Shadows of Spirit (a tribute to Dred Scott, an African-American man who was enslaved and sued the Supreme Court for his freedom and the freedom of his wife, Harriet Robinson)
Shadows of Spirit (a tribute to Dred Scott, an African-American man who was enslaved and sued the Supreme Court for his freedom and the freedom of his wife, Harriet Robinson)
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Works by alumni Ta-coumba Aiken and George Morrison, as well as Professor Emeritus Kinji Akagawa, have been reinstated along Nicollet Avenue upon the completion of its two-plus-year renovation.

Shadows of Spirit are cast bronze pavement insets that were created by Aiken and Seitu Jones in 1992. Each of these pieces, designed to look like shadows, are accompanied by a poem by Soyini Guyton. These shadows honor seven people who are part of the story of Minneapolis—including Nellie Stone Johnson, a union organizer and the first black elected official in Minneapolis, and Aŋpetu Sapa Wiŋ (Dark Day Woman), a member of the Dakota Tribe who, according to legend, took her life by paddling a canoe over St. Anthony Falls.

Akagawa, whose work Enjoyment of Nature can also be found on Nicollet Mall, recently spoke with the Nicollet Mall Public Art blog about his views on placemaking and public art. 

"Public art is democratic art. The teacher is basically a learner. The condition (and situation) determines who’s learning and talking. Knowledge has to be flexible from the beginning. Puzzlement is always a part of it." –Akagawa

A Native American Mosaic by Morrison, the renowned late Ojibwe artist, is set to be reinstalled in the spring.

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