by Michael Pilla, 1997
Glass stained

About the art

If you look closely at this stained-glass piece, you’ll find an homage to both the past and future of this library community, thanks to the collaborative process of artist Michael Pilla. Included in the piece are historically significant quilt block symbols from slave days (including a railroad, crossroads and Carolina Lily), which were contributed by a group of African-American quilters who’ve been meeting together for 40+ years. Meanwhile, a group of children contributed drawings of what reading and the library mean to them. In all, it’s a subtly powerful piece that’s rooted in the past while looking brightly to the future.

Artist statement

“Successful architecture has a life of its own. Art glass can be an integral part of that life, evoking a sense of awakening, a call to be present within an architectural moment.” 

Funded by the Minneapolis Public Library Percent for Art Program