Walking among the Art: Bemidji Sculpture Walk installs a new round of downtown sculptures
BEMIDJI—Locals and tourists alike had a little more reason to stroll the streets of downtown Bemidji on May 19 as a small crew of workers installed 20 new sculptures during the Bemidji Sculpture Walk.
The committee that oversees the annual Sculpture Walk opens the project to artists all around the world. The year's additions included artwork from other states, including Colorado and Indiana. It also included artwork from Irish artist Alan Milligan.
"We have about 20 a year that rotate. We have more than that, though, that stay three, four, five years. And then we have permanent ones in addition to that," said Marcia BMarthaler, president of the Bemidji Sculpture Walk.
The Bemidji Sculpture Walk, a mainstay of downtown Bemidji, is narrowing in on its second full decade, which will take place in 2019.
In addition to the 20 new sculptures, there also are 12 fiberglass dogs spread around that local artists painted. The project, "How Much is That Doggie In the Window?" allows 2-D artists a presence on the street corners and window shops along with the sculptors.
The committee incorporates the painted fiberglass sculptures into the Sculpture Walk every other year. Previous sculptures local artists painted have included beavers and dragonflies.
"We're, of course, trying to promote sculptors, but then we leave out the very vibrant folks in this town who are the 2-D artists—the folks who paint," said Cate Belleveau of the Sculpture Walk Committee. "We put a call out to those visual artists and say 'Will you embellish?'"
The day also included a tour of the downtown artwork, the lecture "Passage of Time" at Headwaters Music and Arts as well as a reception to recognize the artists featured in the Sculpture Walk.
"The artists at that reception tell their stories of what motivated them," BMarthaler said. "It's so fascinating; it really is."