Artist selected for Hosmer Library’s public art commission

Olivia Levins Holden has been selected to create public art for Hosmer Library as part of the county’s “One Percent for Art” Commissioned Public Art program.

The public art process for Hosmer Library began in 2022 following the 2019 Hosmer Library refurbishment project. The project included historic preservation work and updates to meet modern needs. Hennepin County Library contracted Forecast Public Art to facilitate community engagement activities and a call for an artist/artist team to design and create artwork that represents the community. After several meetings that concluded with presentations by three final artists/artist teams in September 2023, the Art Selection Committee selected South Minneapolis artist Olivia Levins Holden as the recipient of the Hosmer Library public artwork commission.

Olivia Levins Holden (she/they) is a queer, mixed Boricua muralist, organizer, multimedia artist, and educator living on Dakota homeland, Mni Sota Makoce, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Their mediums include acrylic paint, mosaic, printmaking, and mixed mediums. Holden’s work explores many ways that the arts can transform and support movements, tell stories, plant seeds, and combat toxic narratives. She centers on the process of community involvement and collective design, drawing from conversations and people’s history to create collaborative murals and public art, believing that the process is as essential as the final artwork. Since 2009, she created and led the creation of murals in Minneapolis, California, and Puerto Rico, including Minneapolis murals Waves of Change/Oleadas de Cambio (2015), Defend, Nurture, Grown Phillips (2019), Wiidookodaadiwag/They Help Each Other (2019), and Ritmos y Raices de Resistencia (2021). With her artist collective, Studio Thalo, Holden creates live-painted murals to reflect community conversations and events. She also serves on the board of Public Functionary.

Holden is a 2022 McKnight Fellow for Community Engaged Artists. She was a 2015 recipient of the Forecast Public Art project grant and has served as a facilitator and mentor for project-based learning through programs such as Comunidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio (CLUES), Latinx Muralism Apprenticeship, Studio 400, and is a co-founder of the Creatives After Curfew collective. Since 2017, she has served as the Art of Radical Collaboration (ARC) Manager at Hope Community, Inc. where she has trained artists and led community murals with youth and adults through the Power of Vision (POV) Mural project, and facilitates the Transformational Creative Strategies Training (TRCSTR). They have a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Smith College.

Holden is excited to create art for the Hosmer Library that will represent native plants, people, constellations, and the cosmos. The completed artwork and a celebration event at Hosmer Library are anticipated for fall 2024.