BEMIDJI-The captivating Sculpture Walk that was born 20 years ago in downtown Bemidji will literally come to life later this week.
As part of a 20th anniversary celebration on Saturday, June 22, several living sculptures and sculptors will be stationed on Beltrami Avenue between Third and Fourth streets. At assigned times, they will "come alive" and read scripts written by Sculpture Walk board member Cate Belleveau. You'll see The Thinker, Peter Pan, Nefertiti the Egyptian queen and others.
The free event will run from 4 to 8 p.m. and will also feature live music by Barb Houg and Reid Hendershot, art demonstrations including wood carving with Molly Wiste, a collaborative found object sculpture with Al Belleveau, and an iron pour with Alan Milligan.
"We think people will learn about some amazing sculptures and sculptors and learn about what the artist does as a process," Cate Belleveau said.
The Bemidji Sculpture Walk, an open-air art gallery on the downtown streets, got its start in 1999. New sculptures are installed every year. Organizers decided the 20th anniversary was a good time to celebrate.
"We wanted to do something fun for families, that's interactive and educational," Cate Belleveau said.
Although there is no admission fee to the event, supporters will be able to contribute to the Sculpture Walk by purchasing raffle tickets for a poodle sculpture painted by Kathy Gustafson and by making donations at each of the living sculptures.
Al Belleveau's role that day will be to guide participants in the found objects community sculpture. The pieces will be welded together and the resulting sculpture will be placed somewhere downtown this summer.
Al is known for creating welded sculptures out of found objects. "Kids are the best," Cate said, "because they don't have any inhibitions. They see something and say that could be an ear or that could be an eye. They're open, where adults are more concerned that it might not be perfect."
One of the new sculptures for 2019 is "Rumblefish" by Bemidji artist Tim Nelson. It is installed near the Security BankUSA downtown bank at Fourth Street and Bemidji Avenue. Cate Belleveau said Nelson is an example of a new wave of two-dimensional artists who are moving into 3D work.
The project also attracted Elizabeth Ashe of Washington, D.C., whose "Red Wing Blackbird" sculpture is one block to the west on Fourth Street. "She saw us in a sculpture magazine," Cate Belleveau said, "and has created kind of an abstract piece that's inspired by (the late American sculptor Alexander) Calder."
Kim Feiberger of Minneapolis has a colorful piece called "Eggcited" on the bike path across from Dunn Brothers Coffee that features an egg-headed fellow sitting on a pile of books.
Maps of this year's Sculpture Walk will be available at the Tourist Information Center. Here's a list of other sculptures this year:
• "Harmony" by Mark Hall of Kasota, Minn., located next to Tutto Bene.
• "Good Day on the Ice" by Brian Alt and students at Pequot Lakes High School, located at the Union Square parking lot.
• "Alure" by John and Jeremy Hughes of Stillwater, located next to the Downtown Bemidji arch.
• "Blue Heron" by John Kamrath of Mahtomedi, located at the Wells Fargo drive-through bank.
• "Squiddy McLeggins" by Russell Lund of Mizpah, located across the street from the Paul Bunyan Sub Shop.
• "Wheat Harvest" by James Mages of Plymouth, located at Harmony Co-op.
• "Cube" by Sunghee Min of Minneapolis, located on the southwest corner of Fourth and Beltrami.
• "Trinity Rings" by Roger Loyson of Bemidji, located at City Hall.
• "En Pointe" by Cynthia Markel of Lakeville, located in the picture window at the Northwest Minnesota Foundation.
• "Animal Realized" by Isaac Kidder of Minneapolis, located at Raphael's Bakery Cafe.