Client: City of Bloomington
Location: Bloomington, MN, United States
Completion date: 2021
Artwork budget: $12,000
City of Bloomington
Artist Selection Facilitation & Project Support
This art bench, Kalopsia, is an ode to South Loop District’s natural surroundings, and offers the community a place for rest and contemplation. Taking inspiration from nearby Long Meadow Lake, the artist uses vibrant colors and natural elements to create a distinctive, welcoming, and functional piece of art. Kalopsia is based on the English interpretation of the word, meaning “beautiful sight.” The bench is beautiful to look at as a sculpture itself and provides a place to sit and enjoy a beautiful sight of the surrounding area.
Located in Bloomington, Minnesota next to the entrance of Fiddlehead Coffee Co., a neighborhood café located on the ground floor of a residential complex. This space faces Bloomington Central Station Park and is near the METRO Blue Line light rail and Bloomington Central Station.
Kalopsia is a mosaic bench, about 45” long, 20” wide and 39” tall. It was fabricated with cement over a steel bench armature, reinforced with rebar. Steel netting and fiberglass mesh also reinforces the structure. Cut porcelain tile was used to create intricate mosaic images, secured with thin-set mortar and epoxy grout.
This artwork was part of our Creative Spark program where we requested proposals for creative ideas to activate public spaces in Bloomington's South Loop District. Sculptures selected were intended to bring beauty, delight, interest, and a sense of whimsy to the area and will be enjoyed by South Loop residents, workers, and visitors. The goal of the program was to select sculptures that are engaging, create interest and a more pedestrian-centric environment. They also help drive economic and development advancements by making the area more attractive, welcoming, and dynamic.
The Creative Spark program was developed by Bloomington's Creative Placemaking Commission, a volunteer group of stakeholders who advise the City on creative placemaking initiatives. The call for art was open to artists ages 18 and older from Minnesota. Sculptures could be created for this call, or could be existing. Artists were asked to submit an artist statement, design concept, and requested budget.
All submissions were evaluated, ranked, and selected by a review panel. The panel included residents of the neighborhood, business representatives, artists, and Creative Placemaking Commissioners. Four sculptures were selected. The City’s Creative Placemaking Director then worked with the artists to implement projects.