Essma Imady + Julie Benda / Forecast Public Art Grants
This December, MFA alums and Minneapolis-based installation artists Essma Imady ’16 and Julie Benda ’16 were awarded Forecast Public Art grants for 2017. Imady was awarded an $8,000 Emerging Artist Project Grant supported by Jerome Foundation. Benda received a $1,500-2,500 Making it Public grant, funded by the Lowertown Future Fund and City of St. Paul Cultural STAR. Each year Forecast Public Art awards Minnesota-based artists with more than $92,000.
Imady’s project, Light Upon Light, “is inspired by traditional mosque light fixtures and the American Muslim experience. The piece will take the form of a light fixture that hangs from the dome of An-Nur mosque, whose light will engage both the stark white dome it hangs within and the worshipers and art patrons underneath. The process will involve conversations with local communities, whose input will inform the final design, and will culminate in a panel discussion bringing together voices spanning Muslim and arts communities.”
Benda’s project, Sinking Ship//Land Raft, “is a cautionary tale, a metaphorical enactment and simulation for mobilization addressing the rapid sediment fill of the Mississippi River. Responding to the theme of Northern Spark 2017—climate change/climate chaos—participants in this interactive temporary engagement will come together to metaphorically keep their homeland afloat by shoveling and loading 5.5 tons of sand into boxes and loading them onto a raft staged for launch near the river.”
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