city pages: best public art

Best Public Art. Landmark: 24 Hours @ The Stone Arch Bridge
by Camille LeFevre

Given the clear skies and balmy breezes last August 27, the Stone Arch Bridge would’ve been packed to the viewfinders even without Landmark - exactly as Local Strategy intended. The interdisciplinary art ensemble’s six members designed their 24-hour celebration of our loveliest pedestrian thoroughfare to enhance its setting, rather than to overwhelm it. They succeeded in every respect, including audience composition. Sure, lots of people turned out specifically for the event’s music, dance, performance art, props, installations, and sundry other free attractions. But art lovers tended to blend into the usual throng of bikers, joggers, and strollers, just as the latter joined the former once they figured out they were in the midst of something extraordinary. Distinguishing between the marathon’s countless micro-happenings and everyday life above and around the river was all but impossible, too. Was the kid doing skateboard tricks at noon part of the show? What about the pair of young women in vintage prom dresses, running along the railing at 2:00 am? Might instigators Lisa D’Amour, Eleanor Savage, Katie Pearl, Emily Johnson, Krista Walsh, and Jowl Pickard have conned the bunnies that frolicked brazenly at the bridge’s east entrance into joining their battalion of volunteers? Who cares? That the group blurred the boundary between life and art so completely was the payoff. Nobody who hung out, even for just a while, will ever forget thatLandmark’s grandest components - the downtown skyline, Hennepin Bluffs Park, the Mississippi, the bridge itself - are all here for us to enjoy every day of the year.