Artistic Landscapes

Outside of the walls of a favorite museum, sculpture is certainly best enjoyed in a well-manicured garden. A new addition to Minnesota’s favorite gardens is sure to delight art lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum will unveil its latest addition to the public next weekend, August 24 and 25: The Harrison Sculpture Collection. This new sculpture garden will include 22 works (with three more to arrive in the future) of internationally renowned artists such as Paul Granlund, George Rickey, and Barbara Hepworth.

Epidorous II by barbara hepworth

For those unfamiliar with the Arboretum, the University of Minnesota operated facility includes more than 1,100 acres of natural landscapes, plant collections and truly one-of-a-kind gardens—32 of them to be precise. From wetlands to prairies to woodlands, the Arboretum landscapes have become one of the nation’s most unique horticultural field labs in the country over its 50-year history.

The new sculpture is the product of philanthropists Alfred Harrison and Ingrid Lenz Harrison of Wayzata and their lifelong collecting of works from around the world, including Italy, England, and Zimbabwe. “My wife Ingrid and I have been fortunate over the years to build up an outdoor sculpture collection of globally renowned sculptors,” said Alfred Harrison in a prepared press release announcing the new addition. “Now in our retirement years, we gave considerable thought as to where to donate our treasures. The Arboretum provides a truly wonderful setting and we are thrilled that so many visitors will now be able to share our enjoyment. Our lives in Minnesota have been rich in many ways, so this is a kind of thank you.”

Once the Harrison Sculpture Collection officially opens to the public, visitors will be able to take part in curator-led tours, family art activities, painting demos, and music on site. The gift builds upon the Arboretum’s existing collection of 36 other sculptures located throughout the venue’s gardens and wooded areas, giving visitors the opportunity to view a remarkable collection of artwork.

Mu Daiko, Photo by Michal daniel

For another encounter with remarkable works of outdoor art, make a day trip this weekend to the Franconia Sculpture Park located near Taylors Falls, just 35 miles northwest of the Twin Cities. Franconia Sculpture Park is a unique community arts organization that provides residence and workspace for sculptors from around the world. Its 20-acre sculpture park, free and open every day of the year, provides space for a rotating collection of nearly 100 contemporary sculptures.

On Saturday, August 17, the park will be adding a bit of music to its artistic offerings with the World Music Festival, complete with a dance floor. The daylong lineup includes a mixture of world ensembles and styles—from Brazilian jazz, to Cuban pop and salsa, to traditional Japanese Taiko drumming. Twin Cities bands The Chalice and L’Assassins are also on the bill. The 2013 Music@Franconia series will conclude with a Jazz Festival on Saturday, September 14.

If you want to go, here are the details:

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
3675 Arboretum Drive, Chaska
Open every day, except Thanksgiving and Christmas
Current Grounds Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. or sunset.
Admission: $12 for adults age 13 and older
From April through October, admission is free on the third Thursday of the month after 4:30 p.m.

Franconia Sculpture Park
29836 St. Croix Trail, Franconia
World Music Festival
August 17, Free Outdoor Concert
Guided exhibition tours and parking, $5