You don't have to go far in the Twin Cities to learn that we value our parks… and art. Combine the two and you get outdoor sculpture gardens. The most famous is the amazing Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. But perhaps one of the most unique and generous mergers of art and nature is the Caponi Art Park in Eagan.
The dreamchild of Anthony Caponi, longtime Macalaster College art professor, this 60 acres of rolling hills around a lake has been his home… which he has shared with the public since the 1980s. There are many pieces of his sculpture on the grounds, but this unique place goes beyond that… the whole park feels like a living sculpture. There are miles of trails throughout the pastoral rolling hills. His idea was to provide a place for people to come and restore themselves through art and nature.
We visited last weekend and only visited a portion of the park… missed the theater entirely because our serendipitous grandchildren were ready for other discoveries. They loved walking the labyrinth, and we were all fascinated by the walking paths themselves… created from pieces of tree trunks placed on end so you can see the growth rings.
Its founder recently passed away but no worries… it is managed as a nonprofit public park with thriving arts and music programs free and open to the public. It welcomes about 18,000 visitors each year.
Looking for other outdoor sculpture gardens? The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in the southwest corner of the metro also has a wonderful sculpture garden… also on the west side is Big Stone Mini Golf and Sculpture Garden, where you can play mini golf among sculpture and goats! In the opposite northeast corner of the metro the Franconia Sculpture Park near St. Croix Falls… it is worth the hour drive!
Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results - Twin Cities Arts Realtor