ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Belleveau finishes 18-foot giraffe sculpture

Art is like fine wine -- the longer you wait, the better the product. Sculptor Albert Belleveau has completed a 3 1/2 -year commission piece that was about to be delivered Tuesday afternoon. A farmer in the St. Peter, Minn., area had seen his "Bl...

48304+201108310831-Belleveaus-giraffe.jpg
Sculptor Albert Belleveau holds a model of a giraffe that he used to help create a 18-foot-tall giraffe made of chain, completing the sculpture 3½ years after it was commissioned by a St. Peter, Minn., farmer. Pioneer Photo/ Monte Draper

Art is like fine wine -- the longer you wait, the better the product.

Sculptor Albert Belleveau has completed a 3½-year commission piece that was about to be delivered Tuesday afternoon. A farmer in the St. Peter, Minn., area had seen his "Blue Chain Jane" sculpture on display at the Minnesota Historical Center and commissioned a life-size giraffe sculpture.

"I'm pleased he's a very patient man," Belleveau said. "Sometimes the impossible takes a little longer."

Belleveau first purchased an 18-inch-tall giraffe model from the online auction site eBay. The giraffe's scale turned out to be 1 inch to 1 foot, amounting to the size of a very, very large male, according to Belleveau, although it is not a gender-specific piece.

He purchased six barrels of chain for the giraffe, but the finished sculpture required twice as much. The finished product ended up being 18½ feet tall, weighing in around 3,000 pounds and requiring more than 4,000 feet of chain.

ADVERTISEMENT

He even created a pattern to the chain, adding another dimension as he soaked the chain in salt water to achieve the rusted look. Once finished, he sandblasted a pattern and lacquered those sections.

With a grin, Belleveau proudly showed "a cool part" of the sculpture -- a hidden trap door in its belly giving a clear view of the giraffe's heart, a large amethyst rock. Peering through its open mouth, one can see the giraffe's brain, a piece of granite.

So if you're ever in rural St. Peter and notice some shaggy sheet metal elephants, Belleveau's giraffe will finally be in their company.

What To Read Next
Mike Clemens, a farmer from Wimbledon, North Dakota, was literally (and figuratively) “blown away,” when his equipment shed collapsed under a snow load.