Archived Story

Sculpture design a good choice [UPDATED]

Published 8:55am Friday, April 18, 2014 Updated 10:55am Friday, April 18, 2014

We find the inspiration behind the “Freedom” sculpture designed for the center of the Alcott and Tower Road roundabout, well, inspiring. The Sculpture Selection Committee made a fine choice and we hope the city council and residents will agree.

We’ve all seen a flock of birds in a field as it follows the tractor at harvest time. The flock’s flight was captured in the sculpture, created by artist Ann Klefstad of Duluth. She is well-known across the state and highly respected for her public art work. Coincidentally, the sculpture is reminiscent of a woodcut by locally beloved artist Charles Beck. The area has a strong agricultural influence and it seems an appropriate image to welcome people to our community.

In all honesty, we were initially disappointed that a local artist’s work was not chosen for the roundabout from the 13 proposals submitted by 11 artists. But the Sculpture Selection Committee did its due diligence overall, looking at more than just whose work it chose.

Safety was a big factor in the committee’s decision. The roundabout sees heavy traffic and committee members wanted a piece that stood on its own, without the need for a closer look. It is hoped the work will be welcoming, but not to the point that people will want to cross the busy road to take their picture with it.

Many on the committee liked that the sculpture incorporated nature and its imagery was familiar to the area. Materials used in the work was weighed as was the cost. At $40,000, while it may take some time to raise the money, the committee felt it was feasible through grants and individual donations.

With the county on board with the design, we hope the city follows suit, and perhaps more importantly, that residents who can will show their support by offering a donation to cover the cost.


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