Godzilla conquered Mankato, at least he did in 2015 and if you haven’t seen him stalking town it’s because you haven’t driven over the bridge that connects Mankato and lower North Mankato. There he is for all of us to enjoy after being named “popular choice” by those who took the City Art Walking Sculpture Tour in 2015.
There are a lot of reasons to love living in the Greater Mankato area and this is one of mine. The Walking Sculpture Tour has been an integral part of downtown since 2011 but has been a summer “bucket list” item for my family since my husband and I discovered them on a date in 2013. Now we take our children on a tour every year and it’s something that everyone in the family can enjoy.
The 27 sculptures this year explore the abstract and the literal. They are playful like the “Big Shoes To Fill” or help us to learn about the plight of mothers in other countries as “African Pieta.” The tour features sculptures from artists across our nation but it even features some from local students. You can enjoy just walking between art or you can use your phone to make it an audible walking tour and learn even more about the artist, the process, and how the sculptures came to be.
The best part of the tour is the ability to be a part of picking the piece of art that will become a permanent part of our great city. Last year, my favorite “Maestro” took first place. This year’s favorite is still TBD but you and your family can take part by voting for your favorite. These favorites are displayed around town. You’ve probably even seen a few around town, including 2011’s winner “Reading Magic” which was permanently displayed at the library. Our town even sports sculptures that were not voted “favorite” but were liked and purchased by private donors and cooperations, including a bull my kids loved near Pub 500. Or the boy hockey player which is permanently displayed outside the Verizon Center.
I am proud to be a part of a community which supports art and is making our community a little prettier and more interesting at the same time. And although summer fun is unfortunately coming to an end it doesn’t mean that you and your family need to quit all fun altogether. Luckily some of the fun yet to be had is right outside your back door. All you need to do is go for a walk!
For more information about this great yearly event visit: www.cityartmankato.com