Minneapolis Community and Technical College is home to several significant pieces of public art. These works were acquired through the Minnesota Percent for Arts program, funded by legislation which encourages state building projects to use up to one percent of construction budgets to purchase or commission public art.
The first, Totem, is a beautiful sculpture made of redwood, plywood and stone, and towers over the viewer at 14 feet high at the foot of the steps leading to the Helland Center. The artist, George Morrison, was a distinguished Ojibwe modernist landscape painter and sculptor from Chippewa City, MN. He studied at Minneapolis College of Art and Design and taught American Indian Studies and Art at the University of Minnesota. The Minneapolis Institute of Arts Native American galleries have more of his works than any other artist, including a similar sculpture called Red Totem 1 (the first of this series). His works are held in the collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and the Walker Art Center, among others.
The second, Sun Disk, is a large, dynamic and colorful abstract painting, hanging in the entryway to the Theater, created by one of the Midwest’s most significant artists, Jerry Rudquist. He studied at Minneapolis College of Art and Design and taught at Macalester College. Rudquist was nationally recognized and had solo exhibitions of his work at Walker Art Center and Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and both have his works in their collections. The Painted Eye, a film made of Rudquist painting a self-portrait, can be viewed online at thecie.org/paintedeye.
The third, Silences, is a curious photo lightbox installation in the library, which can also be viewed from the outdoor plaza area, by New York artist Dennis Adams. He teaches at Cooper Union in New York City and received the honor of being named a Guggenheim Fellow this year. He has also taught at Parsons School of Design, New York; Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris; Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam; and the Akademie der Bildenden Kunst, Munich, and was the Director of the Visual Arts Program in the School of Architecture at MIT in Cambridge, MA. A full review of his work can be seen at: kentfineart.net/dennis-adams
A closer look into these works of art and the artists is forthcoming in future issues.