March 16, 2018 (MINNEAPOLIS) The participatory art installation “Carry-on Homes” by Peng Wu, Zoe Cinel, Shunjie Yong, Preston Drum and Aki Shibata won the 2018 Creative City Challenge. “Carry-on Homes” will debut on The Commons June 15 as part of Northern Spark, an annual nighttime arts festival in Minneapolis with tens of thousands of participants. The art will remain on The Commons through August 2018 for public participation and as the site of public events. Under this year’s Northern Spark theme of commonality, the ideas behind the “Carry-on Homes” installation are formed to host the stories of immigrants searching for a place to call home.
The installation components include the Stage (Arrivals), the Reflecting Garden, and the Table and the Journey Wall (Departures). These components all explore the intersection of public and private spaces. Through juxtapositions of action and setting, the art strikes a conversation about what unites us through basic human needs of shelter, food, water and social interaction.
The Stage (Arrivals) will hold a wall made of carry-on suitcases painted to form a graphic mural inspired by the patterns of the traditional clothing and fabric arts from major immigrant groups in Minnesota. The mural’s saturated colors will act as a backdrop for a low stage featuring performances celebrating the diversity of Minneapolis’ and Minnesota’s immigrant communities. The Reflecting Garden will feature a raised garden bed growing a tree and plants. Mirrored walls and a series of printed photographs from the Carry-on Homes Project will highlight commonality. The Carry-on Homes team is looking for new stories and images from immigrants to Minnesota to add to its growing archive; those interested can contact firstname.lastname@example.org. The Table and the Journey Wall (Departures) consist of white suitcases implanted in a wall near picnic tables where visitors can fill out a suitcase tab and hang it on a suitcase representing a momentous occasion for an immigrant.
More about the Creative City Challenge
The Creative City Challenge is a competition for Minnesota-resident architects, landscape architects, urban designers, planners, engineers, scientists, artists, students and individuals of all backgrounds. The challenge: create and install a temporary, destination artwork that acts as a sociable and participatory platform for two months of onsite programming and encourages a sense of connectedness to the city and its rich cultural and natural offerings. The Creative City Challenge is conceived as a showcase for local creative talent, Minneapolis community identities and a tangible symbol of the complex narratives that make up the many stories within our urban landscape.
Past competition winners were the Minneapolis Interactive Macro Mood Installation (MIMMI) in 2013, Balancing Ground in 2014, mini_polis in 2015, Wolf and Moose in 2016 and Orbacles in 2017.
The sixth annual Creative City Challenge is a collaboration among the Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy program of the City of Minneapolis; The Commons; Northern Lights.mn and the Northern Spark festival.
Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy
The Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy program leverages the creative sector toward social and economic growth in the City of Minneapolis; coordinates arts and creative economy activities; works with the Minneapolis Arts Commission; collaborates with City departments on eliminating racial disparities; and develops arts, culture and creative industry policies and programs for the City of Minneapolis.
The Commons is a 4.2-acre public green space and an anchor in the Downtown East area’s transformation. Spanning two city blocks, the park is an active space for the public to relax and play. The Commons offers a robust lineup of free public programming including a weekly farmers market, music performances, film screenings, poetry readings, fitness classes and children’s activities. In the summer of 2018 it will also be the venue for large special events including Northern Spark June 15-16 and the X Games July 19-22.
Northern Lights.MN and Northern Spark
Northern Spark is a late night participatory arts festival taking place from 9:02 p.m. to 2 a.m. each night Friday, June 15, and Saturday, June 16, 2018. During Northern Spark, tens of thousands of people gather throughout the city to explore giant video projections, play in temporary installations in the streets, and enjoy experimental performances in green spaces and under bridges. Late into the night, the city surprises with friendly crowds, glowing groups of cyclists, unexpected paths through the urban landscape, and the magic of sunrise after a night of amazing art and experiences.
Northern Spark is produced by Northern Lights.mn, a nonprofit arts organization dedicated to artists working innovatively in the public sphere, exploring expanded possibilities for civic engagement.