Shingle Creek is on the State of Minnesota’s list of impaired waters since 2004. This project will put Public Art at three designated sites along the creek that will not only add beauty but will aerate and improve water quality as well as raise public awareness about water quality issues. Cecilia Schiller is the selected artist for two of the sites.
Site One: Park Center High School, Brooklyn Center, Minnesota
Turtle Fountain and Waterfall
Located adjacent to Park Center High School in Brooklyn Park, MN, this site has an existing amphitheater and seating just on the other side of the path. My intent is to create a soothing and meditative environment where students and passersby can enjoy a relaxing moment or two.
The installation will include a cast bronze turtle fountain with water pumped from Shingle Creek, a sitting area landscaped with rocks, naturalistic pools and a cascading stream that returns the water to the creek.
Site Two: Centennial Park, Brooklyn Center, Minnesota
Working Together on Turtle Island
This interactive sculpture will float in Shingle Creek just off one of the pedestrian bridges that cross the creek. A circular frame representing the turtle’s back floats in the air above the water held aloft by a frame that is attached to pontoons. Laser-cut aluminum waves create an undulating pattern on top of the turtle’s circular back. Secured in place on pivots at intersections between the waves are balancing or dancing leaves (I also think of them as Lotus petals or cupped hands). Each leaf is made with a tubular stem that extends below the pivot point in a decorative shape that counter balances the leaf and gives it gentle motion from wind or any wave action on the creek. The tube extends into the center of the leaf. As water collects in the leaf, the weight causes it to lean back and when the water reaches the end of the tube it drains out into the creek.
Public Interaction: Rotary Hand Crank Sprays Water
This sculpture is beautiful just on its own, but there is an interactive component:
A rotary hand crank attached to the railing on the walking bridge pumps water from the creek through a hose to a sprinkling system attached to the Turtle frame. As water fills the leaves they lean back and dance up again when the water drains through the stem. This simple action helps enlighten visitors about improving water quality and allows them to contribute to the process showing them that taking care of water can be fun and even small efforts are valuable.