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Arboretum sports new sculpture; Cantus offers ‘Unrequited’ at several venues

ALSO: Third Thursday: Bike Night at Mia; National Puppetry Festival; “Being Black” discussion at the Hennepin History Museum; and more.

“Clarencetown Light”
“Clarencetown Light” was installed on July 10 in front of the Arboretum’s Oswald Visitor Center.
Courtesy of the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

Not long ago, the new sculpture now on display at the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum was a pile of chipped aluminum bars lying by the side of a garage, covered in snow.

American artist John Raymond Henry’s “Clarencetown Light” followed a long and winding road to arrive at its new – and final – home in Chaska. As reported by Mark W. Olson, editor of the Chanhassen Villager, the sculpture was created in 1971, early in the artist’s career, then traded to Minnesota businessman John Wilke for a commercial band saw. The sculpture made its way to White Bear Lake businessman Dave Carlson and was installed in front of a commercial real estate building, where it stayed until that building was sold.

“Clarencetown Light” was disassembled and eventually ended up in the yard of Carlson’s mother, Nora Carlson, a longtime fan of the Arboretum. Dave Carlson offered it to the Arboretum, and curator Wendy DePaolis was happy to accept. The sculpture was in poor condition and needed work. Through the Arboretum’s “Adopt a Sculpture” $25,000 endowment program, Arboretum trustee Linda Cutler and her husband, Dave Cutler, had it restored with technical assistance from Henry.

The sculpture was installed on July 10 in front of the Arboretum’s Oswald Visitor Center. At 18 feet long and 9 feet high, repainted its original “Rinker Red,” it’s hard to miss. It will remain there for two years, then be moved to another spot on the Arboretum’s extensive grounds.

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The appraisal isn’t in yet, but based on sales of the artist’s recent work, “Clarencetown Light” could be worth as much as $400,000.

John Raymond Henry was born in Lexington, Kentucky, in 1943 and attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He was a founding member of the artist-owned gallery ConStruct, which promoted and organized large-scale sculpture exhibitions throughout the United States. Other founding members included Mark di Suvero, whose “Molecule” was formerly at the Walker’s Sculpture Garden and is now in Gold Medal Park.

Henry’s sculptures, which range in size from small scale to monumental, are in many public and private collections, museums and cities across the U.S., Europe and Asia. He continues to work at his studio in Chattanooga.

The Arboretum has a large collection of sculptures by American and international artists. They are found throughout the grounds and in their Sculpture Garden, a 23-piece collection given to the Arboretum in 2013 by Alfred and Ingrid Lenz Harrison.

In April 2015, “South Wind,” a 42″ bronze sculpture by Minnesota artist Paul Granlund, was stolen from the Arboretum’s grounds. It has not been recovered, but it was replaced in November of that year. Granlund had made 10 castings, and the Arboretum purchased the first casting from Granlund’s family.

More Sidewalk Poetry in St. Paul

Maybe you’ve been walking down a sidewalk in St. Paul – on Laurel Avenue in Cathedral Hill, or Lafond in West Frogtown, or St. Paul Avenue in Highland, or one of many others – when you’ve looked down to see a poem at your feet. Unless you were in a huge hurry, you’ve stopped to read it. And a poem has become part of your day.

Since 2008, more than 1,000 sidewalk panels all over the city have been stamped with poems from a collection of 54 written by St. Paul residents. Nine new poems have just been added to the collection, including, for the first time, poems in Spanish, Hmong, and English and Dakota.

These were the winners of a contest that was curated by poets Tish Jones and Saymoukda Daungphouxay Vongsay with a jury of six more poets, who chose them from among more than 600 submissions. Each winner received a $100 honorarium. The poems will begin appearing on sidewalks as part of the city’s annual sidewalk maintenance program. (You can read them here.) This year, 10 miles of sidewalk panels will be replaced.

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A project of Public Art St. Paul and the City of St. Paul, with support from Legacy funds and foundations including the McKnight, Sidewalk Poetry originated in 2008 with Marcus Young, who was then a City Artist with Public Art St. Paul. We’d love to see this idea cross over into Minneapolis. With all the new construction going on in city neighborhoods, there are plenty of fresh sidewalk panels available. Also lots of poets.

