The John Biggers Seed Project (Seed)

Seed is the legacy project of the John Bigger’s Celebration of Life mural, which began the careers of young artists and organizations planting artistic “seeds” in the City.


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.

Detail of enamel panel for Seed artistic railing


  • Willis Bing Davis
  • Jon Onye Lockard
  • Seitu Jones
  • Ta-coumba Aiken
  • Mica Lee Anders
  • Jeremiah Ellison
  • Sayge Carroll
  • Roger Cummings
  • Patrick Cunningham
  • Angela Davis
  • Loretta Day
  • Christopheraaron Deanes
  • Adrienne Doyle
  • Christopher Harrison
  • Jordan Hamilton
  • Esther Osayande
  • Chris Scott

Contact us

Mary Altman

Public Arts Administrator

Arts & Cultural Affairs Department




Public Service Building
505 Fourth Ave. S., Room 510
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Public Arts Administration

Community Planning & Economic Development




Public Service Building
505 4th Avenue S., Room 510
Minneapolis, MN 55415