Dedication and Celebration
Wednesday April 26
Pillsbury Hall, 4th Floor | University of Minnesota Twin Cities
This event is free and open to the public, but RSVP is requested
6:30 p.m. — Remarks by University of Minnesota President, Joan Gabel; Executive Vice President and Provost Rachel Croson; College of Liberal Arts Dean John Coleman; and artists Seitu Ken Jones and Poet Soyini Vinelle Guyton
Please join us for a dedication event and celebration for Kneel at the Altar of Your Heart, a collaborative work of public art created by visual artist Seitu Ken Jones and poet Soyini Vinelle Guyton. Located across four floors within the University of Minnesota’s Department of English at Pillsbury Hall, the multilayered work is part of the Weisman Art Museum’s Public Art on Campus program. The installation speaks to contemporary struggles, as well as historical circumstances that continue to shape the present moment. Small bites and refreshments will be provided in a reception following featured speakers’ remarks.
RSVP AT → z.umn.edu/Dedication
Parking is available in several ramps near Pillsbury Hall. The closest parking facilities are: Church Street Garage, 4th Street Ramp, and Washington Avenue Ramp. Find a full list of parking facilities for U of M and a parking map here. University rates for parking ramps are $3 an hour and a $13 daily maximum.
Nearby parking is also available under the Weisman Art Museum and at the East River Road Garage, which provides both disability and short-term parking for Coffman Memorial Union and the East Bank campus. Both the Museum Garage and the East River Road Garage are easily accessible from Delaware Street.
About the Artists
Seitu Ken Jones is a multidisciplinary artist, advocate and maker and 4th generation Minnesotan, based in St. Paul. His 30-year collaboration with his wife and fellow artist, Soyini Vinelle Guyton, and the sculptural installations they co-authored, both inspire and inform the viewer/participant. Working between the arts and public spheres, Seitu channels the spirit of radical social movements into experiences that foster critical conversations and nurture more just and vibrant communities from the soil up. He is recognized as a dynamic collaborator and a creative force for civic engagement. “My work is a testament of radical love for our Beloved Community — the local community, our ancestral community, and the community of innate humanity.”
As a poet, Soyini’s work connects with land to ground herself and to connect with her known relatives and unknown ancestors whose love of the land and whose labor on the land, forced or chosen, informs her interest in poetry that focuses on the interdependence and interaction between people and land and the surrounding environment. Growing up in rural South Dakota, Soyini developed a love for the environment and an appreciation for the healing, solace, and wonder of the capacity of the land and the environment, and the necessity of nature in our lives.
Working alone, Seitu created over 40 public artworks, across America, while Soyini’s poetry and prose have been published in collections for over 25 years. In addition, Soyini created poetry for sculptures in the Saint Paul Cultural Garden. She most recently published an artist book, entitled Shadows at the Crossroads, featuring poems from the Walker Art Center installation. Together, the duo created permanent public art works for the Nicollet Mall in Downtown Minneapolis, the Dale Street Station on the Greenline LRT that connects Minneapolis and St. Paul, Walker Art Center’s Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and Pillsbury Hall at the University of Minnesota
In collaboration with two other artists, Seitu and Soyini co-founded Frogtown Park and Farm, a 5.5-acre urban farm and 6-acre park in Saint Paul, Minnesota.