The picks

Now at the Rarig Center (mostly): National Puppetry Festival. More than 400 professional puppet artists will be in Minneapolis for this weeklong festival of all kinds of puppets: marionettes, rod puppets, shadow puppets, glow-in-the-dark puppets, foam animals and more. Two dozen ticketed performances will be open to the public, most at the Rarig Center on the U of M’s West Bank. Oscar the Grouch’s girlfriend Grundgetta will be on hand (the hand of puppeteer Pam Arciero). Heather Henson, Jim Henson’s daughter, will be here with IBEX Puppetry. For grownups, there’s a live recording of the “Under the Puppet” podcast hosted by Grant Baciocco with special guest Trace Beaulieu, the original Crow T. Robot on “Mystery Science Theatre 3000.” Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey has proclaimed Sunday, July 20, Puppets + Community Day. It will be a mostly free, all-ages event with workshops and live puppet performances. Here’s the schedule for that. Here are all the public performances, with links to tickets ($15/$20 adult-child pair for family audience shows only).

Kevin Kammeraard
Courtesy of the artist
Kevin Kammeraard, above in puppet form, will lead “Making Things Out of Stuff,” an imaginative drop-in puppet-building workshop where participants will use recycled materials.
Tonight (Tuesday, July 16) through Friday: Cantus: “Unrequited.” Looking ahead to its 25th anniversary season, the men’s vocal ensemble is on fire. After June’s annual “Covers” pops concert – this year featuring Joni Mitchell’s “Blue” – Cantus gave a TownTalks performance last Thursday at Westminster Hall, then sang two concerts Sunday at Lakewood Memorial Chapel. Tonight begins the third installment of its summer chamber music series, which also includes solos and duets. Described as “a journey of finding love, losing it, and moving on,” “Unrequited” features Robert Schumann’s most famous song cycle, “Dichterliebe” (A Poet’s Love), along with songs by Joni Mitchell, Stephen Sondheim and Feist. 7 p.m. tonight at Landmark Center (a courtroom concert), 7 p.m. Wednesday at the American Swedish Institute, 7 p.m. Thursday at The Museum of Russian Art and 11 a.m. Friday at Westminster Hall. FMI and tickets ($32/10).

Wednesday at the Film Society’s St. Anthony Main Theatre: Lumières Françaises: “Two Timid Souls” (Les deux timides). Part of the MSP Film Society’s French film festival, this is also the launch of Syncopated Silents, a new nonprofit that plans to bring more silent films to the Twin Cities. With a boost from an MRAC grant, Syncopated Silents has already booked three shows. The screening of René Clair’s strange comedy – about an attorney who does a terrible job of getting his client off on assault charges, then later falls in love with the woman the brute is engaged to – will include live music by Katie Condon. 7:15 p.m. FMI and tickets ($11/9/6).

Bike through Mia’s doors this Thursday.
Courtesy Mia
Bike through Mia’s doors this Thursday.
Thursday at Mia: Third Thursday: Bike Night. The one where you get to ride your bike through Mia’s doors, which is reason enough to go, even without the live music, chance to connect with the arts-loving Twin Cities biking community, photo booth, bike safety refresher, hands-on art-making and bike gear displays. 6-9 p.m. Free.

Thursday at the Hennepin History Museum: “Being Black” at “Being Human: Stories from Humans of Minneapolis.” The Hennepin History Museum, in case you don’t know, is just up the street from Mia. Or we might say that Mia is just down the street from the Hennepin History Museum. “Being Human” opened in June and runs through the start of January. This is a curated collection of photographs and interviews from Stephanie Glaros’ “Humans of Minneapolis” project, a way to break down social barriers, encourage empathy and build community. Along with the exhibit, the History Museum is hosting a series of panel discussions, each with a panel of people who were part of the “Being Human” project. All will be moderated by Glaros. Tonight from 5-7 p.m.: “Being Black.” Coming up: “Being Veteran” (Saturday, Aug. 10, 2-4 p.m.), “Being Somali” (Thursday, Sept. 19, 5-7 p.m.), “Being LGBTQ” (Saturday, Oct. 12, 2-4 p.m.) Adults $8, seniors and students $5, 6 and under (and members) free. The building is not fully accessible and requires climbing stairs.