When residents of Minneapolis’ Kingfield neighborhood were asked to help out with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Park’s ambitious Mosaic Quilting Project in 2013, more than 300 people showed up. They ranged in age from two to 97; community spirit runs deep in these parts.
Designed by local tile legend Sharra Frank, and produced over the course of six months and 33 workshops, the public art installation features 10 5′ x 5′ cut-glass interpretations of traditional textile patterns from the cultural communities that frequent the park. That includes an eight-pointed star, typically found in star quilts and symbolizing hope and guidance to Native Americans; a Hmong-inspired elephant foot used in embroidery work and representing family; and a geometric motif in the style of mola clothing, stitched by Panama’s Kuna people.
Along with Frank, Mary Ann Schoenberger of the defunct Southwest Senior Center and Sarah Linnes-Robinson of the Kingfield Neighborhood Association kept hundreds of volunteers on task, gluing together thousands of hand-cut shards. The results of everyone’s handiwork is on permanent display on a 160-square-foot wall outside the park’s rec center. True to its intent, it was really a group effort — a public display of unity that’s only grown more meaningful over time.
It’s worth a closer look the next time you are shooting hoops, practicing your back hand, or doing laps around the park.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Park
4055 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis, MN; 612-370-4908.