Art Everyday at the MN Capitol – and a challenge to create art for everyone

I’ve been on a kick to try to check out art every day, which is not to find art in the everyday but to actually pursue structured art in my day by visiting a gallery or checking out some public art. Mostly I post these (aspirationally) daily pictures on Instagram or Twitter. Today I went to the Capitol to check out the art around the building. (I have written about the art in the building; I don’t love all of it of what it stands for or how is can intimidate or put many Minnesotans in a vulnerable position.)

The art outside is different in that it’s more of a scrapbook of snapshots in time because most of it seems to have been created to commemorate something of some people and who and what we celebrate has changed over the years. I just had some random observations. And a Pro Tip: apparently they are giving tours of the inside of the Capitol building again – on the top of every hour. If the weather is good, they go out to The Quadriga (chariot drawn by four horses) in gold near the top of the building. Last time I was up there was with my Grandma – but I am going before they stop of the winter.

Today I was touched by the art that represented the people in helping professions from fire fighters, soldiers (controversial, maybe but many are helpful) and the more modern “Minnesota workers.”

There are a couple of famous people (men) statues – Hubert H. Humphrey and Charles Lindberg. (I have written about the pulling down of the Christopher Columbus statue before so that’s not the reason for art today.)

There are some statues that are more abstract in presentation including the spiral for justice and a fence with the name of famous Minnesota women. I like the idea of it. But I like more the idea of building statutes that show these women as women – in the same way I’d like to see more flattering representation across the board. One way kids can see themselves in different roles is to literally see people who look like themselves in those roles in the day to day people they encounter and the art every day. So all genders, all colors, all abilities…

The thing I wanted to share most was the garden of rocks – one for each of Minnesota’s 87 counties and a quote from a correspondence between someone in that county and a loved one in the armed forces stationed somewhere far away. It’s a reminder of the sacrifice people have made for folks at home.

Finally the ironic shot of the arches leading up to the Capitol and as you look toward downtown you can see a tent of someone experiencing homelessness. It’s heartbreaking and I challenge someone to find a way to create a space for utilitarian art that serves those in need, honors those who have given service and makes us all feel proud about ourselves and our current place in the world as Minnesotans.

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