Since 1998, Public Art Saint Paul has produced a sculpture exhibition in Western Park, in the midst of a densely populated neighborhood just west of the Minnesota State Capitol. The Park’s name was officially changed to Western Sculpture Park in 2015 to honor and acknowledge Public Art Saint Paul’s 17-year commitment to arts programming and to affirm this as the City of Saint Paul’s sculpture park.
Invited by the Fuller Aurora Association to bring art into the heart of the neighborhood, Public Art Saint Paul worked with Saint Paul Parks and Recreation to design the park to accommodate installation of large-scale works. The neighborhood is home to one of the most diverse populations in the Twin Cities, part of the historic Rondo Neighborhood and in recent decades a welcoming gateway to new immigrants. Western Sculpture Park has been a transformational force that has improved neighborhood conditions overall.
Curated by in collaboration with John Hock, executive director of Franconia Sculpture Park, the exhibition of 15 sculptures is centered by the 66-foot Grace à Toi by internationally renowned sculptor Mark di Suvero – who was awarded the National Medal of the Arts by President Obama in 2010 – the exhibition features work by artists from throughout the United States. Max Rabitat by Mary Johnson expresses a whimsical welcome to visitors at the Park’s Marion Street border.