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BEST PUBLIC ART PROJECT Minneapolis 2005 - Peace House

The corner of Franklin and Fifth Avenues, where many cars turn to catch the freeway, has long been a homely vista, especially when compared with the corner across the bridge where the Electric Fetus sits. A Dairy Queen stood empty on Franklin and Fifth for years, known as the "Crack Dairy Queen" until it was finally torn down. These days, the corner actually shimmers as the sun hits a mirror-and-tile mosaic on the side of Peace House, a place that offers lunch and shelter to the homeless on weekdays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The mosaic project began after demolition of the DQ exposed Peace House's west wall, which was covered with unflattering graffiti. "It was a fantastic eyesore that needed to be tiled," says Angela Carlson, an artist in the neighborhood. She approached Peace House with an offer to create a mosaic mural for them, and did so with volunteers and some $2,500 in donations from family and friends. With a name like Peace House, it's not surprising to find a flower-child aesthetic in the glittering mural, which is dominated by daisies and the words, "A Place to Belong." Come closer to see more poignant details, such as the memorial to Sister Rose Tillemans, who founded Peace House in the mid-'80s and died in 2002. Or the tiles recognizing volunteers and clients of Peace House, people whose names are rarely known, much less any contributions they've made to the community.

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