Created By: Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District
Enjoyment of Nature, 1992 (temporarily uninstalled)
Boulders, Wood and Cast Metal Benches, Bronze Branch
Kinji Akagawa, Afton, MN
Collection City of Minneapolis
Photo: Regina M. Flanagan
Enjoyment of Nature by Kinji Akagawa, the sculptural seating ensemble carefully restored and re-sited in the Mississippi Woods, is designed both for humans and our feathered friends! The round granite table-like form includes carved ripples and becomes a bird bath when it rains. Among the scattered boulders is a large one with an indentation that collects water and offers an integrated bronze branch for perching birds. Square seats have sculptural reliefs and textures in bronze and wood that evoke to rivers, lakeshores, a log jam, tatami mats and bamboo.
The artwork contains a message for those who look closely, no matter what language you speak – the words “pebble splash” – in English, German, Norwegian, Swedish, Spanish, Hmong, Laotian, Dakota, Gaelic, Polish and Vietnamese. Dedicated by this Japanese-American artist to the immigrants who created Minneapolis, the work is intended to be site-oriented, but also local and community-specific.
Akagawa, an esteemed educator at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (now retired), inspired generations of young public artists. He says, “Art calls for an engagement in the present. We become interconnected in life when we experience art; we become part of living and realize who we are.”
This point of interest is part of the tour: Nicollet Public Art Tour