15 feet wide, and 2 feet deep each and composed in aluminum with integrated lighting. The sculptural environment created is designed to emphasize and highlight an important human interaction feature necessary for public health – the ability to listen – and the ability to create dialogue. Dialogue transcends our differences to find common ground.


Today's health care requires everyone from students to lifelong professionals to work and encourage collaboration and communication through dialogue. The goal of "Dialogue" was to create a welcoming, iconic artwork which creates a sense of place and identity for the University of Minnesota's new Health Sciences EducationCenter. The work of art is composed with two monumental sculptures; the shape of each is an outline of the human head-- a strong, recognizable visual symbol. The form of the heads is generic, and does not convey gender or race, they are simply human. The sculptures are illuminated from within in the evening creating a welcoming atmosphere and visual marker around the clock.

Each sculptural head is rendered in a different manner. One is more transparent, while the other less transparent, but more complex in its system of transparency.

• The two sculptures symbolize our differences and similarities.
• The two sculptural heads face each other to convey engagement and DIALOGUE.
• The passageways through the sculptures, in the shape of a flame and a keyhole-
symbolize passion and logic.
• These two very human emotions symbolize the complexities of the human condition.
• The work of art is designed to embrace our shared humanity.


Artist Barbara Grygutis worked closely with fabricators Industrial Stainless International of El Paso Texas, project architects Perkins + Will of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the University of Minnesota project team to achieve a cohesive, iconic work of art which fit seamlessly into the the new Health Sciences Education Center's design. Grygutis' studio is fully equipped to handle all phases of design and completely facilitates the fabrication process. Artist Grygutis then worked closely with the University of Minnesota team to install the artwork on the the tight campus location. The project was successfully installed in 2020 despite challenges brought on by the global pandemic.

Additional Information

"Dialogue" was commissioned by the University of Minnesota.