BRICK, A BENCH, A RIVER…
Each provides a canvas or backdrop for art in Wabasha, an historic Mississippi River town of 2,500 in southeastern Minnesota.
On a recent visit here to the National Eagle Center, where art abounds inside, I also noticed art integrated into the downtown.
A 10-foot tall bronze sculpture of Wapahasha II, a Native American after whom the city of Wabasha is named, stands atop a fountain next to the riverside eagle center.
If you shift your eyes a bit, you’ll notice a bridge in the distance. I view that 26-year-old link between Minnesota and Wisconsin as art given the overhead span of trusses.
Just up the street, set atop brick pavers, co-joined park benches have become artwork, too, with eagle paintings backing the benches. It’s a nice touch, emphasizing Wabasha’s eagles and the reason many visitors come here.
Around the corner, Riverside Dollar also incorporates eagles into its signage on a cozy building tucked between taller historic buildings. Fifty properties in Wabasha are on the National Register of Historic Places, another reason I appreciate this community. The buildings, in and of themselves, are works of art with ornate details that showcase the craftsmanship of another era.
A block away, a faded vintage Squirt sign painted onto the side of a brick building contrasts with a sleek and shiny Pepsi vending machine. That amuses me.
At the Rivertown Cafe, I appreciate the aging signage suspended from the second level. It adds a certain charm to the exterior and directs the eye toward the business.
A stone’s throw away, a modern sculpture graces a street corner.
Certainly, Wabasha features more art; I had time to photograph only this sampling this trip.
© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling