Madison Arts Council
Latest project: Biome
We plan to hire artist Tim Adams to create “Biome”, a spiral sculpture that is 22 feet in diameter and will reach 8 feet tall in the middle. This sculpture will be made of 12 gauge steel with cutout prairie plants, highlighting the native prairie and natural world around Madison. This light-based sculpture will be located at a grassy area near the VFW and the Flags of Honor monument on the corner of Highways 40 and 75 in Madison, Minnesota.
The spiral form of “Biome” represents passing of time from settlement until today, progression of humanity and advancement of agriculture. Weathered steel represents the down-to-earth, resolute, and generational strength. Internal LED lighted prairie plant cutouts around the perimeter of the spiral serve as a reminder of the former landscape and learning tool for the future. The seat-wall design creates the opportunity for passive interaction. There will be a crushed granite path around the sculpture.
Our hope is to raise enough money to install Biome the summer of 2019. We have submitted a grant to the Southwest MN Arts Council for 80% of the funding. Our goal is to raise $10,000 to help complete this public art project.
Click here for the fundraising form.
The Madison Arts Council is a group of local citizens, elected officials, chamber representatives, school employees, local artists, and has been open to the anyone who would like to attend the meetings. The group started after a community-wide meeting was held that asked “what do we want Madison to look like in the future”. Public art was identified in that meeting as being an important project to pursue. The first meetings were held in January of 2016 and they have talked about a variety of projects they would like to see in Madison. In the summer of 2018, they decided to contract Kristi Fernholz of the UMVRDC to act as the group facilitator for this project.
MAC is utilizing a process developed by Forecast Public Art and the Southwest MN Arts Council for soliciting and public art projects. The city of Madison serves as the fiscal agent and property owner. All grants and funding proposals are run through the city council for approval.
The group hopes that this public art project will be the first of many.
The mission statement of the Madison Arts Council (MAC) is: “To encourage and develop appreciation for public art in our community”
The Goals of MAC are to:
1. Use public art to revitalize Madison into a more welcoming and inviting city for the residents and potential families moving into the community.
2. Create art that is accessible, innovative, and available to the public, increasing the number of people exposed to art in our community.
3. Increase Madison’s art economy by creating something of interest to attract out-of-town visitors.
4. Instill community support for the arts, especially public art.
5. Work to have 3 public art pieces in the next 5 years (2018 – 2023).
6. Start with projects on publicly-owned sites.
The group has created an inventory of existing public art, reviewed possible locations for new public art and has written many articles for the newspaper to keep the public informed of the group’s progress.
Deb Meyer, resident
Cynthia Huse, resident
Renee Ehlenz, resident
Sally Fernholz, resident
Dana Conroy, resident and artist
Carmen Fernholz, resident
Kay Fernholz, resident
Annette Fernholz, resident
Adam Conroy, city council
Maynard Meyer, city council
Anyone from Madison is welcome to join the MAC committee. By design, the committee is open to any interested persons in our area. Those in attendance make decisions. We have no official leadership structure. The committee has a core group of 6+ people who have consistently taken part in most meetings, but new people can and do join, and add input. Because this is a group interested in art, it is intentionally kept fluid and open to new ideas and thoughts.
This open process provides for the diversity of the community to be represented in the committee. The committee will also reach out to different types of diverse groups to give feedback and invite them into the program.