Minnesota Now with Cathy Wurzer

Minnesota welder Seven Bailey on trans visibility and amplifying voices through their work

Two people install pieces of metal on a sculpture.
From left, Seven Bailey and Jordan Powell Karis put together the steel fist sculpture in the intersection of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue on Jan. 18, 2021, at George Floyd's Square. Artist Jordan Powell Karis built the original sculpture out of wood in early June.
Christine T. Nguyen | MPR News 2021

Even if you haven’t heard Seven Bailey’s name yet, you’ve seen their work. Bailey constructed the iconic metal fist in George Floyd Square, as well as the massive 10-ton Nimbus sculpture on Nicollet Mall in front of Minneapolis Central Library.

Bailey was born in Winona, Minn., and has been a professional welder and metal fabricator in Minneapolis for most of their adult life. They recently finished work on a new statue in Montgomery, Ala. The statue honors enslaved African women who were experimented on without their consent.

Seven’s work is also on the international stage — in Netflix welding competition show “Metal Shop Masters,” which aired last Fall.

On Trans Day of Visibility — a day highlighting the accomplishments of transgender people — host Cathy Wurzer spoke with Bailey about their work and what it means to amplify their voice, and the voices of others.

Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation. 

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