Found Baboons

Since this is a baboon themed blog, it is always appropriate to pass along word of a found baboon. I located this one in Minneapolis, at the X,Y and Z art gallery at 3258 Minnehaha Avenue.

I THINK it’s a baboon. Or is it a rabbit? A Raboon? A Babbit? This is from an exhibit called “When Trust Is The New Money” by an art collaborative called Broken Crow. John Grider and Mike Fitzsimmons say on their website that they are trying, through large scale stencil murals, to reintroduce wild animals into the urban habitat.

Welcome back to the city, baboons! It seems like you never left. The walls at X,Y and Z are covered with this outdoor work brought inside. It also includes, among other things, a man with a chain saw, flying saucers and a bear in a dumpster.

The gallery, by the way, serves as the entrance to the Trylon Microcinema, a 50 seat theater with real 35 millimeter projectors and genuine bouncy-backed movie theater seats, showing a wide assortment of films that are brainy, exotic, classic and just plain fun. This month they’re screening Charlie Chaplin films. This weekend’s offering includes “The Circus” from 1928, which was, you may recall, the film at whose Hollywood premiere the newsreel camera caught that time traveler talking on her cellphone!

Whew! So many connections.

Name or describe a favorite piece of outdoor public art.

60 thoughts on “Found Baboons”

  1. isnt it fun to discover that other peopele are dong stuff they love and putting it out there for us to see. what a great idea both the art and the theater. i used to belong to film clubs just like this in the 70’s and the idea was that you would just trust the company to do their thing and you would show up every week and wear your piper film club button and be allowed in for 2.00 or something like that. i thought about it jus tthe otehr day, it was a wonderful to spend my friday nights for about 4 or 5 years.
    my favorite outdoor art is most likely at the sculpture garden but as i thought about it i wendt form the cherry by klaus oldenbeg to the fish by frank gehry to the henry moore who is likely my favorite guy fo making sculpture. they have two there. then i think about the picasso in chicago which i love and the caldor piece in chicago and then the unknown and unseen art that is just around the corner everywhere. you can never go wrong doing those murals on the sides of buildings and placing sculpture in every nook and cranny it can be placed. i thought once about putting on an art showplace where there was a spot for the installation to go and you would simply switch it out every 3 months or so to give people a chance to see something new and allow the artists to get some exposure. i was in a high profile location at that time. if i did that today it would be on my front yard for me and my 8 neighbors to see and i am not sure they would care too much and im not sure id care if they cared.
    off to my 4th graders 1st basketball tournament this weekend. her team smoked the other guys last night and are hoping to do more of the same today. ill check in when i get back.
    have a good weekend

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  2. I delight in running across the random bits of poetry in St Paul’s sidewalks. Not all of it is great or meaningful, but it has the unexpected quality of a message in a bottle which I find uplifting in and of itself.

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    1. This got me thinking about chalk drawings on the sidewalk. Didn’t think of it when I was first reading about poetry in the sidewalks (though I love that) – but I enjoy being in a neighborhood with kids who draw on the sidewalks. Spring and summer walks with the dog are a great time to happen upon the exuberance of youth captured in pastel. A bit of fresh, untamed, ephemeral art for all to enjoy – or at least all who are willing to notice it.

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  3. I’m a fan of the big bronze bunny on Minnehaha Parkway. He (she?) is near where Portland Ave. crosses the creek. A friend and I dubbed her (him?) Rover. What I love about the bunny is that on any given day when you drive by people will stop to rest by the bunny, kids climb on and slide down the bunny, when people are at the bunny they talk with strangers who are there, sometimes the bunny is even seasonally dressed. It’s not just a piece of art, the bunny is part of the community. It’s a good biking distance from our house for a six-year-old, so it is often a destination when Daughter and I go out riding – we’ll stop for a snack, or to make a clover chain for the bunny, and then ride back.

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    1. Anna: I have a better photo of you than the alternate one in your file (but not better than the one you use). If you want a copy, send an email to me and I’ll return it with the image attached.

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  4. On a nook on the sidewalk on St.Paul St. in the old port in Montreal there is a medium bronze about three feet high and 5 feet long portraying three stout, gossiping matrons who are surely recounting to one another the disappointments and transgressions of their children and husbands. They hold teacups and are just adorable. We don’t have much public art out here in the western Dakotas, unless you count Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse monument.

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  5. My favorite “outdoor art” was a very ancient, craggy, overgrown elm tree right in the middle of the backyard of my home of thirty years. This tree became my children’s best friend for twenty of those years, especially my youngest & most precocious son, Steve. The old elm invited him to build elaborate tree houses, provided a quick escape from his less courageous siblings, and offered a perfect array of branches for all sorts of tree swings over the years. One in particular was Steve’s prize. We had to replace our garage door, so he fashioned a gigantic Johnny Jump Up out of the industrial strength steel springs. He built a fanny sling out of an old tire, fastened it to the huge springs, then scramble up the tree to secure them to a branch 20 feet from the ground. He and his teen aged friends spent hours springing around the yard! They could spring about 10 feet up and 20 feet beyond any starting point. It was a major attraction for a couple of weeks until one fateful day when one of the springs split at the top and cut his best friend’s head open.

