Client: City of Fergus Falls
Location: Fergus Falls, MN, United States
Completion date: 2015
Artwork budget: $42,000
Public Art Agent
City of Fergus Falls
The City of Fergus Falls needed a sculpture for the new roundabout at the entrance to the city. It had to be tall (Freedom is 22' high with a 4' x 4' footprint), to be seen from a distance; safe (unclimbable); best seen from cars and thus not tempting to go up close to. They wanted imagery relevant to the place and imagery that was positive. The work had to be durable and safe from extreme weather (50 mph winds and very harsh temperatures are common there).
The goal was to provide a "gateway" to the community and region: a lovely landscape between glaciated and driftless lands, with numerous small lakes and ponds, and many farms. The project's triggering image was that of the tractors in the fields, followed by clouds of seagulls: this happens in the region.
Gordon Hydukovich, the city planner, was the point person for the project, and he conveyed the desires of the committee to me. We worked well together through several iterations of the design to come up with one that satisfied all the parameters.
The resulting 22' x 4' x 4' steel tower, containing the stainless steel arch populated by birds, is painted in Imron catalyzed paint. The arching silver form reaching out of the tower seems to turn as you drive around the roundabout, so the driver's eye rises and finally emerges from the tower with the cloud of birds.