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Continued: Eden Prairie Art Crawl features homegrown talent

  • Article by: SHANNON PRATHER , Star Tribune
  • Last update: September 17, 2013 - 3:37 PM

He often sculpts the human form — women with flowing hair and gowns.

“I like my work to have a sense of spirit and motion,” he said. “I think the human figure is a wonderful way to express it.”

Gabbert said he wants his art to be evocative, beautiful and understood by a wide audience. His sculptures, which range in price from $600 to $5,000, are mostly displayed in private homes.

“A good work of art or a good book or a good musical composition is good when it’s good on many levels. It’s accessible, but you can go down to deeper levels. … Too much art today is not approachable. It may be interesting at an intellectual level, but you miss a lot of people.”

Approachability

That appeal to a wide audience is one reason why Gabbert’s work was chosen for the public art installation in front of the city’s community center. The Rotary clubs in Eden Prairie and Edina provided around $16,000 for the city to commission the work, said the city’s parks and recreation director. Gabbert’s work was selected from three submissions.

His work, “Soaring Bird: Peace Through Service,” is a nod to the city’s crest. A bird on an arch made of steel is surrounded by a spiral depicting prairie grass, which was fabricated from stainless steel and sways in the wind.

“As a city, we’ve been interested in kinetic art. We wanted something that had some movement to it,” said Eden Prairie Arts and Recreation Director Jay Lotthammer. “His art was a good representation of what the Rotary was trying to convey and what the city was trying to convey within its branding. But, it’s not too literal. It’s still very creative and very artistic.”

“Soaring Bird” was completed this summer.

“It may be terribly obvious — the city’s logo is prairie grass and a soaring bird — but it just seemed natural,” Gabbert said.

Eden Prairie Mayor Nancy Tyra-Lukens praised Gabbert’s installation. “He’s a wonderful artist full of great ideas,” said Tyra-Lukens, a friend of the Gabberts.

Plans for five light-rail stations in the city will create even more opportunities for public art, the mayor said.

“It’s just the beginning. We hope that really creates a renaissance of public art in the city.”

 

Shannon Prather • 612-673-4804

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  • To learn more about sculptor James Gabbert, go to www.jgsculpture.webs.com/.

  • Eden Prairie Art Crawl

    What: Exhibitions and demonstrations of the work of 14 artists.

    When: Sept. 28, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sept. 29, noon-5 p.m.

    Where: Eden Prairie Art Center, 7650 Equitable Dr., and other Eden Prairie locations

    Cost, information: Free. 952-949-8304 or www.edenprairie.org/artcenter

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