Posts Tagged ‘Calhoun Area Residents Action Group’
Friday, February 17th, 2012
Highlighting the significance of bicycling in the Twin Cities, the new bicycle-themed Bryant Avenue Mosaic (at the Bryant Ave. Market at 3200 Bryant Ave. S. in Minneapolis) has been dazzling passerby since its unveiling in the fall of 2011.
Created and installed over six weeks by more than 180 trained volunteers, the mosaic is a natural fit for Bryant Ave. S., which has become a key north/south thoroughfare for bicyclists commuting between downtown and south Minneapolis. The mosaic, designed by Twin Cities artist Sharra Frank and made from thousands of colored and mirrored pieces of tile, is 24 feet long, covers more than 150 square feet, and includes 43 mirrored snowflakes.
The mosaic project was funded by a graffiti prevention micro-grant from the City of Minneapolis, the Calhoun Area Residents Action Group (CARAG) and Volunteers of America-Minnesota (VOA-MN), and overseen by Mary Ann Schoenberger, director of VOA-MN’s Southwest Senior Center (3612 Bryant Ave. S.). Mary Ann recruited and organized the project’s participants, “ranging in age from 5 to 95,” from several locations, including the Southwest Senior Center, residents of the senior center Walker Place, children from the after-school program at Bryant Square Park, and a volunteer group from Optum Health.
For Bike Walk Move, Mary Ann took a few minutes to answer a few questions about the mosaic project:
1. What can you tell us about the artist who created the mosaic?
Sharra Frank is the artist. Over the last couple of years, she worked with COMPAS on a summer art project for teenagers. She has done a number of major pieces in the Twin Cities, including mosaics at St. Paul’s Children’s Hospital. This was her first large-scale volunteer project.
2. Why was a bicyclist selected as the focal point of the mosaic? What do you believe this bicyclist says about bicycling in our community?
We held two community brainstorming sessions to come up with themes, ideas, and images for the mosaic. A number of people stated that they wanted a mosaic that had fewer, larger images, rather than many small images. We also heard from a number of people that they would like to see biking included, since the neighborhood contains a lot of bicyclists and since Bryant Ave. S. is a major bike route. A number of people also expressed interest in a winter theme. After holding the meetings, we realized that a scene featuring someone bicycling in the winter was a good celebration of the city and the neighborhood. Someone bicycling in a beautiful winter scene demonstrates that people in Minneapolis enjoy being in the outdoors and that biking can be done any time of the year. It also acknowledges Minneapolis’s reputation as one of the top cities for bikers and expresses the neighborhood’s pride in that.
3. Why were so many different people of all ages interested in helping create the mosaic?
Over 180 people between the ages of 5 and 95 worked on the mosaic. With literally thousands of pieces, it was necessary to have many hands involved in the project. We had specific partnerships with the dance class at Barton Open School, Bryant Square Park’s after school program, Walker Place, and Optum Health. We worked closely with the CARAG neighborhood association to inform the neighborhood about the project and many people who lived in the neighborhood wanted to be part of improving Bryant Avenue Market. Many of the seniors who participate at the Southwest Senior Center were involved because they enjoyed being part of a community art project and because they liked interacting with people from the neighborhood.
Many people were “hooked” once they started, as they saw that they were able to make something beautiful. There was always a great sense of doing something good for the neighborhood and working together that permeated all of our building workshops. At the mosaic’s unveiling, we honored a core group of 12 volunteers who had donated more than 40 hours of time each to the mosaic’s construction.
4. What are some of the best, or most unique features of this stretch of Bryant Ave. S.?
The most unique features of Bryant Ave. S. between 30th and 40th Streets are the new bike lanes, Bryant Square Park (which has seen a major upgrade in the last decade with a new playground and concert area), the ice skating at Bryant Square Park and Lyndale Farmstead Park (and the fact that there are two parks within 8 blocks of each other on the same street), the institutions dedicated to seniors (Southwest Senior Center and Walker), and the mix of single-family, duplex and apartment buildings.
5. What has been the reaction of community members, and passerby, to the mosaic?
The reaction has been universally positive. During installation, we had dozens of people stop by to give positive feedback to the volunteers. Over 80 people attended the celebration and unveiling ceremony. People have told me that they think the project should win an award, or tell me how much they miss working on it with the other volunteers.
6. Why was the mosaic project undertaken?
The project was undertaken for the following reasons:
a. Good research that shows that seniors benefit from being involved in high-level arts projects
b. The feedback from the seniors and the community about our last mosaic project (on the southern wall of the Southwest Senior Center) was very positive, and people had been asking if we would do another one so that they could participate
c. Since completing the Southwest Senior Center mosaic, we have not had any graffiti on our building
d. The City of Minneapolis had money to fund such a project
e. The project gave us the chance to have a lasting impact on improving the City of Minneapolis
f. One of our United Way goals is to bring the generations together, and art is a great way to do this
g. The project gave us a great way of introducing our services to area seniors and their caregivers
i. The mosaic gave us a way of providing quality volunteer opportunities for the neighborhood
Tags: Bike Walk Move, Bryant Ave. Market, Bryant Ave. Market Mosaic, Bryant Avenue Market, Calhoun Area Residents Action Group, City of Minneapolis, Sharra Frank, Volunteers of America-Minnesota
Posted in Featured, Uncategorized | No Comments »
The following is a post written by Hilary Reeves, communications director, Bike Walk Twin Cities, that originally ran in the Downtown Journal. Now that Nice Ride bikes are tucked away for the winter, consider using the bus for your quick trips to lunch, meetings, doctor’s appointments, or shopping. Using Metro Transit is an ideal way
The following is a post written by Bri Whitcraft, Special Projects Coordinator, Bike Walk Twin Cities. It all started with a video as inspiration and a Tweet as declaration. (My mom thought it was a joke.) Map & Route From my home in South Minneapolis, I biked to St. Paul to borrow the trailer from
The following is a post written by Hilary Reeves, communications director, Bike Walk Twin Cities, that originally ran in the Southwest Journal. Practical, affordable and surprisingly rewarding, winter bicycling has become increasingly popular in Minneapolis, recently named one of the top five cities in the nation for winter bicycle commuting by MetaEfficient. That’s amazing when