There’s a blue whale on streets of South St. Paul. You are most likely to see it at South City Motors on Concord Street. I was disappointed to learn it is not for sale. A chat with a gentleman at South City yielded more information: the whale used to be a promotional vehicle for WAYL, the twin cities “beautiful music station” which broadcasted from 1960 to 1988 (it’s now 93X). The South City Motors family rescued it from a junkyard in Newport, MN and restored it to its present glory. The support car underneath is an El Camino. The whale makes appearances at parades and events. You can friend the “Whale Car” on Facebook.
Red blazer and blue pickup krill.
As the mother of a young child I spend a lot of time in playgrounds. Most of them are uniformly unattractive: the sterile plastic Tupperware-like parts, the ditches of mulch worn away under the swings, the most vulnerable features often spoiled by vandals. Bridget Beck’s sculptures are an antidote to these aesthetically challenged play structures. Her recycled metal and wood constructions feature ladders, ramps, desks, benches, bird houses, caves, swings, and sliding poles. I imagine the word “whimsical” has been used to describe to Bridget’s work by well-meaning folks. The brightly colored doo-dads and the spaceship quality of the pieces overall certainly inspire whimsy, but a touch of chaos gives this work an added edge – perhaps literally. Because these things were not made by a safety committee there is an element of risk: there are places to trip and the slide might land you a little faster than expected. If you have the good fortune to enjoy one of her play structures with a child you might notice an interesting leveling effect – children will be challenged to do some serious imaginative work and and adults will shed responsibilities and get back a piece of childhood. You might also be inspired to reconsider your own cast-offs and have some transformative fun with them.
The sculpture below, “Poetry Studio,” was completed in June 2012 at Franconia Sculpture Park.
My daughter’s drawing of “Poetry Studio.”
My art group recently hosted the Drawing Club, which meets on Thursdays at the Walker Art Center’s Open Field. Michon Weeks, one of our members, landed this gig and presented the idea: drawing with tape on the exterior of the museum and parking ramp. Here’s what we made…
“My” corner turned into a patio with plants, weeds, and a clothesline. Elaine Rutherford, Monica Reede, and my very helpful child are pictured.
X’s by Mary Bergs
My daughter’s plant.
Hot Dog by Michon Weeks.
Many talented people (mostly children) joined in.
This is in West St. Paul near the Post Office “annex.” Maybe you’ve seen it if you’ve been down there to pay some overdue postage.
Drawing by Andrew, age 8. One of my favorites – and it’s just how this place really looks.
From what I understand of Brandon’s mall map, his plan would be to arrange stores in one long strip on a single floor, beginning with Bath and Body. I guess it would make it harder to miss a store, but you might want to have your shopping list in order – it’s a long walk to the other end if you forget something. I am not sure what it is that is being evenly distributed in his plan.
This wonderful model of the 1964 World’s Fair in Queens, NY can be found on an elevator in the Queens Museum of Art. The last close-up shows the flag for the Minnesota pavilion. I just finished reading an article by Adam Hjorthen in the current issue of Minnesota History magazine regarding the Minnesota pavilion’s lackluster debut. Unfortunately the article is not on line but here is a quote: “…the quality of the pavilion’s exhibits was harshly criticized, in particular by the Twin Cities press. The Minneapolis Tribune headlined its front page on June 4, 1964, ‘Fair Pavilion Embarasses Minnesotans,’ and went on to describe the exhibit as ‘inadequate, inappropriate, chaotic, cheap, filthy, and…embarrassing.’” Hjorthen’s article details the subsequent efforts made to spruce up the place with the Kensington Runestone and some questionable interpretation of history. Anyway, I wish this model were in my home.
This is the alarm panel at the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, which I had time to study while waiting in the long line. I was very impressed by the “audible silence” feature, as well as the hot fudge.