New Life in Life was originally one of seven art works included in the group exhibition "Seven" which sought to address the expanding spatial reach of the University on the West Bank and nearby Cedar-Riverside neighborhoods.
A skyline photograph of the area was divided into seven sections, each of which was transcribed by an invited artist into a representation of their choosing.
I was invited to interpret the second section, the section that incorporates the Cedar-Riverside tower. This housing complex, originally built by the renown Minnesota architect Ralph Rapson as the "New Town in Town" south of downtown Minneapolis, is home to the vast majority of the largest single Somali refugee community in North America.
Cedar Riverside complex in Minneapolis. Print close-up.
I had worked on a number of projects with the Twin Cities Somali Community previously and decided to utilize this opportunity to address the issue of occupations some Somalis pursued in their homeland vs. what they were able to pursue as refugees in the United States. I helped a reporter from the Minneapolis Star Tribune with a story about this issue in 2003, yet it remains an intriguing facet of the Somali community to this day as many are extremely overqualified for much of the work that they do. Some are much better off professionally than they were in their homeland, many are not.
This piece was printed at 5' by 3' and I built a custom wood frame. An outline of Somalia is located in the upper left hand corner.
Custom frame I made for the exhibition.