The John Biggers Seed Project (Seed)
Seed is a public art and collaborative design effort that engages renowned African American artists in mentoring young emerging artists in placemaking by educating them about African American art and community history, providing career development and transferable skills, and creating a sense of place that speaks to the culture of North Minneapolis. Seed is inspired by the Celebration of Life mural, an acclaimed public artwork led by John Biggers, a major African American artist of the twentieth century. Seed began the careers of young artists and organizations (including Obsidian Arts and Juxtaposition Arts), planting artistic “seeds” on the North Side..
The goals of the Seed project are as follows:
- Teach young artists transferable skills to make them more employable;
- Engage artists across generations in a collaborative effort to create a vibrant place that speaks to the culture of the North Side;
- Build an attractive connection between the North Side and downtown that improves walk-ability and make the area more attractive to developers;
- Build the capacity of the Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center (CAFAC) and Obsidian Arts to teach African American art and community history.
The City of Minneapolis is partnering with the following organizations to complete Seed:
- Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center: All activities related to fabricating the enamel panels including kiln construction and maintenance, artist training and artwork development.
- Obsidian Arts: Emerging artist selection, training, and follow-up.
- Urban Research and Outreach Engagement Center (UROC): Coordinate local community engagement activities and host a number of the artist trainings.
The City will be working with lead artists Willis Bing Davis of Ohio. Jon Onye Lockard of Michigan, who were both selected through an invitation call, and Seitu Jones and Tacoumba Aiken of Minnesota who worked with Biggers on Celebration of life to complete the project.
The 13 selected artists will learn about African American art and community history, be provided with career development and transferable skills, and create a sense of place that speaks to the culture of North Minneapolis.
For more information, contact Mary Altman, Public Arts Administrator at 612-673-3006.
Last updated Mar 1, 2018