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.”


  1. Griff Wigley said:

    Kudos to the RAQ. A project like this has a lot ups and downs/ins and outs to manage.

    July 6, 2010
  2. David Koenig said:

    I realize that this is a faux news posting, but since I am bringing up old ideas I had (see downtown parking discussion), I thought I’d throw in another one related to this posting for comment.

    Northfield has a rich history, including rich historical characters like John and Anne North, William and Susan Willis Carleton, Berndt Julius Muus, Charles Goodsell, Joseph Lee Heywood, the governors with local connections…I am sure we could expand this list greatly.

    My vision was that each would be honored with a bronze statue in town, at a location appropriate to their connection/service to Northfield, all connected by a walking trail (or historical walking guide) that would allow people to come to Northfield and experience some of our history by foot.

    John and Ann North’s statue might grace Bridge Square. Joseph Lee Heywood’s statue might be at the entrance to the Northfield Cemetery or downtown by the bank, Berndt Julius Muus would be at the foot of Old Main at St. Olaf, etc.

    It’s a big project and one not necessarily for these economic times, but if you consider such a vision (maybe someone already has at the Northfield Historical Society) you could begin to align artists and corporate support to build it out.

    Imagine this in combination with the fine cataloging of sculptures (and fine additions being planned) by ArtOrg and our town could feature an historic sculpture garden that would benefit both modern commerce while honoring our local history.

    July 6, 2010
  3. Kathie Galotti said:


    Fine, but I vote we exclude the um beaver sculpture. Ew.

    July 6, 2010
  4. Arlen Malecha said:

    David, I too have a vision similar to yours although mine was honoring more modern Northfield citizens who have been staples of the community. A statue of Maggie Lee outside the Northfield News office, Ed Klinkhammer outside the bakery looking across the street at his long-time pal Bob Jacobson, Orv & Jean Perman down on Division St., etc. It would be Northfield’s walk-of-fame.

    I contacted the Arts Guild once to see if they would be interested in spearheading this endeavor but alas, it was not to be.

    But I do think it is an awesome idea!

    July 7, 2010
  5. What about some “historical” plaques downtown… perhaps one at the former Jacobsons site? I love the Walk of Fame idea.

    We could start small, perhaps as a walking tour brochure, and grow from there? LOW Cost, printing only… and build upon it.

    Who could help implement this? NDDC?

    July 7, 2010
  6. All I get is from this whimsy is confused.

    July 8, 2010
  7. David Koenig said:

    Griff, care to open a new post on Northfield Historical Sculptures / Walk of Fame? Feel free to move my post over there and related comments. Maybe we could come up with something around which to rally multiple groups.

    BTW, I tried to post the link to the ArtOrg inventory sculptures before, but it didn’t take. The URL is

    July 8, 2010
  8. David Koenig said:

    Thanks, Griff!

    July 8, 2010

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