The big North The festival returns in January, and with it the biggest winter celebration business since it began in 2017.
Conservatory will be a thriving greenhouse garden surrounded by solid ice on either side. Catch it between two buildings in an alleyway in downtown Saint-Paul, where the greenhouse will contain hundreds of deep-hued plants this winter, including black cone flowers, velvet petunias, mondo grass, coleus , etc. Contact microphones placed in the ice will amplify the cracks and subtle thuds of the environment, creating an immersive experience on centering and preserving black life.
According to a press release, black Minnesota artists will be invited to submit works created during the Minneapolis uprising “to further highlight methods of survival and show how innovation and creativity can flourish.” These submissions, and a virtual greenhouse experience, will be preserved through an interactive online component to keep art accessible after the ice melts. In addition, all plants will be donated to gardens and black-owned organizations at the end of the festival.
The greenhouse, created by artists Jovan C. Speller and Andy DuCett, was made with a $ 250,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, as well as support from the City’s STAR cultural program. of Saint-Paul.
“The physical experience of walking through Conservatory is meant to be transporting, quiet and familiar, ”the artists said in a joint statement. “But when surrounded by hundreds of deep-hued plants, there’s also no way to talk about the room without talking about our main focus, which is to center the darkness.”
“Here in the North, we are used to cold climates and often speak with pride of our common ability to thrive in these environments. This cold is both literal and metaphorical, depending on who talks about their resilience. We offer Conservatory as an opportunity for reflection and visibility, while fostering a sense of community and connection. We see this as the start of something, a place to start and imagine and anticipate the thaw together. “
The Great Northern returns in 2022 from January 27 to February 6, and Conservatory will be open for the duration of the festival.