Two new public artworks debut at North Minneapolis parks

Photo of the Aqurbane sculpture at Theodore Wirth Park.

The City of Minneapolis and Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) are excited to announce two new public artworks have been installed at North Minneapolis parks along 26th Avenue North: Christopher Harrison’s “Aqurbane” at Theodore Wirth Parkway and Esther Osayande’s “Purple Raindrop” at Farview Park.

Harrison’s Aqurbane is a 15-foot-high Corten archway with over 65 patinated bronze and steel attachments. It was inspired by natural and urban forms he observed on trips along 26th Avenue to the Mississippi River. The arch serves as a northern gateway to Theodore Wirth Regional Park.

Osayande’s Purple Raindrop is a metal sculpture and seating area that stands just over 15 feet tall and is painted in a shade of purple called Purple Reign. The sculpture honors Prince, his signature song “Purple Rain” and his major contributions to the music industry.

Purple Raindrop sculpture at Farview ParkHarrison and Osayande are well-known Minneapolis artists who created their first three-dimensional outdoor artworks for this project. The new artworks were  part of a public art project that engaged emerging artists to diversify and enlarge the pool of public artists in the Twin Cities.

The two new sculptures pair with another new artwork, Christopheraaron Deanes’s “Big Book” at Nellie Stone Johnson Community School, also recently installed along 26th Avenue North. All three artworks were fabricated at Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center in south Minneapolis. The public art on 26th Avenue North was developed in connection with the reconstruction of the street, which includes a new off-street bike trail connecting Theodore Regional Wirth Park and the Mississippi River.

This project was created through the City of Minneapolis’ Art in Public Places Program. To learn more about public art in Minneapolis Parks, including how to sponsor new artwork or adopt an existing artwork in a park, please visit the MPRB Public Art in Parks page. MPRB Commissioners reviewed and approved the new artworks in October 2017, see Resolution 2017-309 and Resolution 2017-310.

Also, make sure to check out seven interactive public art tours created by the City of Minneapolis and the MPRB: Minneapolis Public Art Tours.

Right: “Purple Raindrop” by Esther Osayande