Friday, July 03, 2009

Cannon Falls I: Anderson Center

Eryn and I went bicycling in Cannon Falls yesterday, among many other things. We hit Little Oscar's on the way to Welch for breakfast, then pedaled toward Red Wing and back from Welch, indulging in picking wild raspberries by the Bald Eagle area (Eryn won't eat raspberries from the store, but she loved picking a few wild ones to eat), and finally, after many rides in Cannon Falls, following one of the trailside signs that indicated there was an attraction nearby.

We were dubious, because there was a little clearing with a bicycle rack, and then a hike into the woods that led up this big series of steps. On our way out much later, a jogger saw us coming out of the woods and doubled back to see what was so interesting. I warned her about the steps, but jogging was working for her (she was 3 miles from the nearest trail entrance I knew of, and she looked good in her jogging outfit - not one of those rail thin joggers), and she thanked us and took off up the steps. Eryn was surprised anyone was willing to jog up stairs that required several rest stops on her part.

At the top, we found Anderson Center, a sculpture garden, as advertised. But it wasn't just a few sculptures nestled away in the woods by some crazy guy, which is what I was expecting. Instead there was a huge field with a variety of species of trees and a whole series of sculptures. Eryn was particularly happy to find the sculptures after our climb to the top of the river bluff as she has almost as much of a thing for sculpture gardens as I do.

The Anderson Center is an artist retreat and display area near Red Wing. This is the complex. The tower is called Tower View. I recommend the history page for the center, which states that Alexander Pierce Anderson is famous as the inventor of puffed rice, "The Anderson Puffed Rice Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Quaker Oats, was set up in 1901 and continued until 1941. Alex worked from a laboratory in Chicago and puffed rice was introduced publicly in 1904 at the St. Louis World's Fair. "

I don't know why there's a giant rubba duck on a trailer. It must be for artistic purposes yet to be enacted.

Jaime Barber's Snark Tank. I think it should be called Viagra Spider. It reminds me of the Maman Giant Spider sculpture at the Tate.

Andrew MacGuffie's "When It Rains". I'm not sure I get it, but Eryn thought it was cool you could see up inside it. She was pretty sure the piece overhead was a bird. I think it catches rain and then rains on the sculpture separately.

Zoran Mojsilov's "Moby Dick". This was neat to see, because Eryn and I had been talking about Moby Dick a few times recently, so she knew it was supposed to be a whale from a book. However, I don't think she made the connection between the weasel in Ice Age 3 and Moby Dick today, so it hasn't been a perfect education.

My Bilbao by Andrew MacGuffie. Bilbao is a city in Basque Spain, so I'm not sure what that has to do with this sculpture. I thought for a moment he meant billabong, as in a small lake, and that it was a metaphor for a place to get away. But obviously not. Bilbao is known for giant flower dogs and, hey!, the Guggenheim Spider. I sense a theme.

The GREAT A'TUIN, cheyls galactica! He carries all of Discworld on his back! What the f*** happened to the elephants? The statue's actual title is "Keya Tanka Lucie", which has no hits on Google, so I don't know what it means.

Michael Bigger's Honda Blue. Only amusing because I'm currently working with a server called Honda at work. Now I will picture this statue every time I have to work with it. If I had physical access, I'd put a picture of the sculpture on the side of it.

Eryn near Sam Spiczka's "Birth of a Martyr". An interesting piece. I'm not even sure it needed the base, but it does add to it.

It's much more photogenic close up.

Untitled by John Turula and Russ Vogt. Eryn and I had this conversation.
Eryn: "What's it called?"
Me: "It doesn't have a name, it's untitled."
Eryn: "But that's a name."
You know where it goes from there. I was a little worried she was yanking my chain just to have some fun. It's not like that behavior has been thoroughly role modeled.

A close up of Untitled. The pink ceramic pieces looked like two hands on opposite ends of an arm covered in blood. I'm not sure if that was the intent, but it drew both Eryn's and my's attention.

This sun dial had a plaque that talked about the solar system nearby and how far apart things were. I wasn't entirely sure why. Later, on the trip back to Welch, Eryn and I found a stone on the side of the trail (so about 7 miles from this sun dial) that said "Neptune". I suspect there are stones about as far away as the planets should be from this sun dial if it were the solar system, but I can't find verification of the fact on line.

Standing Time by James Borden. This sculpture is kinetic. If you push that weight it will make everything slowly start to turn. Eryn's cup of tea.

And pretty when viewed as a looming tower.

This sculpture was supposed to make you feel the pressure of the walls.

"A Chair for Copernicus" by Andrew MacGuffie. I felt it was good karma to put Eryn in a chair meant for Copernicus. Because of his brains, not because of his treatment by the Catholic church.

Eryn sitting on Peter Lundberg's Kamas. Which is a town in Utah, or a set of pointy martial arts weapons.

From further afield, in case you want to see the whole thing.

And one more. This was before we started taking pictures of the nameplates so we could identify the sculpture in our digital pictures which, as far as I'm concerned, is one of the greatest benefits of a digital camera. Eryn looks happy, but she was annoyed with the deerflies. They kept dive bombing us, only to lose acquisition when we walked through trees. If they were Gold Five Squadron and we were the Death Star, they'd have failed miserably.

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