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New sculptures greet visitors at Red Bridge Park

Paul Albright, an Akeley artist, describes the inspiration for his double-helix, intertwined snake sculpture during Saturday’s tour of the 2019 Sculpture Walk. 1 / 4
Park Rapids sculptor Dakota Brouillette used five metals – cast iron, brass, bronze, copper and steel– for his interactive piece. Guests are invited to view the flowers through the looking glass that also houses a kaleidoscope. It also doubles as a bird bath. 2 / 4
A welder by trade, Tim Cassidy’s titled his steel structure “Stegacrane.” 3 / 4
Patrick Shannon crafted the 10-foot-tall “Rising Sun” with copper and stainless steel. (Photos by Shannon Geisen/Enterprise) 4 / 4

On Saturday, city officials unveiled the eight structures selected for the 2019 Sculpture Trail at Red Bridge Park and downtown Park Rapids.

Paul Dove, chair of the Park Rapids Arts and Culture Commission, said, "The Sculpture Trail has become a possibility because we had a wouldn't-it-be-fun moment, and we also had the people behind it say, 'Yes, let's do it.' I think it's something the city can be proud of."

Six unique sculptures adorn the Heartland Trail as it meanders through Red Bridge Park. They are in addition to the "Tube Dude" by Scott Gerber, installed in 2015. Another two sculptures are located at 2nd Street and Main Avenue. All will remain in place for one year. All were created by northern Minnesota artists.

This year's guest sculptors are Paul Albright from Akeley, Al Belleveau from Puposky, Dakota Brouillette from Park Rapids, Tim Cassidy from New York Mills, Mark V. Hall of Kasota, Patrick Shannon from Vergas and Simon Zornes from Zerkel.

"It's a nice variety of sculptures that we have," Dove said.

Noting this is the second year of the Red Bridge Park Sculpture Trail, Mayor Ryan Leckner thanked the arts and culture commission, saying they've "become an important economic drive in Park Rapids for the past few years. . .On behalf of the city council, I'd like to show our full support for this."

Funding was provided by CHI St. Joseph's Health, Heartland Arts, Lyle's Shoes, Northwoods Bank, Park Rapids Downtown Business Association, Park Rapids Rotary Club, Thelen Excavating and Septic and Thielen Motors. The Park Rapids Parks Board paid for cement pads for each sculpture.

Park Rapids City Planner Andrew Mack said Minnesota Power will be installing motion-activated solar lights to illuminate each sculpture.

"It is a group effort. Building a community is not a spectator sport," Dove said.

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