Created By: Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District
Stone Boats, 1992
Carved Granite Benches
Stanton Sears, Stockholm, WI
Collection City of Minneapolis
Photo: Kurt Moses
"In a grove of birch and oak trees on the east side of Nicollet between 5th and 6th streets sit two curvaceous carved granite benches. Stone Boats by Stanton Sears was his first major sculpture commission in 1992. This work provided a stepping-stone to a career in public art that includes the design of the Minnesota Viet Nam Veteran’s Memorial on the State Capitol grounds in St. Paul and other projects nationwide.
A master stone carver, Sears created the fourteen-foot-long seating sculptures inspired by the simple sensual beauty of forms that have evolved to move easily through water. He points out that boats are a very Minnesota subject, 'we are in the City of Lakes on the Mississippi River in the Land of 10,000 Lakes – where there is higher per-capita ownership of boats that anywhere else in the country.'
While not literally boats, these benches owe much of their elegance to the functional requirements of real boats. However, Sears’ boat forms tend to be distorted; they have a muscular asymmetry that reflects the character of a moving fish blended with a boat form.
There’s also a witty contrast of contradictory materials – boats float and stone doesn’t. As Sears notes, 'the boats are overturned, or sunken, detritus at the bottom of the river – not surprising considering that they are made of Minnesota granite.' "
This point of interest is part of the tour: Nicollet Public Art Tour