They don’t have thorns or a scent, but a pretty big bouquet of roses is about to hit the streets of Roseville.
Roseville in Bloom, a public art project devised by Visit Roseville, will install 20 nearly 7-foot-tall sculptures of the suburb’s signature flower at parks, libraries and businesses this summer.
The roses, each painted or decorated by a different local artist, weigh 658 pounds and are made of fiberglass and steel with a concrete base.
They’re made by TivoliToo, a Mendota Heights statue company that also made the Peanuts on Parade statues of Charles Schulz’s comic strip characters that were erected by the score starting in 2000 by St. Paul officials trying to boost tourism.
That’s the goal in Roseville, as well, where local hotels and restaurants have been hammered by the COVID-19 pandemic, said Julie Wearn, CEO of Visit Roseville, a nonprofit destination marketing organization supported by a local hotel lodging tax.
Wearn said the Roseville in Bloom project, which is costing about $300,000, is an art event that the public can safely enjoy despite the pandemic.
(When the statues were painted and decorated earlier this month in the Merchandise Mart building on the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, the artists were spaced at least 20 feet apart. The artists also wore face masks when talking to visitors.)
The statues will be installed at outdoor locations with signs reminding visitors to maintain social distancing, and the roses will get regular sanitation treatments.
“What a great opportunity to do art in a 3-D form that the public can see,” said Adam Turman, a Minneapolis illustrator and muralist who is painting the rose that will be installed in the city’s Central Park.
Working with Benjamin Moore exterior latex paint and Nova Color artist’s paint, Turman created a rose decorated with the sights and sounds seen in Roseville parks: a baseball, an eagle, a butterfly, music, ice skates and a kid’s slide shaped like a rocket ship.
Turman said painting a rose has required him to contort his body more than he would on a typical project.
“It’s a learning experience somewhat. I’m really used to working on more flat surfaces,” Turman said.
Shakun Maheshwari, a folk artist from Long Lake, said she will spend more than 100 hours painting the rose that will be seen at McCarrons Lake. Her rose will be decorated with an Indian-influenced, henna-inspired design featuring a peacock, a lotus flower and an elephant.
Kao Lee Thao, a Minneapolis artist who does murals, animation and tattoos, is painting a rose that will be at the DoubleTree by Hilton Roseville. It will resemble a Hmong story cloth, with scenes inspired by folk tales and daily life.
The petals of the education-themed rose being painted by Cora Hays, a biological illustrator and children’s book illustrator, are inspired by books ranging from “Joy of Cooking” to Stephen Hawking’s “The Universe in a Nutshell.”
“It’s an excuse to geek out on books and science,” said Hays about her work, which will be located at the Kids in Need Foundation, a school supplies nonprofit.
Erin Ward is a financial adviser from Maplewood who does pet portraits on the side in glass mosaic.
She estimated she’ll cover the rose that will be at the North American Banking Co. with more than a million pieces of glass.
“This is definitely my biggest honor as an artist,” she said.
The roses will be on display by July 1 and will be outside through Oct. 31. You can find a map of their locations at visitroseville.com/roseville-in-bloom.