Hamline News

The Holding Shanty: An Artistic Collaboration with A Social Justice Purpose


Assistant Professor Valentine Cadieux, who also directs Environmental Studies and Sustainability at Hamline University, is part of a team that created The Holding Shanty for the 2020 Art Shanty Projects, a three-week winter public art event that runs Saturdays and Sundays through February 9 on the ice at Bde Unma/Lake Harriet.

Cadieux worked with Molly Balcom Raleigh, Jason Burbul of Better Futures Minnesota, David Pitman, Scott Raleigh, Nik Ranpura, Peter Schulze, Emily Stover, Rachel Swearingen.

Cadieux said, “Our team built The Holding Shanty for the Art Shanty Projects around a theme of ‘holding’ to explore how we hold each other -- both supportively and oppressively, with a focus on how we as a society might better support the formerly incarcerated.”

The artists developed The Holding Shanty with partner Better Futures Minnesota, a social enterprise that trains formerly incarcerated men in the sustainable deconstruction of buildings and the reconstruction of their dreams after incarceration.

Cadieux and her collaborators built the structure from recycled materials found in the Better Futures Reuse Warehouse, with input from men participating in the Better Futures program. Better Futures donated materials and provided the maker space to build the shanty.

Many members of the Hamline campus community also played a part in The Holding Shanty. For example, the development of the shanty ran parallel to a large collaborative research project at Hamline (i.e., the CoLLab courses, between Graphic Design in Digital Media Arts, Public Health, Professional Writing, and Environmental Studies) and the student research process informed the development of ideas for The Holding Shanty. In addition, Professors Allison Baker and Shelly Schaefer consulted on the shanty project.

Hamline student Anika Duckwall volunteered to staff the shanty over the weekend of January 25. Emily Haus and the Sustainability Thrive Team are going to help with the final weekend. There are more volunteer shifts available for members of the Hamline community to participate in this public art event which draws over 50,000 visitors. 

“We'd love to get folks out there to see all the art works and there are volunteer shifts available,” said Cadieux.

Sign up to volunteer at The Holding Shanty here


Written by staff.