Last week I was all excited to announce that Start Seeing Art had mapped 100 works of public art across the Twin Cities (if ‘across’ means primarily in St. Paul). But in the past week alone we’ve added 25 more works of art. Along the way we’ve identified some previously unknown artwork, explored local history and started branching out into Minneapolis (including work by John Grider, one of City Pages 2007 Artists of the Year).
This past week I tackled Western Sculpture Park in St. Paul, identifying several previously unknown works including Walking Warrior by Michael Bigger (at least I think it’s by Bigger), Tree Bracelets by Coral Lambert, Las Puertas de Orion by Sebastian, Victory Writer’s Bench by Roger Cummings and Harmony VII by Daniel Kainz. The lack of info available about Western Sculpture Park is actually one of the things that sparked the idea for Start Seeing Art (this 2001 map of the park [PDF] is the only thing I could find identifying work in the park, and half the works on the map are gone and the other half aren’t credited to artists).
I also went to Como Park for an in-depth history on the namesake of the Frog Pond and added St. Francis of Assisi, Toby the Tortoise (and learned there are 49 copies of Toby across the country), and finally identified a work by Russell Erickson that found a home in Como Park after being evicted from the FDA building in Minneapolis.
I also ventured to Minneapolis (at least virtually, thanks to Google Street View and Flickr) for a number of murals: Stella Salon, Cal Surf, Nomad World Pub, Modern Window Shade Company, Shell and Trinity Lutheran Congregation. Whew. It certainly seems like Minneapolis murals are tapping into a hipper, fresher artistic vision (at least these newer ones are). It was also fun to see Ethiopian themes and some Amharic in the Trinity mural (since we’re adopting from Ethiopia).
Finally, I added a number of unknown works to the mix, hoping someone will be able to share some knowledge. Thankfully some of those works are being identified, like Triuni by Clarke Geoffrey, the College of Visual Arts Mural by Neil Johnston and Ed Charbonneaux and the previously mentioned Family by Russell Erickson.
All of this searching, identifying and mapping makes me feel like a 21st Century Indiana Jones. OK, a really geeky Indiana Jones (as if the tweed professor thing isn’t geeky enough).