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May 16

MontiArts: “The Gathering” in East Bridge Park

Posted on May 16, 2023 at 2:48 PM by Haley Foster

“The Gathering” in East Bridge Park

Next time you're in East Bridge Park, make sure you check out "The Gathering," our gorgeous new sculpture by The Milligan Studio. The piece was paid for by a grant from the Central MN Arts Board (CMAB) and a generous donation from the Monticello Lions Club. It’s the newest expression of how the Monticello community is embracing art throughout the downtown.

The artists, Milligan StudioThe sculpture selection process was carefully created by MontiArts. Direction Sue Seeger noted, "We held a nation-wide call for art, and 38 artists or studios applied. MontiArts narrowed it to five finalists. Then a selection committee made up of City Councilmembers; Parks, Arts and Recreation Commission members; artists; Lions members; city staff, and citizens at large was formed to choose the finalist.” Using ranked choice voting, the committee selected an entry from Alan and Nicole Milligan of The Milligan Studio.

Seeger and Tom Pawelk, The City of Monticello's Parks, Arts, and Recreation Director, worked closely with the Milligans to ensure the community was involved and represented in this piece. 

The goal of the sculpture is to bring people together, the glass pieces are meant to represent fish. The steel of the sculpture represents reeds in the river. The fish are swimming and congregating amongst the reeds, symbolized by the steel. The beauty of our city’s rivers and parks acts as a gathering place for celebrations, a place to admire nature, and where we can play outside with loved ones.

Pawelk, Seeger, and the rest of MontiArts look forward to adding more locations for art and sculpture installations around the city. "Former local sculptor Parker McDonald was a close second, and huge sentimental favorite, with many expressing that they really hoped we could get something from him installed as well at some point," said Seeger. "So, we've applied for another grant to get a piece from him installed at Ellison Park. We are still waiting to hear if we'll be awarded that grant.  If we get the grant we'll install his piece next summer," she added.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Central MN Arts Board thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

Check out this Monticello Times article about the install, ‘The Gathering’ brings beauty of sculpture, community to Monticello’s East Bridge Park. Watch MontiArts' video of the installation on YouTube! View more photos from the installation on our Facebook page, or in our Photo Gallery.