Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

In Appleton: A ring dance on a wedding day August 25, 2016

The Ring Dance fountain in City Park, Appleton, Wisconsin

The Ring Dance fountain in City Park, Appleton, Wisconsin

THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT KIDS and water on a hot summer day that brings joy and, for me, a longing for the carefree days of youth.


Ring Dance fountain, #51 from a distance


Perhaps that is why I am so drawn to a piece of art centering City Park in Appleton, Wisconsin. “Ring Dance,” created by internationally-acclaimed sculptor Dallas Anderson, a native of nearby Neenah, is a must-see for me nearly every time I visit Appleton.


Ring Dance fountain, #56 cavorting


On my most recent stop at the park on a hot and humid late July afternoon, I envied the cavorting carved kids cooling off in the fountain. And I envied the young women also cooling their heels in the water as they posed for bridal party photos.


Ring Dance fountain, #54 hands up


Not wanting to interfere with the professional wedding photo shoot, I snapped a few quick shots and called it good. Typically I would take more care in composing images, but I wanted to be respectful.


Ring Dance fountain, #58 bride watching


I’m always curious about public art that draws me back repeatedly. This $483,000 sculpture, according to info I found online, was funded with private donations and was installed 20 years ago.


"Ring Dance" seems fitting for a wedding photo shoot. Here the couple poses near a massive round flowerbed in City Park.

“Ring Dance” seems fitting for a wedding photo shoot. Here the couple poses near a massive round flowerbed in City Park.

I also learned of a Minnesota connection. Sculptor Dallas Anderson, who died in 2009, received his Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Olaf College in Northfield, 20 minutes from my home and 300 miles from Appleton. Interesting how life circles and connects…

TELL ME, do you have a favorite water fountain sculpture? I’d like to hear.

© Copyright 2016 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


17 Responses to “In Appleton: A ring dance on a wedding day”

  1. Beth Ann Says:

    You know I love the outdoor art like that as well and Ring Dance is amazing. I can almost hear the happy laughter and splashing sounds of the children depicted.

  2. Beautiful Captures and the Bride and Groom are blissing on young love and new adventures 🙂 I think about the Bellagio Fountains in Las Vegas and the Dolphin Fountain in Santa Barbara. I am drawn to water for some reason and now live less than 3 miles from the bay and beautiful beaches. Happy Day – Enjoy!

  3. Valerie Says:

    Although it’s not a sculpture in a fountain, the Detroit Airport has a wonderful fountain that is always a joy to watch in such a busy place.

  4. Jackie Says:

    I Love outdoor art and this piece is beautiful. mayo clinic has several similar sculptures (fountains). When I get a chance I might have to see if its the same artist. My favorite outdoor sculptures are cerated by Spanish artist Jaume Piensa. Also, what a neat idea to have those bridesmaids dancing in front of the sculpture, make for a unique photo!

  5. […] via In Appleton: A ring dance on a wedding day — Minnesota Prairie Roots […]

  6. Missy's Crafty Mess Says:

    Beautiful place for wedding photos

  7. Sue Ready Says:

    i am not familiar with this sculpture Ring Dance but I loved how whimsical it is and what a bonus for you having a wedding shot at that given moment. i was rather drawn to the sculpture piece and actually looked up some trivia on the piece and found this…

    The sculpture depicts an ancient game, still played in parts of the world. It is meant to capture the natural innocence and fun-loving spirit of children, and speaks to the importance of the individual’s participation, cooperation and congeniality within the community. It symbolizes the quest for achievement through working in harmony.

    Thanks for bringing public art to our attention.

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