Join Angela Two Stars for the opening celebrations and be among the first to experience the new sculpture. The program includes remarks at 11 am and an activity for children inspired by the words used in the sculpture from 10 am to 1 pm.
On October 9, a new work by Twin Cites–based Angela Two Stars (Dakota, Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate, b. 1982) will be unveiled in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. The Walker-commissioned piece, titled Okciyapi (2021), is the first public artwork by a Native artist to be sited in the Garden. Both a gathering place and participatory work, the sculpture is composed of rings of seating elements surrounding a central water feature.
Two Stars’s piece was inspired by the legacy of her grandfather and other teachers working in Dakota language revitalization. The curved seating elements make reference to the ripple effect caused by a drop of water in a pool, and represent language knowledge spreading across generations of speakers. The water vessel also serves as a reminder that the name Minnesota is derived from the Dakota phrase “Mni Sota Makoce,” which translates to “the land where the water reflects the clouds.”
Visitors experiencing the sculpture encounter Dakota words and phrases on the benches and can listen via cellphone to recorded stories told by fluent speakers. “Language revitalization is a healing medicine for Dakota people,” says Two Stars. “Our identity is grounded in our language. Our ceremonies, songs, and stories are rooted in language. Without our language, we would lose an integral part of who we are as Dakota people.”