Sound Point: Blossoms of Hope

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Blossoms of Hope by Marjorie Pitz

As I mentioned last week, MPR and the City of Minneapolis have partnered to create “Soundpoint,” a new interactive audio tour that allows visitors to use their mobile phones to access stories about works of public art in Minneapolis.

One of those works is the bus shelter at the corner of Broadway and Penn in North Minneapolis. And it has a rather remarkable story.

Landscape architect and public artist Marjorie Pitz wanted to create a bus shelter/sculpture that would serve as a gateway to North Minneapolis. Not easy, considering it was going to be located at the intersection of five street corners where many other things compete for a viewer’s attention. So she created a very large bouquet of five large and colorful metal flowers.

This past May, when the sculpture was 95% completed, the Minneapolis tornado hit, ripping right through Broadway and Penn. Pitz was travelling at the time:

I came back late at night, turned on the 10 o’clock news and discovered that a tornado had hit North Minneapolis and so I was really afraid that the flowers had maybe flown off and hurt people. I was worried that I had created something that would cause more damage and more injury to people.

Fortunately the man who helped create the flowers for Pitz designed them so that they were flexible enough to bend and sway in the wind. Only one flower showed any damage from the high winds, and was replaced.

In the days following the tornado, the building next to the bus stop was turned into an emergency center, providing food, water and clothing. Pitz, who was happy to have the colorful flowers standing as a symbol of hope amongst the wreckage, agreed that the sculpture should be renamed “Blossoms of Hope.”

You can explore other works of public art in Minneapolis, and hear artists discuss their work, by going to http://bit.ly/MPRpublicart

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