LifeSource and I are excited to welcome the NCECA community to Minneapolis!

Minnesota is home to many arts-friendly organizations and nonprofits that pride in developing meaningful connections to the community; state-wide grants and arts initiatives continuously create an environment where art and community intersect in many ways. My own journey since receiving a grant and then working with a local nonprofit revealed how our state’s opportunities allow artists to create what is in their heart and connect our community. LifeSource – a Minnesota-based nonprofit dedicated to saving lives and offering hope through organ, eye and tissue donations – is home to my largest installation called Intersections, featured in Ceramics Monthly.

The piece originally titled Intersection began as a personal journey: in January 2013, I received a Minnesota State Arts Board grant to create an expansive wall installation. My mother had died just two months before; she had always told me to be true to myself, to make what was in my head because no one else would. I ended up making just over 1,000 thrown porcelain cylinders that I cut, altered and assembled on a wall spanning 24 feet. In November 2013, Intersection was first exhibited at Northern Clay Center.

Months after the exhibition, I received an email from LifeSource. They were building a new headquarters in Minneapolis and inquired about creating a piece for their new space. I asked how they got my name and was told only that the organization leaders were familiar with my work. I thought that they had seen my recent exhibition, but they had not. When I showed them an image of Intersection, they immediately connected with the piece; you could feel it in the room. They saw their mission in my piece. It was quite humbling. Over the next four months, I worked with LifeSource and their architects to transform the original piece into their new space. It grew to 35 feet long and became Intersections, reflecting the multiple layers of connections that had now informed the work.

The installation in their new building became a collaborative effort as so many employees in the organization requested to help with the two-week-long installation; we created shifts to accommodate all willing to help. What struck me at the time was how vested everyone became in the piece as we worked together. After the installation, it felt as though Intersections had become its own and found its home at LifeSource – a little like watching your child grow up. They begin as part of you; then, they become their own person, stronger and more wonderful than you could ever have imagined.

I knew the piece had landed where it needed to be after the experience of working with those from LifeSource and then hearing how well it reflected their mission every day.

“Intersections speaks to LifeSource’s dedication to saving lives through organ, eye and tissue transplantation. Each piece in this artwork stands on its own as a familiar and intimate vessel and yet is part of something bigger as the shapes are joined in unexpected ways. Just as a donor shares life with many unknown recipients, many parts come together to form a whole.”

– Susan Mau Larson, Director of Partner and Community Relations.

Interested in seeing the piece in-person? Join us for an open-house reception at LifeSource in Northeast Minneapolis – a short 12-minute drive from the Minneapolis Convention Center. Also, when you stop by, participate in our engaging activity and connect with a mission of hope. RSVP here!

Open House and Artist Reception – LifeSource
Thursday, March 28 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
2225 West River Road N, Minneapolis, MN 

The NCECA community is welcome to visit the LifeSource installation during regular business hours:
Wednesday, March 27 – Friday, March 29 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To find out more information on the installation and reception, please visit See you soon!

the author Monica Rudquist is a studio artist living in Minneapolis, Minnesota and currently teaches at St. Catherine University in St. Paul. To see more you can follow her on Facebook and Instagram at Monica Rudquist Clay or visit

Monica’s local picks for Minneapolis visitors:

  1. Victors 1959 Café
  2. Himalayan
  3. Punch Pizza
  4. Cecil’s Deli
  5. Birchwood Café