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Wander Minnesota: Art On The Lake

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Amy Rea Amy Rea
Amy Rea is a freelance writer and author of Minnesota, Land of 10,000...
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If you hear the phrase, “Sculptures on Lake Bemidji,” you might first think of this classic.

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Paul Bunyan and his faithful companion, Babe the Blue Ox, have graced the shores of Lake Bemidji since 1937. They’re kind of like the ambassadors of Bemidji and the lake.

But there are other sculptures.

In 1999, the Bemidji Community Arts Center brought together a team of volunteers to begin work on the a Bemidji Sculpture Walk, as a way to enhance not only the lakefront area, but the downtown of Bemidji, and give people even more incentive to explore the town on foot.

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

Near Paul and Babe is a lakefront gathering of sculptures that seem to mirror the landscape of lake and trees.

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

A rough path takes you on a short walk around the pond and lakefront sculptures.

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

The sculptures very from contemporary and austere to playful, such as these frolickers in the pond.

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

The original theme of the Sculpture Walk “Minnesota: its people, its diverse culture, its legends, and its natural beauty.” So while Paul and Babe may not match the metal sculptures near them, they certainly have their place here too, as does this Native American:

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

The sculptures continue into downtown, some as charming as a small child sitting on the ground, some more eerie and intriguing.

(credit: Amy Rea)

(credit: Amy Rea)

Whatever reason you have for visiting the Bemidji area—fishing, camping, biking the Paul Bunyan Trail, visiting the Mississippi River headwaters at Itasca State Park, or taking in a show at the state’s longest-running summer repertory theater, the Paul Bunyan Playhouse, be sure to allow some time to wander Bemidji and explore the sculptures.

What else is happening in our state? Be sure to check out the 10 p.m. Sunday night WCCO newscasts, where you can learn more in the weekly segment, Finding Minnesota.

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