Back in 2008, Carleton College installed cement sidewalk pavers at the corner of 2nd and Division. The phallus design soon became controversial and plans to remove it were met with a ‘Save the Penis’ campaign that ultimately failed.
The Northfield Arts and Culture Commission, together with the Northfield Historical Society and the Downtown Streetscape Task Force, have pooled their public art monies to fund the reinstallation of the phallus design on a section of Bridge Square.
Yesterday, workers began excavation. The bulbous shape of the excavated area will be reshaped into a phallus, designed by members of the Old Sculptors Project, the complementary group to the Young Sculptors Project that has installed a sculpture in front of the Northfield Library.
"We felt it was important to save a piece of Northfield history and to have it stick out right outside our door," said Hayes ‘Gabby’ Scriver, Northfield Historical Society board member.
"There was stiff opposition to the project for a while," wrote Ava Gina, Chair of the Northfield Arts and Culture Commission in an email to Locally Grown. "We went to great lengths to make our case. It was hard. In the end, we believed strongly that inserting this design into the most pubic [sic] space of Northfield was in the best interest of all."
From Christie Clark’s Northfield.org blog post,Public Sculpture Unveiling Celebration:
Join us in celebrating of the official unveiling of "The Tree of Knowledge and Delight" on Friday, June 29th at 4:30 on Division St. in front of the Library. This project, known as the "Young Sculptors Project" has been a close collaboration between Emeritus St. Olaf Professor Mac Gimse and ten Northfield High School students with funding from the South East Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC). This grant was written through the auspices of the Arts and Culture Commission.
Bonnie Jean Flom has a blog post on Northfield.org:
The Arts and Culture Commission of Northfield, in partnership with the Friends of the Northfield Public Library and the Northfield Public Library, has announced a Sidewalk Public Poetry competition to mark National Poetry Month in April.
See the Friends of the Northfield Public Library blog post: 2011 Northfield Sidewalk Public Poetry Contest
All residents of Northfield, and all students enrolled in Northfield schools, are eligible and encouraged to submit short poems (10 lines, 240 characters maximum) that are appropriate for the public sphere.
Up to 10 winning poems will be stamped into Northfield sidewalk pavements and will be considered for other public purposes including publication and readings.
The Locally Grown Triumvirate has requested that one of the winning poems be used to replace the sidewalk graffiti that one of our fans scrawled into the cement in front of the HideAway Coffeehouse & Winebar last summer.
Philip Spensley (left), chair of the Northfield Arts and Culture Commission, stopped by my corner office at the GBM this morning to remind me about Monday night’s big wingding at the Grand Event Center honoring Myrna Johnson and Ray Jacobson, the first two recipients of the Northfield Living Treasures Award Program (PDF). Philip emailed me this info:
The Arts and Culture Commission wishes to invite everyone in the community to a celebration on Monday, Dec 13, at 7 pm, at the Grand, to honor the first two recipients of its newly created Northfield Living Treasure Award. Mayor Mary Rossing will present the award to Ray Jacobson and Myrna Johnson for their generous, significant and lengthy contributions to art and culture in Northfield.
Ray, an internationally renowned sculptor and former Art Professor at Carleton, notably designed and created the stunning and delightful bronze fountain in Bridge Square, as well as the recent "Harvest" sculpture along the riverwalk near the 5th St Bridge which celebrates Northfield’s sesquicentennial.
Myrna was a founder of the Northfield Arts Guild, now 50 years young, which has given opportunity to generations of local professional and amateur artists and performers to showcase their work and to develop their skills. For many years Myrna served as its director of theatre, as a fundraiser, and still continues to serve as its archivist.
The community is warmly invited to celebrate and honor Myrna’s and Ray’s outstanding achievements and service.
See the Northfield.org blog post by Jane McWilliams for more details on the event and the Oct 26 Northfield News article (pictured in the photo with Philip).