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BSU celebrates new sculpture garden

A ribbon-cutting ceremony for "Northscape," a new sculpture garden at BSU was held Friday. (BSU photo services)

BEMIDJI -- A new sculpture garden was unveiled with a ribbon-cutting on BSU’s campus Friday.

The garden, designed by sculptor John Kamrath, is titled “Northscape” and is located on the lawn between Birchmont Drive and Memorial Hall. Each piece of the artwork has a line or design element that guides visitors to other parts of the space, a release said.

Inspiration for the piece came from birds over water, cairns used for wayfinding, butterflies, moose and fish, Kamrath said in the release.

BSU President Faith Hensrud said Friday that the sculptures create an enduring welcome to the students, faculty and future visitors.

“Works of art like Jon Kamrath’s ‘Northscape’ sculptures play an essential and profound role on our campus and in other public spaces,” Hensrud said. “Art of all kinds has the power to spark our imaginations and fire our spirits, to invite us to a new dimension of feeling and though. Jon’s work does all of that.”

“Northscape” is part of the university’s Memorial Hall renovation project, which was completed in 2015. Sculptures were funded through the Minnesota Percent for Art in Public Places program, which is a legislated component of public building projects.

The program acquires works of art to be exhibited in and around state buildings in areas regularly accessible to the general public.

“This was a crazy honor for me,” Kamrath said. “The fact that I got to do it was amazing, and I was floored by how well BSU treated me through the entire thing. It was just a great experience.”