Balancing Ground wins Creative City Challenge

The public chose Balancing Ground as the winner of this year’s Creative City Challenge. The artists behind Balancing Ground will receive a $75,000 commission to create the project for a summer-long presence on the Minneapolis Convention Center Plaza. The installation will debut June 14 as part of Northern Spark, an annual dusk-to-dawn festival taking place in Minneapolis this year, and the plaza will feature the installation at three other events this summer.

Balancing Ground – by Amanda Lovelee, Christopher Field, Kyle Waites and Sarah West – is an interactive space that continually transforms with shadow and color from an overhead canopy of prisms. The installation presents a space for playful participation as well as quiet, reflective moments. It is a space without walls – open to all – built on a foundation of community voices. If you are willing to listen, Balancing Ground will literally speak to you.

The installation will consist of long rows of wood benches interrupted with a series of playground teeter-totters all surrounded by a large wood structure with a canopy of prisms and reflective fragments strung between rafters. Watch a video about the project.

Summer events at MCC Plaza featuring Balancing Ground

The Minneapolis Convention Center Plaza will host a series of events at the Balancing Ground project this summer meant to bring residents and visitors out to interact and explore.

Northern Spark, Saturday, June 14
Northern Spark is the premier dusk-to-dawn public arts festival in Minnesota, expected to draw a crowd of 50,000 passionate attendees. Balancing Ground will be unveiled and featured at the festival at 8:30 p.m. during the opening ceremonies on the plaza, which will include an address by Mayor Hodges.

Play Day, Saturday, July 19
This day is all about empowering the community to be active — both mentally and physically. Attendees start the day doing yoga on the open plaza. Throughout the day there will be other mind/body programs like meditation, electronic hopscotch, speed chess, Scrabble and more. The day will end with a wide range of performances from competitive rap to write fights to dueling banjos.

Discovery Day, Saturday, Aug. 16
Discovery Day will feature a citywide mystery game that anyone can solve by discovering hidden treasures in Minneapolis. In addition, booths and projects from local schools and organizations will explore hands-on environmental science activities and more.

Maker Day, Saturday, Sept. 13
The do-it-yourself community in the Twin Cities is a strong part of a national and international movement, making things from yarn bombing to robots. Maker Day will include Twin Cities makers such as the Hack Factory and Wil Natzel (as featured on TPT’s “MN Original”) interacting with the community, sharing their work and their exciting and original ways of thinking. Maker Day will include innovative and creative projects from the technologically sophisticated to traditional crafts to food and beverages.

Published Mar 19, 2014