Speaking of Home by Nancy Ann Coyne

Speaking of Home by Nancy Ann Coyne

I’ve been thinking about downtown Cincinnati skywalks as sites for public art, and I just came across a project entitled Speaking of Home by Nancy Ann Coyne. Installed last year in IDS Center /Macy’s Skyway in Minneapolis, the project featured large-scale portraits of new Minnesotans, along with their countries of origin, definitions of “home,” and the word “home” in each native language.

Speaking of Home by Nancy Ann Coyne

For more information, see the project site and Steven Heller’s thorough interview with the artist.


4 thoughts on “Speaking of Home by Nancy Ann Coyne

  1. interesting idea, but it looks like a retail display to me, not a a public art piece that is supposed to provoke thought and dialog on diversity and heritage. maybe there’s a lot more to this that i don’t see in the photos provided.

  2. I’m not sure that I love this project either, and I agree that it’s hard to get a real sense of it from the photos. What I found especially interesting about the interview that’s linked above is the description of the depth of the project, as well as the response to it. On the surface, it looks like an old United Colors of Benneton display, but I guess there was more to it than that. The other thing is the complexity of executing such a project, which I can definitely appreciate.

  3. But here’s to someone making it happen. I feel like Minneapolis has a good history of the larger corporations sponsoring the arts pretty hard, with Target’s name all over the Walker and numerous other arts institutions and performances. I’m not sure that the companies here are so munificent, or if they are they might be a little quieter about it. Also, their skywalks are genuinely useful most of the year, as opposed to here…but perhaps thats more of a reason for them to have a secondary purpose. I know my professor at DAAP talked to the owners of a building with an empty window in Hyde Park about using it to show artwork, dubbing it the “window of opportunity”. He has shown some of his, and the students artwork there, which is a nice bonus for being picked as the best work at the end of the quarter. But who do you contact about a vestigial bridge?

  4. Matt, a few months ago a storefront on Main St. downtown was used as something called the Free Space Project, which sounds similar to your Hyde Park example.

    I’m not sure who would be the contact, or contacts, for a skywalk intervention. In the interview, Coyne mentions the multiple entities she had to appease, and I really respect her for forging ahead to create a cohesive installation in spite of the difficulties.

    Whether or not the Cincinnati skywalks are a planning failure, and whether or not they’re really useful or used, they’re in-between spaces that could be sites for intervention without taking away from their use [in fact, I think they would become more useful and enjoyable spaces]. I don’t know how you’d go about pursuing this, though.

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