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Seitu Jones Picked for Pillsbury Hall Public Art

Twin Cities artist created art for Green Line light rail stations
November 25, 2019

With construction by JE Dunn Construction now underway (above) at the future home of the Department of English, we're pleased to announce that Twin Cities visual artist Seitu Kenneth Jones has been selected to create public art for the Pillsbury Hall renovation project. The first-ever artist-in-residence for Minneapolis, Jones has designed over 30 large-scale public artworks, including station art for Metro Transit's Green Line. Read our interview with Jones.

Seitu Jones head and shoulders photograph
Photo: The Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts

Jones is a longtime green activist in St. Paul's Frogtown neighborhood who helped to establish the five-acre Frogtown Farm. An award from Chicago’s Joyce Foundation allowed him to develop CREATE: The Community Meal, a dinner for 2000 people at a table half a mile long that raised awareness about access to healthy food. He is one of the founders of Urban Boatbuilders, a nonprofit youth development program teaching woodworking and other skills, and was awarded funding to design and build a floating sculptural installation for research on the Mississippi River.

Jones received the 2017 McKnight Distinguished Artist Award, as well as a Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship, McKnight Visual Artist Fellowship, Bush Artist Fellowship, Bush Leadership Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts/Theatre Communications Group Designer Fellowship, and Loeb Fellowship at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, among other honors.

Special thanks to English Professors Nathaniel Mills and Kathryn Nuernberger for serving on the committee that vetted artists for the project. State-funded projects such as the Pillsbury Hall renovation require that one percent of the construction budget go to a public art component.