spacious open-air gallery
Developed by the Center in 1996, with assistance from the Red Wing Environmental Learning Center and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, this 15 acre park is one of Minnesota's largest sculpture gardens and includes works by nationally and internationally acclaimed sculptors, including Charles Biederman, Siah Armajani, and Zoran Mojsilov. Complete with observation deck, walking trails, benches, picnic areas, interpretive signs, mesic prairie areas, and stunning vistas of the Cannon River valley, this spacious open-air gallery serves as an artistic and educational resource, a natural habitat, and a quiet place where one can glimpse a sampling of the region's original native ecosystem. There are currently over 30 sculptures in the garden and on Anderson Center grounds.
Artist: Zoran Mojsilov
Dimensions: 16' x 11' x 9' Weight: 25,000 lbs.
Medium: Granite & Stainless Steel
Zoran Mojsilov was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia in 1955 and moved to Minneapolis in 1986. Mojsilov had a sculptural break-through in 1990 when he was an artist-in-residence at La Vie des Formes in Chalon-sur-Saône, France. In this French shipyard, he took up welding and made sculptures in stone and steel. Mojsilov used this technique in 2001 to create "Moby Dick" and continues to use these durable materials in his public art projects to this day.
Artist: Megan Madland
Dimensions: Each panel is ~ 7' square
"Physical Tension" was created in residence at Franconia Sculpture Park shortly after Megan Madland earned a BA in Architecture/Sculpture from Bennington College in Vermont. The panels of this sculpture are actually slightly inclined toward each other. The stepped protruding or receding contours of one panel don’t exactly delineate the opposite positive or negative space of the panel across the way. However, stepping between the two, one can sense a kind of conversation of push and pull coursing back and forth; with the same phenomenon playing itself out in the figure in the distance.
Artist: Michael Bigger
"Monterrey Express" is one of four sculptures at the Anderson Center created by Michael Bigger, a Minnesota artist widely acknowledged as "a sculptor's sculptor." Bigger passed away in 2011 following a 45-year exhibition career. An emeritus professor at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and a longtime board member of Franconia Sculpture Park, Bigger was known internationally for his large, colorful metal compositions and outsized personality. "Monterrey Express" is a kinetic system of curves and angles that arranges itself anew with every change of the viewer's position.
Artists: Gita Ghei, Max Cora, Erik Legrey, Gail Dahlberg and students of Peg Hansen at Tower View Alternative High School
Dimensions: 8.5' x 5' x 2'
Medium: Bronze & Tile
Twenty-seven TVAHS students in Peg Hansen's ceramics and sculpture class were involved every step of the way. Students chose images depicting the story of creation, including some Native American traditions. The turtle's name is from the Dakota language and translates to "Big Turtle Lucy"
Above the turtle's head is a stylized RW for Red Wing, and a Mississippi River of blue pieces flows around the base of the shell. Major depictions include Mother Earth; a loon, a fish and a buffalo, representing creatures; a medicine wheel, which works like a compass; a wolf and stars, representing the Native American legend of how the stars came to be; a cottonwood tree, and elements from nature including clouds, the sun and a lake.
The class made hundreds of pieces of tile, including cut shapes for the various motifs, plus they inserted some glass nuggets into the river. With about 300 pounds of tile, the sculpture weighs nearly 1,000 pounds.Add some content to your accordion item here.
Artist: Sam Spiczka
Medium: Wood & Steel
Born and raised in rural Minnesota, Sam Spiczka became captivated by metal early on through the experience of working at his family’s welding shop. Inspired by natural bone forms, rural technology, and geometric structure, Spiczka has produced a distinctive body of work that is both modern and intensely primal, public yet deeply personal.
A human hand hangs from the center of "Birth of a Martyr." Hands have been a favorite subject matter in Spiczka's work for years, however they have taken on a new significance for the artist following a 2016 lawn mower accident. As he writes on his website, "Hands have their own intelligence, and the memory of their labor is vital to the character of the final piece... Perhaps creating these sculptures satisfies a need for wholeness I no longer experience in my body. Perhaps it is the comic absurdity of incomplete hands re-making themselves in steel. Whatever the ultimate reason, I just find them beautiful and perhaps even, dare I say, inspiring."
Artist: Fernanda Sequeiros Hart
Dimensions: 13'9" x 18'2" x 17'5"
Medium: Fabriacted Steel
Fernanda Sequeiros Hart is an artist born in 1979 in Caleta Olivia, Argentina. Currently based in Minneapolis, her paintings and sculptures reflect the matriarchal mentality of the family in which she was raised. They bring in elements of the female form and images of the animals that wandered freely on the ranch where she was raised. Why animals and females? Because, from birth to death, their lives display the beautiful and horrific images that have haunted her.
"Ojalá" was created while in residence at Franconia Sculpture Park. Although the word ojalá directly translates in Spanish to “hopefully,” ojalá actually derives from an Arabic expression: “ma sha allah,” which means “should God will it” (ما شاء الله). Therefore Ojalá is a word used when one really hopes and wishes that something will happen—almost as if requesting divine intervention.
Artist: Perci Chester
Medium: Steel & Rivets
Working with ordinary industrial materials, Chester cuts, rearranges or assembles extruded sheets of metal into visual poems for the 21st century. Made entirely from repurposed steel from an old water tower, "Film Noir Ensemble" was many years in the making. Chester began the piece in 2006, finishing it in 2020. “Through my most recent practice I fabricate playful sculptures on an architectural scale,” she says. “These works illuminate states of consciousness—such as expansion, balance and joy—all essential to re-imagining the future on Earth.”
Artist: Alonso Sierralta
Medium: Wood, Aluminum & Steel
Installed as part of the Sculpture Garden Engagement Program, “Hold” combines natural and man-made materials to channel Alonso's experience of cultural transplantation into powerful metaphors for growth, challenge, pain and adaptation. The tension, contradiction, and contrast created by pairing organic materials with manufactured ones evokes the mixed emotions of optimism & fear that accompany giving up the familiar and provides an opportunity to examine the issue of immigration from a fresh & visually expressive perspective.
The sculpture’s main element or subject is a branch suspended within a metal cage-like structure. Alonso wanted to show that the subject is not entirely free. Whether it is being held in an embrace or being held captive, the result is the same: it is unable to move. The branch is glorified, elevated, praised yet it is contained like a prisoner.
Artist: Andrew MacGuffie
Medium: Fabriacted Steel
Andrew MacGuffie’s work has been exhibited and commissioned from Minneapolis and Franconia to Vilnus, Lithuania and Chalon-sur-Saone, France. He is the winner of numerous artist fellowships and awards. MacGuffie frequently lends his talent and expertise to support the work of artists and arts organizations throughout the region and is considered a foremost rigger and sculpture installer.