My wife and I are on a mission to visit all the oversized local landmarks throughout Minnesota. This blog chronicles those visits and covers other related topics.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Vining Sculpture Park

June 29th, 2008 - Vining, MN

Coffee Cup

After checking out all the pelicans, we headed out for some Big Stuff hunting. Our first target was Vining, home of artist Ken Nyberg. Nyberg creates incredible sculptures by shaping and welding pieces of scrap metal. We have seen a Nyberg piece before. He did the giant art tractor in New York Mills. Nyberg has created many sculptures for his hometown of Vining, so many that there is a park in his name, Nyberg Park. Not all of Nyberg's Vining pieces are in the park. There are a few that are scattered around this small town. Some of his sculptures are Big Stuff, some are actual size stuff, and some are both.

The Foot

The Foot might be the most famous piece. It sits on the west side of town (which is very close to the east side of town). The Foot was sculpted in 10 gauge steel and was donated to the town in 1991. It took Nyberg 2 years to complete.

Clothespin

Pliers

Giant Chain

Watermelon

Metal Elephant

This elephant is really cool. It's big and actual size. It's different from his other work in that this elephant is made entirely out of lawnmower blades.

Square Knot

Giant Cactus Plant

The non-Big Stuff items around Vining are a little green alien, a buck, which is kind of big, a blacksmith (Could it be a self portrait?), a speared fish, an Indian on horseback, a cowboy (not pictured), and a tribute to his daughter.

Confused Metal Alien Buck Ray Self Portrait? Horseback Indian

Karen Nyberg: Astronaut

Ken Nyberg's daughter is Karen Nyberg, who is a NASA Astronaut. She has been to the International Space Station on two separate occasions.

Tip: I actually think we may have missed a couple sculptures. I think there may be a plug and cord thing and a door knob.

10 comments:

Donna said...

Wow! Those are great and totally on my list now of things to go see. My husband, twin 2 year old boys and our 7 year old daughter live in Minnesota and have similar mission to see all the Oddball we can big or small as long as its a little odd, or historical or just kind of cool. We blog Visit Americanaville. Thanks for the tips! I can't wait to see what you find next!

CuriousJM said...

Nice blog of an admirable project! Keep it up.

Many thanks for sharing the images of the sculptures of Ken Nyberg under Flickr Creative Commons license.

I have used few of these in my Travelogue of an Armchair Traveller as well as in Google Earth Community Forum and have given due credit to you.

The travelogue is a non-profit ads free blog which I have created as a pastime and I do not derive any monetary benefit from it or from Google Earth Community Forum which is also ads free.

Patti said...

Hey Josh,

Thanks for sharing the sculptures. I raised my 4 kids near Vining and moved to the Cities 8 years ago. Nice to see the new addtions. Cool blog, thanks for all the info, great resource!

Josh said...

Thanks. I really need to get back on this blog. I still have a couple things from last year I haven't posted yet.

Kayla said...

You should check out Fergus Falls and the giant otter, Wahpeton's giant catfish, and Battle Lake's Cheif Wenaga.

Josh said...

Kayla, thanks for reading and commenting. We've been to the otter and Chief Wenonga a number of years ago. If we're ever in Wahpeton or Breckenridge, we'll be sure to check out the catfish. Since it's technically in North Dakota, it isn't a priority. I don't think I've been to Breckenridge since high school basketball.

A.Nyberg said...

If you get a chance to check out the park you should really check out the new works in progress at his shop. ;)

Judith said...

I would love to have permission to share at least one of your photos on the Visit Minnesota website. In return, I will link to your blog from the Minnesota Roadside Attractions page. I also look forward to stopping by in the next few weeks to see your sculptures and take some photos of my own.

Judie Ramsey, webmaster, Visit Minnesota

canvas wall art said...

Polymer clay is a wonderful medium for sculpture. You can create one of a kind sculptures without the need for an expensive kiln or messy mold materials.

Josh Mattson said...

Judith, you are welcome to use any of my photos for the website. I enjoy sharing these things.

Thanks.