University of Minnesota

Creative Spark

The Creative Spark: Marcy-Holmes gallery pays tribute to the creative vibrancy of Minneapolis' first neighborhood by bringing together an eclectic collection of artworks — spanning more than 200 years—all of which were inspired by this area.

From early engravings of the only natural waterfall on the Mississippi, to contemporary crime fiction set on local streets, to a feature film shot in a fabled coffee shop, to site-specific public arts events, the works included in Creative Spark tell the story of this special place through its rich artistic legacy—from pre-settlement times to the present day.



Start by clicking the magnifying glass icon at the top of the page.

Then explore the collection in three ways:

List sorts artworks by date or title
Map places artworks on an interactive map
Timeline organizes artworks chronologically

Gallery shows the works in the grid one-by-one



Creative Spark is a living collection for enjoyment and study, open to new works as they are created and discovered. If you are interested in having your artwork added to Creative Spark:Marcy-Holmes, or have suggestions for a work to be researched and reviewed, please contact the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association, or (612) 623-7633.



Creative Spark is a project of the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association (MHNA) in collaboration with the University of Minnesota Liberal Arts Technologies and Innovation Services (LATIS), with funding from the St. Anthony Falls Heritage Board and MHNA. The project began in 2015 with MHNA staff casually noticing the number of creative works inspired by locations in Marcy-Holmes, a neighborhood that includes the historic Mississippi riverfront, residential areas east and west of Interstate 35W, the university community of Dinkytown and burgeoning 9th St. SE. Before long, nearly 150 works, diverse in media, were identified. The project then grew to become a dynamic, ever-expanding model for other organizations interested in taking an arts-based approach to defining neighborhood identity and place-making. The name Creative Spark aims to capture the synergy that exists between creativity and locale; it also allows for growth as other regions or neighborhoods identify inspired works that may be featured here in future collections (Creative Spark: Mill District or Creative Spark: Jordan, for example).


Chris Lautenschlager, Executive Director, MHNA
Kerrie Workman, Art Researcher and Project Manager, MHNA
Nicole Conti, Research Intern, MHNA
Colin McFadden, Senior Media Specialist, University of Minnesota Liberal Arts Technologies and Innovation Services 
Rebecca A. Moss, Assistant Director, University of Minnesota Liberal Arts Technologies and Innovation Services
The MHNA Creative Places Committee