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    1. Oooh, I was just going to ask how we could duplicate this, sounds so much fun, but after that last sentence… hope the friend was ok.

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    1. That is lovely. Reminds me of the woman across from the Governor’s Mansion here in St Paul (I think her name is Jane). Come winter, she dons a red crocheted shawl, which always makes ME feel warmer!

      Nice to see you again, thrykas!

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    2. great piece, reminds me of the george segal peices in the walker collection. one outdoors and at least one of a bar scene indoors

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  6. Hi Booners:

    I’m sitting here in Phoenix — it’s about 70* I think. We are visiting family and grandchildren. The dirty air here gives my allergies fits, but otherwise it is beautiful for now. I read some of yesterday’s commentary–you were all in rare form! Tony Sutton will take on symbolism of all that is wrong with the world as a Trail Baboon views things. Made me laugh.

    I’ll check in again.

    Jacque

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    1. Forgot to say my favorite outdoor art is Picasso’s Chicago statue: horse, lion, four-legged being of some sort. I first saw it at age 10 and never got over it.

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  7. I don’t think there is a better public sculpture in the Twin Cities than Anna’s rabbit. It invites kids to scramble up on it and is funny to see. On the Saint Thomas campus there is a statue of two alums, an older man and his wife, that I smile to see because they not only are posed close to each other but he has his hand on her shoulder. No worries about public displays of affection with those two. And then there is that graceful nude girl in the pool of the Conservatory’s Sunken Garden room. She is putting a toe in the water, wearing nothing more than a pretty smile. What can I say? I’m a guy. I love looking at her.

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    1. that was the piece that was in fornt of the famous charlies restraunt in minneapolis until its demise in about 69 if i’m not mistaken. maybe its only the same artist but a great piece just the same.

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  8. Afternoon all! Just got home from WAY TOO MANY errands.

    I’ve always been a big Alexander Calder fan. I even have a Calder knock-off hanging over my piano. I think that my favorite is “Flying Dragon”, which is located in Chicago. The combination of Calder w/ dragons (fantasy and sci-fi fan) is just right for me!

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    1. yep sherrill and jacque, those are the picasso and calder pieces i mentioned. love em.
      i think calder inspires knock offs. its so easy and so wonderful to make his peces, his mobiles, even his furniture out of champaigne cork wire skeletons. i loved his brain.

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      1. tim – when you have a name like mine, mispelling is a part of life. as long as you’ve got at least one “l”, then I know you were trying!

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  9. There are no sculptures here in Waterville, unless of course you count Barney the Bullhead, who is actually a go-cart.

    I guess my favorite sculpture is in Faribault. It’s a lost bronze created by woodcarver Ivan Whillock. It depicts Alexander Faribault trading a blanket with an Indian. It’s very serene and calm and located on city property on the west side of the Straight River. The backdrop for the piece when you face east are the characteristic limestone bluffs for which Faribault is well known (cheese caves). On top of the bluffs are the famous private schools (Shattuck, St. James, St. Mary’s) for which Faribault came to be known as the “Athens of the West.”

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    1. Oh! Outdoor art!! I don’t know why I was only thinking about sculpture.

      On the northeasterly flowing Cannon River in Rice County north of Faribault but south of Northfield there’s a limestone bluff overlooking the river. The place is locally called “Scott’s Bluff” and is now a DNR-owned SNA. The bluff is visible only to canoeists or adventurous hikers.

      Sometime in the early 90s some adventurous St. Olaf students went back there day after day and carved an image on the highly erodible sandstone/limestone bluff which remains there today. It’s not perfect artwork, of course, but its location and subject are actually quite impressive. I believe that its Shiva Dancing on the Head of Ignorance. It must have taken the students some time to finish it. I think they got into trouble for it too – defacing public property or some such thing. It’s quite impressive for first time canoeists. I’ve heard both sides of the argument: 1. they defaced the beauty of nature and should be punished; 2. it’s really remarkable. I don’t think it’s possible to remove it. To do so would only further erode the limestone.

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      1. Om yaya is going to be my new mantra.
        Here are the words to the fight song of my alma mater:
        “Um Ya Ya”
        We come from St. Olaf, we sure are the real stuff.
        Our team is the cream of the colleges great.
        We fight fast and furious, our team is injurious.
        Tonight Carleton College will sure meet its fate.
        Um Ya Ya, Um Ya Ya
        Um Ya Ya, Um Ya Ya
        Um Ya Ya, Um Ya Ya
        Um Ya Ya Ya
        Um Ya Ya, Um Ya Ya
        Um Ya Ya, Um Ya Ya
        Um Ya Ya, Um Ya Ya
        Um Ya Ya Ya

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    2. reminds me that when i was in rapid city this summer the downtown area has cool shops and restraunts and they installed a

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      1. walk of the presidents where different artists did the presidents in life sized sculptures out on the street. not great art but a nice touch.

