The West Bank is a place that has welcomed immigrant and outsider, student and employee, traditional cultures and fringe culture. The artist wanted a piece to mark the space as a destination that has upheld and cared for the various groups that have passed through – thus, the idea of a ‘bird sanctuary.’ On the vertical connectors of the station there are 14 stainless steel birds that are indigenous to the area and use the Mississippi River as a flyway. The birds hang on mesh walls that are etched with patterns inspired by the cultures that have called the West Bank their home.
Nancy Blum is a Brooklyn-based sculptor and artist who is well known for her public artwork commissions across the United States.
Many of her large-scale works carry botanical motifs to represent continuity and growth. Blum empowers the organic and the ephemeral through her work and propels the connectedness of all beings in the world through not only aesthetic beauty but also a high level of craftsmanship. Apart from her public art commission projects in various cities’ transit systems, Blum has also participated in solo and group exhibitions.
Blum was the recipient of 2006 Peter S. Reed Foundation Grant in New York.
Old Oak Forest, Fairview Avenue Light-Rail Station, St. Paul, MN 2013
Here are some fun preliminary sketches and drawings for (Im)Migration.