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"Tree Canopy"

Location: 50th Street Station 

Title: Tree Canopy

Artist: Karen Wirth

Material: Silkscreened glass

Images of tree branches spreading from a central location on glass canopies of station.

50th Street Station Art

50th Street Station Art

This work, appearing on the canopies of both platforms, represents tree branches when looking up and creates tree shadows on the platform when sunny.

50th Street Station Art

Karen Wirth’s conceptual work explores the relationships between words, objects and space through artist’s books, sculpture, public art and critical writing. Her work in sculpture and books help her develop ideas about space and experience; what is present and absent, what is revealed and concealed, public and private. At the core of her work is the conceptual and physical relationship of the viewer to the object through scale, materials, image and text.

Wirth’s work has been exhibited in Africa and Europe through the U.S. State Department, as well as at the Smithsonian Institution and Walker Art Center. And her bookwork is included in many public collections, such as the Museum of Modern Art Library, the Getty Center and Yale University.

She has been awarded many grants and fellowships including The Bush Fellowship, McKnight and Jerome Fellowships, and an America Council on Education (ACE) Leadership Fellowship. Wirth received a Masters of Fine Arts in Art Education from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. She is a professor and Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

50th Street Station Art

Chronical of Events, Karen Wirth 

The artwork at 50th Street/Minnehaha Park Station is based on the natural world of Minnehaha Park that is located along the light rail line. The park was officially named Minnehaha State Park when it was purchased by Minneapolis for the state of Minnesota in 1889. The name Minnehaha comes from words in the Dakota language that mean waterfall. The popular translation of "laughing waters" comes from a too literal translation of "ha ha".

Minnehaha Falls and the land surrounding it was one of the first state parks in the United States when it was purchased. Only New York had created a state park at that time. But the state of Minnesota only paid for the park indirectly and never had a hand in maintaining it. The city of Minneapolis put up the money to buy it and managed it from the beginning.

50th Street Station

This city park alongside the Mississippi River offers pristine beauty, a big waterfall with pools for wading, paths for activities and lawns for picnics.

50th Street Station Art

The park also includes a large off-leash dog park along the river.

50th Street Station

The park is home to a restaurant, playgrounds, sports fields, picnic shelters, concerts and lots of trails.