Four bridges surrounding 6th & Minnesota Streets
St. Paul, Minnesota
September 2017 - March 2018

About Speaking of Home

Speaking of Home-St. Paul tells the stories of 58 immigrants who call the Twin Cities home. The first major public artwork installed in St. Paul's skyways, the project is the brainchild of public artist and designer Nancy Ann Coyne. She first developed the concept in 2008 for downtown Minneapolis, funded in part by a grant from Forecast Public Art. To learn more about the origins of Speaking of Home, please click on the Minneapolis project link.


The primary goals of Speaking of Home-St. Paul are to empower immigrants and draw attention to their lives and struggles through the power of design and the arts. Adding vibrancy to downtown St. Paul, the project is meant to serve as a catalyst for economic and cultural development. Utilizing four highly trafficked downtown St. Paul skyways—glass-enclosed, second-story pedestrian bridges over busy city streets—the project consists of monumental photographs in the windows of the skyways, with text revealing the stories of immigrants who now call the Twin Cities home. Scheduled for six months, the installation explores the meaning of home for people of all ages who came to the United States from many different countries and provides a visual representation of Minnesota's significantly diverse population.

Coyne collaborated with 58 immigrants in the Twin Cities. Each shared their family photographs from their country of origin and engaged in interviews about their journey to Minnesota and the meaning of home. The installation is, then, designed from these personal photos and stories of people who made a choice to call Minnesota their home. Speaking of Home-St. Paul is initiated and conceived by Nancy Ann Coyne. Partners include City of St. Paul, CapitolRiver Council, BOMA St. Paul, Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Minnesota, Springboard for the Arts and Archetypesign.


About the Artist

Nancy Ann Coyne is a designer, photographer and public artist. Her current work involves creating large-scale public artworks that expand the narrative qualities of documentary photography in the built environment. Coyne utilizes publicly accessible architecture and natural light to create performative, interactive environments that redefine the public realm, providing experiences that heighten consciousness of shared spaces and community, engaging audience members as participants. A former Fulbright scholar and fellow at Oxford University, her work has been exhibited internationally. Her projects have received funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board and the McKnight Foundation, among others. In 2009, her landmark project Speaking of Home (2008) was awarded Americans for the Arts' Public Art Network Year in Review Award, the Society for Environmental Graphic Design's Merit Award and the Industrial Fabric Association International Award of Excellence. Her work has been published in the International Herald Tribune, New York Times.com, Public Art Review, Urban Land, Sculpture, SEGDdesign and Afterimage. Ms. Coyne is currently an associate of the Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Minnesota. She is an AIGA and SEGD member, and graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz and the University of Applied Arts, Vienna, Austria.

Nancy Ann Coyne

Nancy Ann Coyne
Photo: Adrian Danciu