MANKATO — As originally designed, the rear end of the new $28 million event center/theater being added to Mankato’s civic center was far from its most flattering side. That’s changing as the facility nears its August completion. Mankato’s Vetter Stone Co. is donating its locally quarried limestone for an artistic wall to hide the utilitarian […]
MANKATO — As originally designed, the rear end of the new $28 million event center/theater being added to Mankato’s civic center was far from its most flattering side.
That’s changing as the facility nears its August completion. Mankato’s Vetter Stone Co. is donating its locally quarried limestone for an artistic wall to hide the utilitarian “back of house” area near the intersection of Second and Walnut streets.
Rather than seeing loading docks and trucks, people will find a gathering spot with green space and sitting areas backed by a wall of the limestone that’s been used in architecture around the world.
Vetter Stone has been collaborating for several months with city staff, the Twin River Council for the Arts and artist Greg Mueller, a Mankato native, to design the wall — which will be dominated by a compressed image of the Minnesota River.
The family-owned company is making the donation in the memory of Ann Vetter, a former vice president of production at Vetter Stone and an arts lover who was on governing boards of Twin Rivers, the CityArt Walking Sculpture Tour and the Mankato Symphony Orchestra. A North Mankato resident, Vetter died of pancreatic cancer in 2014.
“Ann fully understood the importance of art to the community,” company President and CEO Ron Vetter said of his sister. “This gift builds on that vision by helping create additional art space in Mankato’s City Center.”
Flanking the limestone wall will be a yet-to-be designed plaza area.
Twin Rivers, serving as the city of Mankato’s arts commission, is soliciting proposals from Minnesota artists for a design of the grassy area.
The space, to be called Vetter Stone Plaza, will be 1,750 square feet of open green turf with landscaping along the base of the stone wall and will feature commissioned artwork. An award of $16,000 will be given to an artist or artist team to implement a permanent space inside the plaza.
The project is expected to be completed fall 2016.
City Manager Pat Hentges said the Vetter Stone donation continues a history of generous donations aimed at improving the community.
“We’re grateful to Vetter Stone Company for helping build a public space to inspire generations to come,” he said.
Artists looking for more information about the request for proposals should contact Twin Rivers Council for the Arts by calling 387-1008, firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 387-2387. Copies of the full request for proposals may be downloaded at: twinriversarts.org/public-art-a2a3
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