Dedication celebrates new art installation near the I-35W & Lake Street Station

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MINNEAPOLIS— The public is invited to a new artwork’s dedication adjacent to Metro Transit’s I-35W & Lake Street Station. Named “Strength in Unity,” the sculptures’ subjects – a horse and a tree – change into flocks of birds as the viewer passes them. “Strength in Unity” is the creation of two Minneapolis artists, Maria Cristina “Tina” Tavera and Xavier Tavera.

The art installation consists of two sculptures – one featuring a horse and the other a tree, both transforming into flocks of birds from another angle – made from 16-foot metal beams. The horse was chosen because of the animal’s importance to people who live in Minnesota representing many cultures including Native American, Black, African and Hmong. The tree symbolizes the original people of this land as well as those who have established roots and remained in the state. The flocks of birds symbolize the many people who have migrated to this region, making it the most diverse area in Minnesota.

The artists, who now both live in the nearby Powderhorn community, have had their works displayed locally, nationally and internationally.

  • Tina Tavera is a multidisciplinary artist, independent curator, and activist influenced by her transnational upbringing between Minnesota and Mexico. Her works are complex compositions of historical and contemporary images that investigate constructions of race, ethnicity, gender, national and cultural identities. She has received numerous fellowships and grants including: ’23 U.S. Latinx Art Fellowship, ’20 McKnight Visual Artist Fellowship, Bush Leadership Fellowship, Shannon Leadership Institute, Smithsonian Latino Museum Studies program, Museum of Modern Art-New York, Forecast Public Art, Minnesota State Arts Board, Metropolitan Regional Arts Council and Institute of Mexicans Abroad.
  • Xavier Tavera is a photographer who uses his passion for portraiture to engage with people and their stories. His work oscillates between documentary and the imagined with the sole purpose of telling a story. After moving from Mexico City to the U.S., he devoted himself to telling the stories of the Latin American diaspora, often recontextualizing with the purpose of providing visibility and fair representation. He’s a recipient of the McKnight fellowship, Jerome Travel award, State Arts Board and Bronica scholarship.

This public art project was developed by the City of Minneapolis Art in Public Places program in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the City’s Department of Public Works as part of the 35W@94 project. The City’s Art in Public Places program integrates public art into City planning, services, design and infrastructure.  

For more information, see the Facebook event.

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