Daniel Minter and Lynden Sculpture Garden are one of four winners of the 2021 Joyce Awards, which honor collaborations between artists of color and arts and community organizations throughout the Great Lakes region.
"My work for this project is to transform a ravaged trunk into a sculptural beacon for community healing—providing a physical manifestation of both collective loss and renewal. This metamorphosis is activated by the artist and community collaborators who each, in their engagements with the tree, become interpreters of loss and instigators of change." -Daniel Minter
A multi-faceted community engagement project that draws on traditions of the African Diaspora and explores nature, ecological threats, and the healing power of art, In the Healing Language of Trees brings artist Daniel Minter to Milwaukee’s Lynden Sculpture Garden for two three-week summer residencies, culminating in a public outdoor installation and symposia. Invoking axé, the "spiritual force that resides in all living things," Minter will work in direct collaboration with artists, refugee, and local Black communities in realizing his vision of an ash borer-ravaged tree transformed as a spire, representing the healing power contained within all beings. Branches of this tree will be removed, hand carved into beads and symbolic objects, and will adorn the trunk. The resulting work will become part of Lynden’s permanent collection.
Daniel Minter is an American artist known for his work in the mediums of painting and assemblage who works in varied media. His overall body of work deals with themes of displacement and diaspora, ordinary/extraordinary blackness; spirituality in the Afro-Atlantic world; and the (re)creation of meanings of home. Minter’s work has been featured in numerous institutions and galleries including the Portland Museum of Art, Seattle Art Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, Bates College, University of Southern Maine, Center for Maine Contemporary Art, The David C. Driskell Center, and the Northwest African American Art Museum. As founding director of Maine Freedom Trails, he has helped highlight the history of the Underground Railroad and the abolitionist movement in New England. In 2018, Minter co-founded the Indigo Arts Alliance, a creative center in the city of Portland, Maine, dedicated to increasing the visibility of, and support for, Black and Brown artists. Indigo is the manifestation of a lifelong dream to create a place where art, ingenuity, social justice, and diasporic collaboration is seeded and nurtured.
Fellow 2021 awardees include: Sydney Chatman with Congo Square Theatre Company, Kameelah Janan Rasheed with FRONT International, and SANTIAGO X with Chicago Public Art Group.