Urban Exploration: Wolf & Moose

Live on the wild side to discover unlikely art

Image by Claire Noack/Greenspring Media

By Claire Noack

One of my favorite things about living in the Twin Cities is going to downtown Minneapolis early on the weekends and doing some urban exploring. Without the crowds of business people on the streets, it feels like the city is yours. And with surprises down every street, all you need to do is pick a direction and go!

On a recent adventure, I left the shops and skyscrapers that usually pique my interest and headed towards the Minneapolis Convention Center. As I turned a corner, I stumbled upon two giant figures of a moose and wolf hovering above the trees.

This is what you call an exploration jackpot. The sight of the 18-foot sculptures against the skyline was enchanting and made me excited to get a closer look.

By pedaling on a stationary bicycle beneath the animals, you make them come to life: glowing eyes, a spinning globe as the heart, and the sounds of breathing and heart beating made the sculptures even more delightful. The pedaling also played recorded poetry and stories about nature. There was even a rope you could pull to lift up the animals’ heads.

After doing some research, I found that “Wolf and Moose” is the winning project of the 2016 Creative City Challenge from Northern Lights (the multimedia arts organization that puts on Northern Spark each year.) Local artists and architects created the sculptures with 90 percent recycled waste-stream materials, including bottles and jugs, window screens, and cables. The project was inspired by spiritual ecology and was installed in front of the convention center in June.

Although I was late to discovering these whimsical sculptures, I found them in the perfect way. Not only did sculptures encourage me stop to wonder and play, but they also made me appreciate where I live. Artwork like this makes the city feel more like a community, with unique items scattered among the concrete jungle.

Take the opportunity to find the hidden treasures in the Twin Cities. You will never regret indulging in the local culture and discovering what makes this metro distinct and vibrant.

Adventure Spots:

  • Loring Park—Enjoy an open green space on the outskirts of the city. Take a walk around the small lake and visit the enclosed dog park to make some new friends.
  • Mill Ruins Park—Learn about Minnesota history and walk around the ruins of the old mill.
  • Gold Medal Park—Look at several unique sculptures in the park and walk up the winding path to get a great view of the city and the Mississippi River.

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