2010 River Trash Sculpture:
'Nature's Engineer: The Beaver'
Life after the Fair: This sculpture lives on in a permanent installation!
Find it at the visitor center at Fort Snelling State Park. Map it.
Sculptors Chip Addington (class of 2011) and Caylon Hackwith (class of 2010) from Bethel University in Arden Hills, MN, constructed this found-objects sculpture as a tribute to 80,000 volunteers who have removed 6 million pounds of rubbish from Minnesota's public waters since 1989.
Virtually every element of this sculpture, with the except of a few scraps of wire and some welding rods, came from river cleanup sites on the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers. Each time the artists visited these sites they were confronted with evidence of beaver engineering, so they decided to commemorate these industrious creatures. The beaver drove early exploration of the North American continent, became a virtual unit of monetary exchange, and later became the symbol of all things wild and natural. The artists thus presented the beaver to inspire greater care for our public waters.
A tire, taken from a flood-plain cleanup in Belle Plaine, Minnesota, was cut and used as the beaver's tail. Pieces of glass bottles and softballs were used for the beaver's eyes. The teeth were cut from a ceramic vase found at a cleanup. This realistic sculpture was a favorite for both children and adults when on exhibit at the 2010 Minnesota State Fair.