Natural Treasures of Northfield Kiosk
Richard Swearer (Artist and Fabricator)
Keeney Swearer (Technical Designer)
Howard Ostrue (Assistant Fabricator)
Northfield was founded along the Cannon River where open prairies and rich woodlands meet. These natural resources were essential to the development of the city as we know it today. This kiosk celebrates the significance of the natural environment to the development of Northfield, and aims to inspire future generations to preserve the often overlooked unique prairie, woodland and river habitats that surround us.
THe base of the kiosk is constructed with locally-sourced limestone from Mankato. Cast glasswork on the support pillars displays a rich array of loc al native plant and animal species. The textured surface of the cast glass blocks is meant to welcome the hands of visitors, helping them explore the shapes of native species on their surfaces. Glasswork above the informational panels and screen depicts the fluid, ever-changing scenes of the Cannon River. The pillars are framed in durable stainless steel, while the copper roof will age naturally with the elements.
Rick Swearer was the Primary Artist and Fabricator. He has worked as a local artist in glass and sculpture, with pieces frequently sold at the Northfield Arts Guild. Keeney Swearer served as the Technical Designer. Keeney grew up in Northfield and developed his interest in art and design as a Northfield High School student. Since completing a fine arts degree, he has worked for the last six years at Mackinac State Historic Park in Northern Michigan as an Exhibit Designer. Howard Ostrue, who owned Eco Gardens across the street from the Kiosk for many years, served as an Assistant Fabricator.
Additional assistance was provided by Mike Peterson, Joe Thibodeau, Cheryl Ramette, Guth Electric, Mike Swift, Avery Swearer, Mira Swearer and Diane Angell.
Funding was provided by the City of Northfield's Art in Public Places 1% for the Arts Initiative.