On the 4th of December 2016 whilst on a University study exchange program to the United States, I had the opportunity to tour Mankato's City Center with my host family. We arrived at the outdoor exhibit at 3pm and walked by foot for approximately 2 hours in 50°F/ 10°C weather to view the magnificent artwork available to the public.
The CityArt outdoor display consisted of 27 sculptures. Approximately half of the statues were designed and created by Minnesota-based artists. The walk also featured artists from across North America. The sculptures were promoted to the public for sale and artists were given the opportunity for their piece to be purchased and permanently installed in the City Center.
Map of the City Center outlining the location of the 27 sculptures
Majority of the sculptures were created using a variety of unique mediums ranging from stainless steel, re-purposed street signs, glass, bronze, scrapped metal and even parts of an old Volkswagen Beetle!
'Beetle the Bear' (Canmore, Alberta, Canada). The artist has a love for cars and animals and decided to combine his interest for both into artwork. The bear was made using the hood/ bonnet and other parts of an old Volkswagen Beetle!
'Eclipse' (Mankato, Minnesota). Is a tribute to the moon and its power. Many of the steel pieces were created by the welding students at one of the local high schools.
'The King of Spades' (Calgary, Alberta, Canada). This piece was constructed using mild steel and beach-rock. Beach-rock consists of a variable mixture of sand, gravel and granular-sized sediment that has been cemented and formed along a shoreline.
'Pod Stop' (South Carolina). This large piece was created for pedestrians to stop, sit down and appreciate the views of the City Center. The 'Pod Stop' was made using tyres, powder-coated steel and repurposed Department of Transport (DOT) approved street signs.
'The Birdwatchers' (Forsyth County, Georgia). This particular sculpture was unique as it was made purely from bronze. The artist was able to create very fine and intricate details on both the gentleman and the dog.
Overall, by taking part in this CityArt tour I enjoyed exploring the different forms of artwork and the materials that the artists chose to use. I was able to read the information plaques about the artist and their background story to get a sense as to why they chose to create that specific sculpture. For me, I was able to compare my perspectives and those of my host family and acknowledge how my interpretation is different to others and how they appreciate artworks.
EAB538 - Maddison Dunseath (n9175644)