Review: The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and its Connection to the Globe — The North Star Reports – by Samantha Roettger. Sponsored by The College of St. Scholastica and The Middle Ground Journal

Review: The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and its Connection to the Globe — The North Star Reports – by Samantha Roettger. Sponsored by The College of St. Scholastica and The Middle Ground Journal

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Compared to other states, I would not consider Minnesota to be a place of lengthy history or diverse culture. However, the more I look into historical places within the state, the more I discover about its past. When visiting the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, I came across groups of people from other cultures all sharing a common joy of art or a common enjoyment of spending a beautiful summer’s day outdoors. I was very surprised to find how busy the garden was and how many different languages I heard. I listened to the voices of a Spanish-speaking family and heard young voices from an Asian culture. The photograph below shows the crowds that gathered to see the most famous piece of art work at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, the Spoonbridge and Cherry by Swedish born and American artist Claes Oldenburg. Diverse cultures gathered around the Spoonbridge and Cherry to experience its immense size and to take a picture with the iconic sculpture.

The main attraction of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is of course the Spoonbridge and Cherry, but there are also just as beautiful works of art to be found amongst the garden. My favorite part about walking around and looking at the art was to stop and listen to what others thought and reacted to the same piece I was looking at. Prophecy of the Ancients by Brower Hatcher, the wire doom shaped piece seen below, got quite the conversation of human civilization flowing between two women. They were talking about the inventions stuck in the wire of the dome and of the constellations beyond.

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It was amazing to hear the intellectual conversations that came out around the art pieces but personally it was what the children said that introduced a whole new prospective on the art pieces. As a future teacher, I thrive for imagination and creativity from kids that offer a new analysis on life, history, and in this case, art. One child proclaimed that the Bronze Woman IV looked like Humpty Dumpty after he had fallen from the wall. This observation may seem childish and humorous but it adds a perspective on the shape of the sculpture. The gentle curves of the sculpture can be compared to a splattered yolk on the ground as if Humpty Dumpty just fell and broke his shell in front of a brick wall.

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Perspective-taking was another key feature of the Sculpture Garden. The art of the Sculpture Garden is meant to be more interactive than art found in a museum. The art can literally be looked at from any angle and can even be interactive in the sense that people can climb on the art, as seen below.

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One of my favorite pieces was called Double Curve by Ellsworth Kelly. I enjoyed this piece because from every angle the two massive curves changed shape. Some young women approached me and informed me that if I look directly up at the two curves one would look straight and the other bended. What I got out of this piece is that there is not one and only one perspective on anything whether it is art, music, movies, or life. Everyone has their own way of looking at things. My time at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden will never be the same as anyone else’s. I encourage anyone who wants to experience other cultures, look at art while taking a nice walk, or try something new to visit the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. It is a little piece of Minnesota that connects globally to the world.

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Samantha Roettger serves as a Social Media editor for The North Star Reports and is a student at The College of St. Scholastica.

Please contact Professor Liang if you wish to write for The North Star Reports — HLIANG (at) css.edu

See also, our Facebook page with curated news articles at http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports

The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, The College of St. Scholastica and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal’s online learning community and outreach program with undergraduate and K-12 classes around the world. For a brief summary, please see the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, at:

http://www.historians.org/perspectives/issues/2013/1305/Opening-The-Middle-Ground-Journal.cfm

The North Star Reports publishes edited essays from our students, particularly from those who are currently stationed, or will soon be stationed abroad. Students have reported from Mongolia, Southern China, Shanghai, Colombia, Norway, northeastern China, Nicaragua, Micronesia, The Netherlands, Tanzania, Ireland, El Salvador, England, Finland, Russia, Cyprus, and Haiti. We also publish student reviews of books, documentaries, and films, and analysis of current events from around the world. We will post their dispatches, and report on their interactions with the North Star Reports students and teachers. We thank The Department of History and Politics and the School of Arts and Letters of The College of St. Scholastica for their generous financial support for The North Star Reports and The Middle Ground Journal.

