Urban Adornments–An Overview

Aside from architecture, landscaping, and over-all civil engineering, cities have lots of options for encouraging higher experience of enjoyment, quality of life, sheer delight for visitors and residents alike. As one of our city councilors, Suzie Nakasian,  put it recently, public art shows that we are a “place that cares about place.”

 

High School Sculpture--Defeat of Jesse James Days

High School Sculpture–Defeat of Jesse James Days

 

There are so many examples I would like to highlight that I have decided to do a series of posts–a new one every now and then–so that I can show particular approaches or places in-depth. Later this fall, I am planning one on the public art of San Jose, California, one on the hanging signage I love, and a third on examples of that most kindly of literary mushrooms, the Little Library.

For now, I offer a brief overview of Northfield out-in-public art (not necessarily Official Public Art) I have enjoyed (and was able to photograph) over the past year. I have included anonymous graffiti as well as art visible from the street on private homes and businesses, as well as officially sanctioned art pieces.

Art on Bridge Square, Northfield, Minnesota

Art on Bridge Square, Northfield, Minnesota

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This kind of addition of uplifting beauty and whimsy lifts our hearts and slows us down. We’re more likely to say a few hellos or decide to patronize the local knitting store, bakery, or art gallery for that special gift instead of opting for gift cards or items from a big box or department store, and that is good for local merchants (our neighbors). The incentive to walk, making it not only possible but pleasurable to walk to a destination, surely a most healthy mode of transport for the individual, the community, the local economy, and the planet.

Downtown Northfield Sign

Downtown Northfield Sign

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blue Monday Sign

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Downtown Northfield Sign without Text

Downtown Northfield Sign without Text

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PacMan Trim

Modern Cave Painting on the Sidewalk?

Modern Cave Painting on the Sidewalk?

 

Little Library--St. Olaf Avenue
Little Library–St. Olaf Avenue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Here’s the 2005 sculpture, “Harvest”, by Ray Jacobson, in sight of the Ames Mill. Made to commemorate Northfield’s 150 birthday, the sculpture represents shocked grain. Some also see three pairs of cowboy boots!

 

Heart of Northfield--Fountain Sculpture and Civil War Memorial with Eagle Sculpture
Heart of Northfield–Fountain Sculpture and Civil War Memorial with Eagle Sculpture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Merely games boards? Or keenly placed graphic art as well?

Sculpture outside of the Northfield City Hall

Sculpture outside of the Northfield City Hall

Rustic Flag

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Signature

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you for reading this! If you think of someone else who might enjoy it, please forward it to them. And, if you are not already a subscriber, I invite you to subscribe to the Wednesday posts I am sending out each week–it’s easy, it’s free, and I won’t share your address with anyone.

One thought on “Urban Adornments–An Overview

  1. Loved your photos of Northfield. It is wonderful to live in a city that
    has so much art and appreciation of art. You are definitely a part of Northfield that makes it a great place to live in.

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