Tag Archives: Riverwalk Arts Quarter

Photo album: St. Patrick’s Day parade

Kevin O'Connell, Jim Bohnhoff St. Patrick's Day parade, downtown Northfield Jim Pokorney
Yesterday’s St. Patrick’s Day parade began on downtown’s west side and wound its way over the pedestrian foot bridge, along Riverwalk to Bridge Square, and then back to the Contented Cow‘s outdoor stage area.

The holy trinity of Kevin O’Connell, Jim Bohnhoff, and Jim Pokorney, after many weeks minutes of planning, once again pulled off this great contribution to Northfield’s legacy of community events.

By keeping the parade entirely on pedestrian walkways instead of having it on Division St. as in years past, no street barricades or police were needed. Therefore, organizers were evidently able to avoid having to file an application 45 days ahead of time and pay the $20 fee required by Northfield’s Community Event Policy.

I thought it was better, actually, as the parade participants and the observing crowd were in closer proximity to one another.  People also lingered much longer afterwards on the Riverwalk and around the Cow’s outdoor stage where live music made the gathering all the more festive. Of course, 80-degree weather helped, too.

Robbie and I both took photos. See our large slideshow of 55 photos (recommended) or SLOW CLICK this small slideshow:

For more:

Angela Lauterbach, Lauterbach Photography, has 21 photos in a gallery on Northfield Patch.

Jerry Smith has 10 photos on the Northfield News website.

See my parade photos from 2005 and 2008 and Bridgette Hallcock’s (Hallcock Photography) photos from 2010.

Riverwalk Arts Quarter hosts the first annual Arts Town meeting

Christie Clarke DSC03316 April Ripka

DSC03309 DSC03321 DSC03317
Riverwalk Arts Quarter hosted the first annual Arts Town Meeting at the Northfield Community Resource Center last night.  I was only able to stay a few minutes to take some photos so I have no idea what happened.  The theme of the meeting: "Growing the Arts in Northfield." The plan:

Growing the Arts in NorthfieldThe presentation will focus on the positive impact visual artists (as entrepreneurs) have on our local economy as well as spotlight the organization’s primary project, Riverwalk Market Fair, launched in the summer of 2010.  There will be information on a dozen other major art initiatives going on in the community, including an unveiling of the new "Northfield Arts" website.

I saw Christie Clark, member of the Arts and Culture Commission, at the GBM this morning and she said that the website won’t be ready till later this summer.

Northfield’s Riverwalk Arts Quarter finds a home for Bemidji’s Gaia beaver scuplture

Deborah Davis’s Gaea beaver sculpture Deborah Davis’s Gaea beaver sculpture Officials with Northfield’s Riverwalk Arts Quarter (RAQ) announced this morning that they have struck a deal with Bemidji’s Sculpture Walk to locate Deborah Davis’s Gaea beaver sculpture in Northfield along the Riverwalk. 

(See the July 4 Strib article: Beaver sculpture prompts controversy in Bemidji.)

Soldier in the Park, ChicagoPenis pavers, Carleton College “Since securing the large bronze ‘Soldier in the Park’ sculpture from Chicago two years ago, we’ve been waiting for a complementary piece before launching our pubic sculpture walk along the Cannon River,” said RAQ Executive Director Dan Churling. “We’ll be using the pavers that were removed from the sidewalk at Carleton College as well. It’s a ménage à trois made in heaven.”

Churling maintained that Northfield’s sculpture walk would have to meet a high artistic standard.  “We’re not interested in anything involving Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox, not that there’s anything wrong with that.”

Another idea for whimsical sculpture for the Riverwalk Arts Quarter

Malecon sculpture Back in the fall of 2008, I blogged some photos of the whimsical bronze sculptures on the Malecón, the oceanside boardwalk in the center of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

I was amazed at the scupltures’ ability to engage people for play and photos.

Toby the Tortoise sculpture at the Como Zoo Toby the Tortoise sculpture at the Como Zoo Toby the Tortoise sculpture at the Como Zoo Toby the Tortoise sculpture at the Como Zoo 
While at the Como Zoo and Conservatory yesterday, Robbie and I noticed the how the bronze sculpture of Toby the Tortoise on the Zoo Donor Plaza did the same. It was more entertaining watching people interact with the sculpture than it was watching the animals at the zoo which were mostly still inside and mostly napping.