Hong-Ming Liang, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, The North Star Reports; Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal; Associate Professor of History and Politics, The College of St. Scholastica.

Kathryn Marquis Hirsch, Managing Editor, The North Star Reports.

(c) 2012-present The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy http://NorthStarReports.org ISSN: 2377-908X The NSR is sponsored by The College of St. Scholastica and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. See Masthead for our not-for-profit educational open- access policy. K-12 teachers, if you are using these reports for your classes, please contact editor-in-chief Professor Liang at HLIANG (at) css.edu

19 Comments

Filed under North Star Student Editors, Professor Hong-Ming Liang

19 responses to “Review: The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and its Connection to the Globe — The North Star Reports – by Samantha Roettger. Sponsored by The College of St. Scholastica and The Middle Ground Journal

  1. Emily Hanson

    I like that you took such a normal experience and turned it into a cultural one! I think hearing others opinions of art can really teach you a lot about their views of life and can give such a huge insight on their culture. In what other situations do you think this idea could be used? I’m sure that within our culture we have tons of opportunities to look deeper into the ideas of others that we miss.

  2. Matt Breeze

    That is so cool! I find your point about perspectives the most interesting. Not only can art be seen in a multitude of ways, but the person viewing it brings their own perspective as well. Children will look at something different than college student for example as you talked about. Minnesota has lots of art around the state, maybe more than other states, or maybe that is just my Minnesota pride. No matter what though, art is a talking point that encourages communication. Thank you for this piece of written art.

  3. Connor

    This summer I had the opportunity to help guide 10 Russia students around Minnesota. Though I have lived in Minnesota my entire life, I hadn’t seen the sculpture garden until I went with the Russians. Visiting it for the first time (and visiting other popular “touristy spots” in Minnesota) made me appreciate what we have a little more. It’s easy to forget what one’s state has to offer when one lives there for so long. My favorite piece was the bronze horse (but cast from drift wood) sculpture by Deborah Butterfield.

  4. Eleni

    I agree with your statement about Minnesota. When I first came here I thought it was quite monotone place, but I have come to discover the richness it has to offer. Art is one of the things that sparks an interactive dialect between different kinds of people. I think it is very important that we take time to understand and appreciate it. All of you observations and pictures of Minneapolis Sculpture Garden are very inspiring. Thank you for sharing them with us!

  5. Thomas Landgren

    I really enjoyed this article! Whenever there are conversations about art almost everyone has a different perspective, that’s the beauty of art. When you commented about the child’s perspective of the Bronze Woman IV i couldn’t agree with you more we should always look at the youth for different perspectives. Not just on art but many other things in life. Another fantastic thing about art is that it brings different cultures together allowing everyone in the world to get a chance to say something about it.Great Article!

  6. Jenna Algoo

    Great article! I’ve lived here my whole life and I’ve never had the chance to stop and take a look at the garden, although your article makes me want to. One of the best things about art is the way it takes its own shape through the mind of someone else and creates a thought explosion for each and every individual in a different way. I truly appreciate your take on the art and what the children were saying. They are so often overlooked, but they have such wonderful and innocent insight to offer.

  7. Lindsey Bushnell

    As someone who has lived in Minnesota all their life and have never been to the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, I feel very unfortunate to not have discovered the wonders of the garden yet. It’s amazing how things we underestimate around us can transform into great cultural experiences. Also, I love your addition of the child’s interpretation of the art piece. Sometimes, it can be hard to get children interested in looking at art and thinking about it, but this interactive art can be used as a great learning tool. Children have very unique perspectives, and I think it’s wonderful this child is able to engage in conversations about art at an earlier age.

