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Donate Minneapolis art hunt: Find octopus works in public parks


The Hunt
William Hessian, a Minneapolis artist, is challenging his favorite city in the world to find his artwork! The announcement to bring his art hunt to Minneapolis came only two weeks after completing six art hunts across the United States; a series of events which were part of his summer-long “Art as Treasure” tour. Successful community art hunts were completed in Salt Lake City, Utah; Costa Mesa, Calif.; and Portland, Ore., to name a few.

On Friday, Oct. 17, the challenge for Minnesotans will be to find one of 35 miniature artworks, hidden in plain sight, in the public parks in Minneapolis. Each artwork is an original hand-drawn and -painted Octopus by William Hessian. See more pictures of the art and watch an informative video at

Why an octopus? And why 35?
William explains that the 35 hidden artworks serve as a tribute to the victims of the 35W bridge collapse, and is timed to act also as a celebration of the bridge’s recent reopening. As a Minneapolitan, himself, William was greatly effected by tragedy, and the “October Octopus” was chosen to represent Minneapolis in this art hunt because, “when an Octopus loses an arm in a conflict, its arm grows back bigger and stronger than before. Minneapolis is like the Octopus in that way: when a bridge falls down, it is going to be back bigger and better than before” Hessian said.

Finding the Art
The tiny treasures are small — really, really small. Measuring only 2 inches by 2 inches, the artworks are not much bigger than a common quarter and will be easily overlooked by many unknowing park-goers. However, the artwork is hidden in plain sight and a series of visual photo clues will be published on William’s website. William says, “At 2 p.m. on Friday 17th, 2008 10 to 20 very obscure photographs will be updated on the website. The photographs will feature the artwork in their hidden locations.” The winners keep the art they find and have the chance to win one of the additional small prizes donated by local businesses. The goal of the art hunt is to provide original artwork for those who want it most, as opposed to only those who can afford it.

Funding and Sponsorship
Currently, local businesses have stepped up to sponsor individual artworks, and award gift certificate prizes to the winners. Sponsors include: galleries like Altered Esthetics and Argente Photography, restaurants like Uptown Diner, Broders, and the Loring Pasta Bar. You can read about other art hunts the artist has presented around the country here: The Salt Lake Tribune and Portland’s KATU.

To see visual clues and to find more information about the Minneapolis art hunt and other art hunts visit:

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