Weather Forecast


Art event to include to giant footprints around town

Paul Bunyan is going for a walk.

The Bemidji City Council unanimously approved an unusual art project during Monday's meeting in which Paul Bunyan's footprints will depict a tour of a pair of art sites downtown.

Paula Swenson of Bemidji submitted the request in which giant footprints will be stenciled on the roadway leading from the Paul and Babe statues at the waterfront to the former site of the Great River Gallery to the Headwaters School of Music and the Arts and then back to the waterfront.

Giant nose and handprints will be placed on the windows of the buildings where Paul "stops" to look in, if it is allowed, Swenson said.

"It is sort of like Paul Bunyan is out walking around town," she said.

"The idea for the project is to bring attention to the Great River Gallery and the Headwaters School of Music and the Arts," she said.

The "Art Attack!" event is planned to begin in early November.

The footprints would begin at the waterfront, continue down Third Street with a stop at the former Great River Gallery, then go along Minnesota Avenue to the Headwaters School of Music and the Arts. The footprints would then return to the statue along Sixth Street, Beltrami Avenue and Fifth Street.

The product planned for the footprints is a spray paint that generally lasts 10 to 20 days depending on weather, she explained.

"It's just sort of a fun project," she said.

She hopes to involve students and seniors to help monitor the children and keep them safe, she said.

Mayor Richard Lehmann noted that it was not unusual to have snow in Bemidji in early November.

Swenson said she was not too concerned about the longevity of the project.

"If it lasts two days, fine. If it lasts 20 days, great," she said.

After speaking with city staff members, Swenson said she planned to do the project in the mornings or on the weekend when students are not in school.

Lehmann encouraged Swenson to talk to area business near where the footprints are planned. If a customer inquires about the footprints, businesses would probably appreciate being able to tell them about the project, he said.