Since our Arts Orbit blog was founded two years ago, followed by our Arts Orbit Radar newsletter and ArtsOrbit Twitter account, we’ve illustrated all of them with an image of the Daily Planet logo cradled in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden’s Spoonbridge. I chose that image to represent our arts coverage because the Oldenburg/van Bruggen Spoonbridge and Cherry has become the signature icon of our local arts scene. The Walker Art Center and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board are requesting state funding to repair and renovate the 22-year-old Sculpture Garden, and your voice can make a difference in whether or not that funding is granted.
State funding for the project is contingent on its inclusion in the bonding bill now in legislative conference committee; the bill will likely be sent to Governor Pawlenty this coming week. The Sculpture Garden restoration has been singled out by some lawmakers and citizens as an example of government spending that is particularly unnecessary in tight-belted times; you may agree, or you may believe that $8.5 million is a reasonable price to pay for a much-needed restoration of one of the state’s most visible and beloved public places. Whatever your position on the matter, now is the time to let your representatives know your views. The Walker has created a “Legislative Action Center” for the convenience of its patrons; for more on the bonding bill and the legislators responsible for giving it shape, see Lawrence Schmacher’s Capitol Report.