May 23, 2020  |   Feature,   Local,   News,   World
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Rendered site plan of urban farm planned for 2308/2310 Lyndale Ave, Hawthorne, Minneapolis. Image: courtesy of the artist and Aune Fernandez Landscape Architects.

A new public art project by Des Moines-based artist Jordan Weber will break ground. The project was commissioned by The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, MN.

The project entitled Prototype for poetry vs rhetoric (deep roots) was developed in partnership with youth-development organization Youth Farm over the course of a year. It will feature a rain garden, fruit trees, raised vegetable beds, and sculptures designed by the artist, located in a former vacant lot at Lyndale Avenue North between 23rd and 24th Streets in Minneapolis.

Due to COVID-19, the installation will be staggered throughout 2020 and 2021, launching officially in the summer of 2021.

In a May 20, 2020 Artforum article, The Walker Art Center has announced that Weber’s new public art project will break ground next week.

About “Prototype for poetry vs rhetoric (deep roots)”

Weber came up with the idea to build a farm during his tenure as an artist-in-residence at the Walker in 2019. He has since participated in various meetings and local events with artists, activists, residents, and organizations to assess the local community’s needs. As a result, the project will feature fresh pollution-mitigating plants, which will filter stormwater runoff from nearby industrial sites; areas for the planting and cultivating of fresh produce, which will be made available to residents; and a community gathering table, which will serve as a space for reflection, meditation, and respite.

“Prototype for poetry vs rhetoric (deep roots) acts as a counter tactic to industrial violence upon biodiverse lands and racially diverse communities,” said Weber. “Deep roots is direct action in the form of sustainable land revitalization that re-constructs, replants, and recontextualizes community space within a heavily polluted urban ecosystem. This project also pays homage to generations of North Minneapolis environmental and social justice activists that have guided every step to help us self-heal land in order to self-heal our bodies.”

About the artist

Jordan Weber , a  multi-disciplinary artist/activist, works predominantly with inner-city communities nationwide, with a focus on the Midwest.

Artist Jordan J. Weber: photo, Courtesy of the artist, 2019

Weber has exhibited nationally, including at White Cube (New York), Macalester College’s Law Warschaw Gallery (St. Paul), the Union for Contemporary Art (Omaha), Smack Mellon (Brooklyn), the Des Moines Art Center, the Soap Factory (Minneapolis), and The Museum of Broken Windows, an NCLU-organized pop-up exhibition in Greenwich Village in September 2018.

His work asks: “How do we live independently from a system that is unsustainable for our societal whole and live towards communal empowerment? If a legacy of violence against the land threatens violence against the bodies that should be nourished and supported by it, how can we best respond?

Discover public art projects in the metro by Jordan Weber on the Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation’s website:

Pearl Clutcher/Snatcher, 2015

Extinct Plant Species, 2017