Sheldahl anniversary fountain on Bridge Square Sheldahl anniversary fountain on Bridge Square
Ray Jacobson’s Sheldahl anniversary fountain on Bridge Square brings out the playfulness in people, especially kids.  ‘Twould be cool to have more sculptures along Riverwalk that did this.

Coming soon: the Riverwalk Market Fair

Riverwalk Market Fair signArt On Water Gallery, home of the Riverwalk Arts Quarter I noticed a ‘Riverwalk Market Fair’ sign on the door of Dean Kjerland’s Art On Water Gallery on Water Street, now home to the Riverwalk Arts Quarter (RAQ).

A Google search on the phrase ‘Riverwalk Market Fair’ brings up a single result, this week’s March 9 City Council packet:

The City has received a request from Riverwalk Market Fair to use public spaces between 2nd and 5th Street (Bridge Square and Riverwalk area) for a summer market. The event is proposed for Saturday’s 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. from May through October. The proposed market would feature local fine arts, fine crafts, cut flowers, local produce, artisan foods and other products as well as musicians and street performers. The Riverwalk Market Fair has filed to become a Minnesota nonprofit organization.

The RAQ web site and RAQ Facebook group make no mention of this exciting development. Anyone have details?

Art at City Hall

Art at City Hall Art at City Hall

I got a tip from Dean Kjerland on this new art installation at Northfield City Hall. The center panel reads:

Art at City Hall 2009
…inspiration; sufficiently enabled

art glass panels: American Opal Glass
commissioned by: Norman Butler
project chair: Dixon Bond
design: Dean Kjerland
special thanks: Joel Walinski

‘Twould be cool if there was more information about this (and other RAQ news) on the dormant Riverwalk Arts Quarter (RAQ) website.

Podcast: Dean Kjerland on Northfield’s new Riverwalk Arts Quarter

Dean Kjerland, Griff Wigley, Ross CurrierRiverwalk Arts Quarter mapOur podcast/radio show guest yesterday: ArtOnWater’s Dean Kjerland, discussing the latest developments with the Riverwalk Arts Quarter which was funded last fall by the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF). Dean blogged about the Riverwalk Arts Quarter on Northfield.org last September. Update 3/20: The Riverwalk Arts Quarter website is now up, and there is a Riverwalk Arts Quarter Facebook group, too.


Click play to listen. 30 minutes. You can also download the MP3 or subscribe to the podcast feed, or subscribe directly with iTunes. Continue reading Podcast: Dean Kjerland on Northfield’s new Riverwalk Arts Quarter

How about some al fresco whimsical art sculpture for Northfield’s new Riverwalk Arts Quarter?

Robbie and I’ve been in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico the past week, vacationing with some friends from Kenyon, MN. (You may have been wondering about the lack of quality/quantity of my participation here on LoGroNo. Now you know why.)

Malecón's bronze sculptures Malecón's bronze sculptures Malecón's bronze sculptures Malecón's bronze sculpturesMalecón's bronze sculptures

The oceanside boardwalk in the center of Puerto Vallarta is called the Malecón, home to many whimsical bronze sculptures which, as I watched over the course of a few hours, were amazing in their ability to engage people for play and photos.

dean kjerland

I left town about the same time the news hit about the Riverwalk Arts Quarter, spearheaded by ArtOnWater’s Dean Kjerland, getting funded by the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF).

Dean blogged about it on Northfield.org:

riverwalkartsA group of arts entrepreneurs, supporting organizations and businesses surrounding the downtown riverwalk from 2nd Street to Bridge Square has been awarded a major grant by the McKnight-funded Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF).

The grant was awarded to the founding members of the Riverwalk Arts Quarter and will be used to build a community-wide coalition to engage in what SMIF terms ‘asset-based economic development’ concentrating on the existing assets here in the north end of the downtown including the arts resources and underutilized riverwalk. The organizing members represent an unusual concentration of investments in a dozen facilities plus equipment and staff dedicated partially or fully to serving the visual artist and its patrons.

I’d love to see some Malecón-type whimsical public art on Northfield’s “underutilized riverwalk.” I can imagine thousands of visitors’ photos plastered all over the internet within a few years, providing a free, never-ending viral marketing campaign for downtown Northfield.