Archived Story

Roundabout art to be icon of the city [UPDATED]

Published 4:29am Monday, July 29, 2013 Updated 2:13pm Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The city of Fergus Falls is looking for community volunteers to assist in the criteria selection process for the original artwork that will be installed at the center of the Tower Road and Alcott Avenue roundabout.

The art is expected to be a significant icon in the city and an important symbol welcoming residents and visitors to the community.

The Public Arts Commission is looking for at least seven members of different demographics. They’re looking for a resident from the area surrounding the Tower Road and Bridge, a business representative from this area, an artist, a resident at large, a city council member, an Otter Tail County Commissioner and a representative from either the Otter Tail County Historical Society or Heritage Preservation Commission.

The sub-committee would meet about three times over the next month.

The city council approved the solicitation of artists in March. However, the deadline for the art piece was also extended from Aug. 5 to Sept. 5 to allow a criteria review board to be put together. The city would like the art piece to be timeless, reflecting the city today but also lasting 50 or more years.

Through a piece of public art, the Public Arts Commission wants to convey community, history, links to geologic and transportation features, and family related to Fergus Falls. The commission set up some of the parameters for the project, but it’s also looking for variety.

Some parameter categories include the following: Materials, lighting, landscape, setting and structure or design. It’s important to the committee that the art be easily viewed from every direction and compatible in scale to its surroundings. The city does not want a water feature, either as the primary structure or as an accent. The piece would be considered a landmark and a reflection of the community; therefore, it should be non-controversial or political in nature.

The area where the artwork would go in the middle of the roundabout already has some landscaping from the Tower Road Bridge project, which was in the original plans. Depending on the final piece of art chosen and approved for the location, some of the landscaping may be moved or relocated, or some art proposals may incorporate it, according to City Engineer Dan Edwards.

“It depends on what the proposal is for the artwork,” Edwards said.

Anyone interested in serving the community through this review board should contact Anne Martens at 332-5418 or Lynne Olson at 332-5404 at City Hall for more information.

Artists interested in submitting a piece of art should contact Gordon Hydukovich at 332-5427.

  • KLJones

    I think before the City puts up any sort of artwork in the roundabout, perhaps the first thing would be to clean it up so it isn’t full of weeds, and clean up the rest of South Tower Road. Right now it is a complete mess. I would hardly invite out of towners to come look at a pile of weeds. The City seems to be doing nothing to make this project look nice.

    • Steph

      I’ve noticed marked improvement so far this summer. I use the roundabout almost every day and the trees they’ve planted look lovely, and I noticed they’ve got the bike/walking path mostly paved now. I’m sure laying sod and getting rid of weeds is coming too. One step at a time. I’m kind of waiting with my hands in front of my eyes, peeping through my fingers to see what kind of artwork they will install, though. It could look very cool, or it could go very wrong. We’ll just have to wait and see.

  • KLJones

    You’ve not been paying a lot of attention then. There have been improvements but they have been very slow to come. Since the trees were planted, not much more has happened. Occasionally the city comes through and knocks down the weeds. It is getting pretty late in the season for sodding. There is also still a job trailer sitting on South Tower with 6 ft. weeds all around it. Lovely to look at coming over the bridge.

  • firedome60

    And all these “visitors” that drive thru this in awe are going WHERE?to RDO or Lakeland?

  • smoothlander

    Why would we want to add a distraction to an intersection that people still have trouble navigating?

  • cyberdog

    Why let the usual crowd in Fergus Falls choose and artist when the roundabout area looks like a weed patch which the City can not maintain? It already looks like Hell. The scrubs are complexly covered with tall weeds.

    Put in some grass in place of the 3 ft. weeds, maintain the shrubbery and forget the Golf Club Elite who have probably already chosen the winner of the contest before it has even started.

    The roundabout area already looks like a dump because they won’t maintain it.

  • camobabe

    When I was stationed in California many homeowners in the area fought weeds and several months of no precipitation by laying plastic on the ground, covering the plastic with lava rock, then cutting through the rock and plastic to plant drought tolerant bushes such as junipers. The occasional watering during summer kept the junipers growing and spreading to cover the area, killing out weeds when the juniper cover denied sunlight to weeds.And, even in our climate, the junipers will provide year round greenery.

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