  8. Bryce Gadke

    I’ve visited the garden once this past spring with my art history class. My teacher was an incredibly passionate man for art. He’s visited the garden more than a handful of times but he still took time to examine everything, and he stressed to all of us not to underestimate the impact something like this can have on your lives and a community. The example of the child is very interesting because many of the art inside and out is hard to grasp if you aren’t looking at it in a certain way. The children have an advantage because they don’t possess preconceived notions of how art should be and how it should be portrayed. Great article!

  9. Roman Schnobrich

    What a thought provoking article! It’s always fun to examine how our culture impacts our perspectives on everything, like you said, such as art and our lives in general. I think as the Hmong population in Minnesota continues to grow, the state’s overall diversity will increase as well. Racial and cultural diversity is hugely important to a state’s wellbeing as they are some of the pillars on which the U.S. was founded on. However, as border issues increase, many Americans seem to forget this.

  10. I have never visited the Sculpture Garden in Minneapolis and have always wanted too. Especially, since I just learned about the “SpoonBridge and Cherry” in art class. I’ve seen a lot of pictures of the sculpture in friends’ instagram posts. I thought it was interesting about the child’s perspective of “Bronze Woman IV” and comparing it to Humpty Dumpty and thinking about how children without preconceived notions can get a better picture in their head of how art can take many forms. Loved the article!

  11. Logan Davey

    I have yet to go to the museum, but I feel like I just went there through your article. I’m intrigued by the vast amount of cultures that were present at the museum. I think it shows how everyone can appreciate anyone’s work of art if it is that extraordinary. I’m curious as to if you feel like the museum would be the same to you if you went a second time due to you already knowing everything at the museum?

  12. Rebecca Smith

    I love this article! I really like art that will change when the perspective changes, and it’s cool that there’s this kind of art in the sculpture garden! It’s hard to believe that I’ve lived in Minnesota my entire life and can only remember visiting it once. It’s amazing what we consider as normal in our home state when something is as impressive as the sculpture garden!

  13. Michel Doege

    I personally have never been to the sculpture garden, but now I feel as a resident of Minnesota i have to go. The art looks wonderful and the idea that it evokes a sense of intellectualism speaks to how it is more than just something to look at. Hearing how kids perspectives can change your own is also intriguing. People come from all different backgrounds and age groups, similar to the last sculpture all giving their own perspectives to shape society’s as a whole. A very cool experience thank you for sharing!

  14. I truly love art and this is one of the reasons I am an art major as well as nursing. Art is a way we can represent our culture at a fundamental level or communicate without the need for words. Art still exist from centuries ago when writings and stories have faded there are still tactile representations of culture passed down. Every state I go to I try and find an art museum, I went to one in Florida just awhile ago and found at least 5 different languages.

  15. I truly love art and this is one of the reasons I am an art major as well as nursing. Art is a way we can represent our culture at a fundamental level or communicate without the need for words. Art still exist from centuries ago when writings and stories have faded there are still tactile representations of culture passed down. Every state I go to I try and find an art museum, I went to one in Florida just awhile ago and found at least 5 different languages.

  16. McKenzie Ketcher

    This article intrigued me because I can relate to the writer. I agree with her, that when I think of Minnesota I don’t view it as the most diverse and cultural state. But from this article I have learned that everything has diversity and culture, even small little park exhibits in the middle of Minneapolis. I also agree that children have a fascinating way of looking at things, and sometimes they have fresh thoughts that I envy. Maybe deep down, all of us as humans need to go into life partly viewing things as if we were children.

  17. Amanda Greene

    I have lived in Minnesota my whole life and am about 15 minutes from the city but never been to the Minneapolis Sculpture garden before. I am able to share similar experiences to you, though, because I have been to other sculpture gardens around Minnesota. I also agree that it’s interesting to listen to the perspectives of other people and how most art doesn’t have language barriers. I enjoyed how you described the art as interactive because I agree. One of the art pieces that I went to actually wanted you to climb it. I have put visiting the Minneapolis garden on my summer list now.

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