This is another view of the Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota. Capturing unique angles as well as the reflection of light on Frank Gehry’s buildings can provide endless possibilities. As the sun went in and out of the clouds the building seemed to change colors and even textures, which you can see several examples of here. From shiny, hard-edged pieces to dull, less reflective bits, it all somehow works together as a cohesive, almost earthly, structure.
The falls were so massive and so far away from where I stood that it was hard to take them in entirely. The Mississippi encompasses such a vast area that it feels like water and bridges is all that exists. The rushing water poured steadily over the falls as the sun fell behind the industrial backdrop and left the blue calm over the area. So many people gather here near sunset that it feels more like a busy city street than an old bridge in the old factory district of Minneapolis. The sound of the falls makes it feel like you’re all alone amongst the crowd.
This well-known sculpture did not disappointment me when I saw it in person. “Spoonbridge and Cherry” by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen is in the beautiful sculpture garden of the Walker Art Museum in Minneapolis. The park is a nice distraction from the nearby city and highways with a great selection of work by mostly modern and contemporary artists. This sculpture is interesting from all sides and it wasn’t as crowded as I expected. One person did try to walk on it (it is called Spoonbridge after all) and a voice appeared from a hidden speaker telling him to get off. We were clearly being watched. After his warning he quickly ran away and I had my opening to take some photos, so thanks, random security voice!
Surprisingly close to downtown Minneapolis is a beautiful park with a roaring crown jewel in Minnehaha Falls. The falls can be viewed from all angles with the main walkway above and a large series of stairs to get to the base. On a sunny Saturday afternoon there were a lot of people enjoying the park, but it still felt somehow secluded. There were a couple of daring teens that took a walk behind the falls; something I would have done on a less crowded day I’m sure. I’ll wait for the one that’s a little harder to get to.
One of the most unusual and interesting places I visited in Minneapolis was the Mill Ruins near Stone Arch Bridge. The old Gold Medal Flour Mill ruins weren’t torn down, but instead incorporated into the design of the new building. I love the way this city celebrates its roots while openly welcoming the future. There are a lot of historic buildings here as well as so many modern ones, with construction underway on even more. This is definitely a forward-looking city and a beautiful one.
The Weisman Museum of Art had a ton of great pieces that kept me busy examining and reading about for a couple of hours. This piece, James Kielkopf’s Untitled, held my attention for quite a while with its ability to trick my eye into thinking it was a 2-dimensional drawing when it’s actually a hanging sculpture. I love the shadows and the way it changes when you walk around it. Some art you don’t expect to grab you so strongly, but those are the best ones. Seeing some paintings by famous artists I’ve enjoyed intellectually, but others just hit me emotionally and creatively, and they’re usually the ones you didn’t see coming.
Minneapolis has a definite feeling of modernity as you pass by buildings with curves, angles, and textures that feel young and fresh like the city itself. The city isn’t afraid to invite new ideas and embrace them. Frank Gehry’s design of the Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota is probably one of my favorite that I’ve seen of his work. Sitting on the river, its sleek metal design seems to be right at home. The curves flow with the water and match the billowing clouds above. Inside there is a great modern art museum as well as classes for the University.
Minneapolis had so many surprises for me– not the least of which was the Mighty Mississippi creating this breathtaking scene at sunset. The sun set slowly and gently as a light, cool breeze blew over the Stone Arch Bridge where I stood. The distant roar of St. Anthony Falls was little more than a whisper, but it was enough to drown out all of my thoughts while I sat in awe at the beauty of this midwest metropolis that I have somehow missed out on for so long. With the day’s last light the city tightened its grip on my heart and made it certain that I will be returning here whenever I get the chance.
While I was walking through the Philadelphia airport I saw a caption on the screen that caught me by surprise. “Same-Sex Marriage Legal in All 50 States.” I was blown away and amazingly excited for everyone that has been denied this fundamental right for so long. As luck would have it I was traveling to Minneapolis, Minnesota, which is a city that supports and celebrates the LGBT community in ways that I didn’t know existed. The Pride festival was also in full swing when I arrived so I got to spend some time wandering about as people celebrated life and love and freedom. Even on the streets far from the festival there would be cars driving by honking horns, waving streamers, and flying the rainbow flag. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there, and this unprecedented decision seemed to have everyone in a great mood! There is still a lot of work to be done, but this deserves celebration. Love wins!