THE WELDED STEEL RODS arc and curve, bending toward Division Street alongside the Northfield Public Library. Dinner plate-sized poured aluminum sculptures attach to the rods, adding detailed interest to this public work of art.
This sculpture, installed in 2021, is the latest in the Young Sculptors’ Project, a collaboration of the Northfield Public Schools and the Northfield Arts and Culture Commission “to increase visibility and value for the arts through public sculpture in the community.” It’s funded via a Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage grant through the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council.
As someone who values the arts, especially accessible public art, I truly appreciate this joint effort. Professional artists guide the Northfield students who meet in the school’s art and industrial tech departments once a week during the school year to craft the sculptures.
Northeast Minneapolis professional artist Sara Hanson, along with sculptor apprentice William Lanzillo, led the 18 young creatives in their most recent endeavor. According to info about Lanzillo and the project on the Carleton College Studio Art website, the newest sculpture reflects aspects of Northfield which the students value and celebrate.
Through the years, I’ve delighted in discovering this public art at the base of the library hill on the corner of Division and Third Streets in the heart of downtown Northfield. The sculptures remain there for two years before being moved to a courtyard sculpture garden at Northfield High School.
The over-sized sculptures give me reason to pause, consider, reflect.
As I reflect, I think how wonderful that these young people, these young artists, are guided, supported and encouraged. They are learning, growing, building their confidence. What a gift that is from this community and from those professional artists who guide them, who show them their work, their creativity, is valued.
© Copyright 2022 Audrey Kletscher Helbling