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  10. Evening everyone…

    There are a lot of sculptures in and around the Mayo Clinic and a few around the college campus here too…
    In the summer the clinic has a music series outdoors over the Monday noon hour and there are always kids climbing around this one particular sculpture while the music plays…it’s fun to watch them.

    I don’t see the college kids interacting with the sculptures on campus much… there is a painting of a nude woman inside that causes a ruckus every now and then… usually it hangs in the art department but every so often it will get moved to a more public space and eventually some people will complain… so it gets moved back to the art area.

    I do have fond memories of the Walker Art Center’s outdoor gallery…

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  11. is it midway airport where the walkways from one damn end of the airport to the other were turned from a long boring walk to a delightful continuous mural by numerous and varied local artists. best public art application ever.

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  12. A friend of ours in Winona is the sculptor behind the Blue Heron Statue Project in Winona a few years ago. This link takes you to a slide show of how creatively the herons were painted… 15 of them were eventually auctioned and are now in people’s yards/porches throughout Winona.http://blueheronsculpture.com/

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  13. I also love some of the things that have shown up in people’s yards around Lake of the Isles. We were driving our out of town guests around the lake Friday, and discovered them. Just south of Dean Parkway on the west side is a huge bronze guy sitting sort of on his haunches, elbows resting on his knees, looking out over the lake. In the next yard is a beautiful horse of driftwood — there are some similar to this at the Denver Art Museum (downtown).

    Have a glorious Sunday, Babooners! It’s supposed to hit 60!

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    1. I do love that driftwood horse. Probably same artist as the one who did the horse in the Walker Sculpture Garden.

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  14. Hi All:

    I’m sitting here in a Paradise Bakery, owned by Panera, possessing a powerful internet connection. AZ is such an interesting place with one of the most puzzling pieces of public art downtown. It has this ginormous baskety looking piece of art down town. Certainly not my favorite piece, but mystifying!

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  15. Thank you for the link to Mike’s touching story. After I read it and the half dozen comments Strib readers left for him, I wrote a post as well calling him an “everyday hero”. Mike, facing a deadly cancer myself, I only wish that I had a partner like you to go on the journey with me. You are my idea of the kind of person who inspires my faith in the human race.

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  16. Late to the party, but I’ll put in a word for a sculpture in my neighborhood: Overlook, by David Wyrick, on Prospect Boulevard overlooking the city from the bluff.

    I also like the sun you see over southbound Robert Street, on the George St. overpass, and the mural on Captain Ken’s.

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  17. I love the abundance of public displays of creativity in the Twin Cities.

    The Spoonbridge and Cherry is an easy favourite. And the Weisman Art Museum ablaze at sunset has convinced many people I know that the Twin Cities are where they want to live.

    But one non-Minnesotan non-obvious installation (that I’ve heard of but haven’t seen) is:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prada_Marfa

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  18. As we have heard, Big Government is the root of all evil, conspiracy and downright inconvenience.

    There are two institutions created by a joint resolution of Congress and made accessible by federal funds that I am going to speak out for today. They are the Smithsonian and the National Gallery on the National Mall in Washington, DC. They are free, they are open to the public.

    During the government shutdown, the National was shut down. A rare and much anticipated exhibition of the paintings of Vermeer were on load to the Gallery at this time. Tickets were needed for it to keep the crowds at reasonable levels, but the tickets were free. When the government shutdown occurred, it seemed as if only those few people who had had tickets before the shutdown were going to get to see this exhibition before it moved on to it’s next scheduled stop.

    An anonymous donor gave money to pay the staff needed to reopen that section of the museum for as long as was necessary. Ticket holders for the days the exhibit had been closed were allowed to show there tickets and get in at any time. I would not have seen it otherwise.

    I realize it is not entirely outdoor art, but the collections housed in those buildings are very much public art.

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    1. Public art and art in public places are, or can be, two different things. Not all art in public places is “public art” (art meant to be by and for the public, owned by the public in some way) – similarly , not all “public art” is outside, or in traditional “public places,” though generally it is defined as art created for and/or by a community or public group (this gets into academic hair-splitting pretty quickly). The poetry in the sidewalks of St. Paul is public art – it is art that was created specifically to be part of, and engage the community. The Spoon and Cherrybridge is art in a public place (owned by the Walker to be enjoyed in and by the public, but created with a different mindset about engaging its viewers).

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    2. I just re-read what I wrote…boy do I sound snotty. I think the Smithsonian, as an institution, is its own work of public art. And kudos to the mysterious donor for allowing people to see the art.

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  19. Hello Babooners,

    Although I am very late with this comment, I can’t fail to add a comment on the very large sculptures on the Enchanted Highway in N. Dakota to the comments made on sculptures. I saw these on my vacation in September and I think these large metal constructions made from scrape metal are very impressive. I especially like the one that is at the start of the highway where it leaves the interstate. At that location several large silhouettes of flying geese are held up by a large circular structure. When I mentioned the Enchanted Highway after I came back from my vacation, Renee said she knew about it and is also a fan of these sculptures.

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