The John Biggers Seed Project is a public art and collaborative design effort engaging renowned African American artists in mentoring emerging artists in placemaking by: educating them about African American art and community history and creating a sense of place that speaks to the Minneapolis Northside.
John Biggers, a major African American artist of the twentieth century, created the design for Celebration of Life. He died shortly after it was completed. Celebration of Life was installed on a MNDOT sound wall at the intersection of Olson Memorial Highway and Lyndale Avenue South, adjacent to the new proposed public art location. It was destroyed along with the sound wall by the City of Minneapolis in 2000 under a permit with MNDOT to make way for a new housing project, Heritage Park.
Seed will create a vibrant link between the Northside and Downtown by transforming the Olson Bridge spanning I94 and replacing the existing chain link with a new artistic railing. The base railing, which will be galvanized steel, has been designed and engineered by SRF Consulting Group. Inserted into the railing will be over 300 enamel panels, designed and fabricated by the Seed artists. The enamel coating and design will be applied on both sides of steel panels, making it visible on both the freeway and pedestrian sides of the bridge.
Partners: Public Works, MNDOT, Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center
Status: Fabrication underway.