New piece 'Okciyapi' welcomed to Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

Artists and community members gathered Saturday to celebrate the unveiling of a new sculpture at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.

The Walker Art Center welcomed a piece called Okciyapi (Help Each Other) by Angela Two Stars.

Back in January 2019, the Walker announced the selection of Two Stars as the finalist for the Indigenous Public Art Commission, a special project inviting an artist to create a piece of public art for the Walker’s collection.

According to a release from the Walker, Okciyapi (Help Each Other) is simultaneously "a sculptural form, a gathering space, and a participatory work that provides a site for visitors to engage with Dakota language."

"The sculpture’s ringed configuration of seating elements made from custom-cast concrete makes reference to a rippling drop of water. Inspired by the legacy of her grandfather, Orsen Bernard, and all those working in Dakota language revitalization, the ripple effect represents Dakota language knowledge spreading across generations of speakers. The water vessel in the center serves as a reminder that the name Minnesota is derived from the Dakota phrase; Mni Sota Makoce, the land where the water reflects the clouds."

The work also incorporates audio, text, and medicinal plants native to the state, the release states.

Okciyapi (Help Each Other) will be situated in the northwest area of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.  

Two Stars said she specifically chose the site "with the awareness that there was a need for healing, for both the community and the land itself. As part of the installation process, my family led a ground cleansing ceremony at the site, to help all of us to move forward in positivity and celebration."

For more information on the piece, click here.