Bemidji State University Unveils “Northscape” Sculptures
Five new sculptures have been added to the Bemidji State University campus. The project is called “Northscape” and was created by sculptor Jon Kamrath.
“It’s always special when you get the opportunity to really portray some of the great artwork that exists in the state of Minnesota and to really showcase our institution,” says BSU president Faith Hensrud.
“My hope is that people will see a piece and just be intrigued and come in and just get a feeling of Northern Minnesota and just being here in Bemidji,” says Kamrath.
BSU went searching for artists to add a little beauty to their newly renovated Memorial Hall building, which was unveiled in 2016. Kamrath submitted his work to a committee and wound up getting the job. The pieces are made of steel and aircraft aluminum. They’re inspired by things you’d find around Northern Minnesota.
“One is inspired by birds over water, one is inspired by cairns or rock stacks for wayfinding while hiking. Then another is inspired by butterflies. Another is inspired by a moose and then the final one is by fish,” says Kamrath “As the sun moves across the sky or as you walk, they catch different reflections so the sculpture is always changing as you look at it.”
Kamrath says he had a lot of late nights and early mornings, but with a little help, he was able to get all five pieces done in about four months. His advice to aspiring artists is never give up and also take a few business classes.
“Minor in business, take community ed classes in business because being an artist is being a small business owner,” says Kamrath.
Hensrud adds, “It really is a joy to have an artist who come in and really captures the spirit of the region and the spirit of the institution, and I think Jon has done that very well.”