Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Bemidji: beyond Paul Bunyan September 18, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 7:57 AM

I NEVER EXPECTED this of Bemidji.

The northern Minnesota community that we southern Minnesotans peg as the place to have our photos taken with Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox extends way beyond these legendary icons.

This town embraces the arts.

A simple walk through the historic downtown clearly shows just how much Bemidji loves the arts, both visual and performing. Join me on this brief tour into the heart of Paul Bunyan’s hometown and see what I saw.

Art. Everywhere. Just waiting to be discovered.

"Sovereign Son"

Minneapolis artist Nickolas Legeros created this bronze sculpture, “Sovereign Son,” now on display at the corner of Sixth St. N.W. and Minnesota Ave. N.W. and part of the 2008 Bemidji Sculpture Walk.

"Garden of Harmony"

Mary T. Peterson and community painted “Garden of Harmony” on Harmony Foods along Third St. N.W., one of many murals in Bemidji.

Beltrami County Courthouse

The 1903 Beltrami County Courthouse is built in the Beaux arts style and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Headwaters mailbox

Bemidji artist Al Belleveau created this whimsical and functional artwork/mailbox for The Headwaters School of Music & the Arts, a community school for the arts in downtown Bemidji.

Paul Bunyan Playhouse

The Paul Bunyan Playhouse, the nation’s longest continually-running summer theater group, performs in the historic Chief Theatre.

Paula Swenson's mural

Paula Swenson’s mural on Wild Hare Bistro & Coffee House is titled “Circles Fall Together II.”

(Be sure to read my earlier post about the Bemidji Sculpture Walk.)

© Copyright 2009 Audrey Kletscher Helbling