The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, located at the southwest end of downtown, is more than just a pretty place. The spacious gardens, on what was once a Park & Rec playing field, include unique and interesting artwork, a conservatory, and an arbor and flower garden.
Occupying 11 acres across the street from the Walker Art Center, bordered by Dunwoody Boulevard on the north and Hennepin/Lyndale/I-94 on the east, the Sculpture Garden is home to more than 40 permanent works, yet innovative pieces are added as temporary exhibits every year which keeps the experience fresh.
On the edge of a vibrant city, the gardens are surprisingly tranquil. Walking paths guide the visitor through peaceful settings of dense greenery, past sculptures that both blend in and stand out. Benches along the way encourage time for contemplation, relaxation and unhurried conversation.
First assembled inside the Walker Art Center’s lobby, the 22-foot Standing Glass Fish (by Frank Gehry) is perched permanently in the Conservatory, in a lily pond amidst Mexican fan palms and calamondin orange trees. Housing tropical and local plants and flowers, The Conservatory is open Tuesday-Sunday from 10am-5pm (closed Mondays).
The Arbor and Garden is a 300-foot walkway that invites visitors to stop and breathe deeply. Plantings include sun-loving perennials and annuals like bee balm, candy lily, aster and cosmos, and shade-happy varieties such as meadow rue and bleeding hearts. Visit each season to see how the gardens change through the months.
Check out this video for a quick tour of the evolution of the Sculpture Garden, and then makes plans to visit this unique place soon. Admission is free; the garden is open daily from 6am-midnight. Free guided tours are offered May-August.
In any season, the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is a fascinating place to visit.