I CALL IT ALLEY ART. That tag in no way diminishes its value. Rather, the moniker fits the public art I’ve discovered in alleys, most recently in downtown New Ulm.
During a brief stop in this southwestern Minnesota city, Randy and I walked several blocks along the north side of Minnesota Street, popping into The Grand Center for Arts & Culture and also Antiques Plus of New Ulm. Mostly, though, we simply followed the sidewalk with me pausing whenever I found something of photographic interest.
I’m always delighted when I find the unexpected. And I found that along Minnesota Street in the form of outdoor public art. As an appreciator of the arts, especially easily accessible public art, I get excited about such creative installations.
The finds I feature here represent only a sampling of art you can enjoy in New Ulm. These three were new to me, although they likely have been around for awhile. Brief online searches yielded no information.
That doesn’t matter as much as my reaction to, and appreciation of, this art. Here were history and heritage. Creative expression. Art which enhances New Ulm and the experiences of visitors like me. Hopefully locals, too.
I considered the early settlers to this region, including the maternal side of my family with roots in neighboring small town Courtland. Generations of the Bode family still live in the area. Drop that German name in New Ulm and locals will recognize it.
I considered, too, the German heritage of this city. Tourism is based primarily on that heritage.
And then I considered how a place like Lola, an American Bistro, can carve a food and creative niche here also, drawing my camera eye with an over-sized blue plywood mug constructed around an ally entrance. Mugs attached.
The trio of public art installations I discovered during my short walk along the north side of Minnesota Street added to my appreciation of downtown New Ulm. I expect next time I’ll find even more. If not in an alley, then elsewhere.
FYI: This concludes my recent series of blog posts from New Ulm. Check my March 19, 23 and 24 posts if you missed those. Or type “New Ulm” into my blog search engine to read the many stories I’ve written on this southwestern Minnesota community.
© Copyright 2021 Audrey Kletscher Helbling