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

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.


  1. This is what I am talking about! Good going, Griff and Robbie!

    September 27, 2008
  2. Oh, and I had been looking for a place to post this poem I wrote when we first moved to Northfield and a contest called for a Cannon River poem. I entered it with this funny little ditty. The winner was not me, but a woman whose family had live on the river for decades and who had many fond memories of her childhood there upon. I forgot her name but the folks at River City Books might have it in their files. Anyway, my intent was to have the poem read slowly at first, then slightly faster at the second stanza and then very fast at the last, to mimmic the different rates of water movement as level rise…and because it was so much fun trying to do it that way.

    The Cannon River-Every Ounce Counts
    a poem by Bright Spencer 🙂

    It’s not too syrupy
    we cannot bounce on it.
    It changes a lot when
    the geese all pounce upon it.

    It’s kinda like a skirt
    when you look from the sky,
    like the land has a pretty
    flounce all around it.

    Though it’s really just a stream
    We cannot renounce the steam
    It’s purely water to keep clean
    So many may announce ’bout it.

    September 27, 2008

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