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  • Writer's pictureMartha Bird

38th Street Resilience Project

The concept of "collaboration" and joining together with others while creating art became a primary focus and need for me this past year as the length of the pandemic wears on. I continue to actively seek out opportunities to connect with others.

One such opportunity was offered in August 2021 by

Metro Blooms, Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center & the University of MN Bee Lab

all in Minneapolis, MN.

Anyone in the community was invited to connect at backyard events to create art that would be highlighted in the 38th Street Resilience Project in South Minneapolis. We connected with others while trying our hand at metalworking and created pollinator-themed art that was then forged in fire. Individual elements were joined together and we installed just before winter arrived in new plantings at businesses along 38th street to celebrate and unify this cultural district.

my contributions are circled in red

Working with the theme of "pollination", we turned stainless steel and brass into shapes like bees, butterflies, and flowers. We got to learn bending, drilling, heat forming, and hammering techniques and some embellished their pieces with nuts, bolts, and cogs.

The pieces we made are incorporated into trellises, topiaries, and rain chains that help beautify the corridor and draw attention to our resilient landscape. They sculptures can be found at George Floyd Square, Cedar Small Engine and Everett's Foods & Meats.

I am honored that my spirals (circled in red)

were joined together with other elements and are on display at George Floyd Square.

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