Spanning the entire east wall of the American Indian Center in the Phillips neighborhood is a vibrant 3,300-square-foot triptych. To the left and right are Votan Henriquez’s serene depictions of male and female Native ancestors. Gregg Deal is responsible for the center panel, a portrait of a young woman with a hopeful look. Underneath her is an edict: “Keep Tobacco Sacred,” a nod to collaborating nonprofit ClearWay Minnesota, which advocates against cigarette addiction. In between each piece is a message offering continuity across history: “The hearts of the children to the elders,” and, “The hearts of the elders to the children.” Native American kids were consulted on what they wanted to see the murals communicate to their neighborhood. Some also helped paint, and one even modeled. Completed in 2015, this piece has become an iconic example of Minneapolis activism through art.
Readers’ Choice: Minneapolis Sculpture Garden