Plank Summer Institute Art

After wrapping up another school year, 29 teachers from more than 20 Twin Cities-area schools took advantage of the opportunity to learn about the Business and Influence of Public Art, the theme of the 42nd Plank Summer Institute for Educators. The participants took field trips across the Twin Cities over three days to talk with artists, curators, city government officials and other stakeholders about a variety of public art installations and projects.

Visits included the augmented reality Dakota Spirit Walk with artist Marlena Myles and executive producer Todd Boss; the Memorial to Survivors of Sexual Violence at Boom Island with lead artist and owner of Mosaic on a Stick Lori Greene; a tour and discussion at the new Public Service Building in downtown Minneapolis with city art administrator Mary Altman and public art coordinator Talia Moorman and artist Kao Lee Thao; the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden with the Walker’s chief curator Henriette Huldisch and artist Angela Two Stars; the All My Relations Arts Gallery and the Never Homeless Before 1492 installation with arts director Angela Two Stars; a pilgrimage at George Floyd Square with executive director of the George Floyd Global Memorial Jeanelle Austin and other caretakers of the square; a mural tour in St. Paul’s Creative Enterprise Zone with Candida Gonzalez of Forecast Public Art; and a conversation at Western Sculpture Park with city artist Aaron Dysart and curator of public engagement Mayumi Park of Public Art St. Paul.

One participant called the experience “so marvelous” and shared, “I was able to meet artists I admire and learn more about their story, their intent and techniques. This experience is a blessing, a place and space for teachers to feel seen and respected.”

Hosted by Blake Service Learning and Community Engagement Director Lisa Sackreiter and National Youth Leadership Council Director of Learning and Leadership Julie Rogers Bascom and paid for through a generous endowment from Raymond Plank ʼ40, the Plank Summer Institute brings together educators and local business, government and community leaders to learn from one another.