The River City Art Sculpture Tour made its way down the St. Croix River Valley from Stillwater all the way to Prescott on June 1 and 2.
The Tour wound in Prescott on June 2, as four sculptures were put in place around the city. The stone base pedestals were placed initially early last week and then the sculptures were welded onto the bases by John Hughes of Stillwater, Minn., who had some of his own pieces put on display as tour made its way from Stillwater to Hastings, Minn. and ending in Prescott.
“It was a lot of fun being able to put these out for display,” Hughes said afterwards during a reception held in honor of the Tour at the Orange Dragon Gallery in Prescott. “Working on my own pieces or helping other artists is something I have a passion for.”
Local artists Dale Lewis of Hastings appreciated being able to put in such work locally.
“I’ve traveled to four states recently putting sculptures so it’s pleasure being able to do the same thing in the area you live in,” Lewis said. “It’s wonderful to be able to feature local artists like this because there is a lot of talent in the region.”
Ten such sculptures were placed in Stillwater while Hastings and Prescott will each received four. Three were located downtown and the other one was placed in Clydesdale Park next to Ptacek’s IGA store.
“Not many places can say they have both a water park and a Humpty Dumpty statue,” Pat Ptacek said. “I needed a little convincing but once I saw the sculpture I thought it looked cool and fit what we do here. We like being unique.”
River City Sculpture Tour is a free ongoing exhibit of public art. It features original outdoor sculpture that will be on display from now until next April. The pedestal sites are intended to be permanent, and the artwork will change every spring.
Tour founder Julie Pangallo says the program is intended to expand. Her goal is to have original sculpture from St. Croix Falls down to La Crosse so people can spend a fun weekend enjoying art on the river. Already Osceola, Marine on St. Croix, Minn., Red Wing, Minn., and La Crosse have expressed an interest in joining the program.
“There are wonderful sculpture tours around the country,” Pangallo said. As far as I know, this is the only multi-city tour. It’s a great way to promote the artists of our region, as well as drive tourism and commerce. “
The tour places sculptures throughout downtown that are accessible 24/7.
“One of the things I’m most excited about is the artists on this tour,” Pagnallo said. This first year, it’s 100 percent Minnesota and Wisconsin artists. We have fabulous talent in our region, and I’m excited to promote it!”
The program is sponsorship driven, and Pangallo admits sponsorship of the first year program has been slow. However, once the sculptures are up and people understand how the tour impacts the community, she believes sponsorships will come more easily.
The Orange Dragon Gallery hosted a reception for the tour on Thursday, June 2. The gallery is in the middle of one of its themed exhibits “Colors of Summer” which runs until July 24. Other exhibits for the rest of the calendar year are “All Things Black and White” from July 21 to Sept. 18; “Colors of Fall” from Sept. 21 to Nov. 6 and “Bringing in the Holidays” Nov. 9-Dec. 23. The gallery is open Wednesdays through Sundays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and there are opening receptions the second Friday of each month.
|(From left) John Hughes and Dale Lewis place the Humpty Dumpty sculpture by Minneapolis artist Kimber on its rock platform in Clydesdale Park. Lewis delivered the sculpture to the park and Sullivan welded it to its base.|
|Julie Pangallo (sitting) the founder of the River City Art Sculpture Tour and Ann Sylvander of the Orange Dragon Art Gallery in Prescott during a reception held for tour artists and area art supporters back on June 2.|
|: The “Acorn Arch” sculpture by Cynthia Markie of Lakeville, Minn., is located by The Brickyard Pub on Broad St. in Prescott.|
The sculpture “Letting Go” by Judd Nelson of Wayzata, Minn. is located between The Brickyard and the J Bean Jewelry store on Broad St. in Prescott. Photo by Linda Hoschette.
|An art display of paintings, crafts and jewelry takes up a corner of the Orange Dragon Gallery, part of “Colors of Summer” exhibit currently on display.|