State Capitol art panel wants the public to weigh in

Minnesotans will soon get to share their opinions on what kind of art they want to see inside the state Capitol building, when it reopens in 2017 after a major renovation.

The art subcommittee of the Capitol Preservation Commission is hosting a series of public meetings throughout the state in the coming weeks. The first one is next week in Rochester.

The panel of legislators, historians and others has been wrestling with whether changes are needed to the portraits of governors, the paintings that depict Native Americans and the art related to the Civil War.

Retired Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Paul Anderson, a co-chair of the panel, said those decisions need to be guided by the public.

“This state Capitol is really special to a lot of people in the state of Minnesota,” he said. “They’ve been in it. They know about it, and we want them invested in this whole restoration process. We’re interested in their ideas and what they think about how we should go forward.”

The art subcommittee is expected to make its recommendations in late January.

The scheduled meetings include Rochester Nov. 10, Minneapolis Nov. 12, Willmar Nov. 16, St. Paul Nov. 19, Mankato Nov. 23 and Bemidji Nov. 30.

  • Pit Boss

    How about no art? I don’t go to the capitol to admire the art or the building itself. Too many people get wrapped up in how the building looks when the people who occupy it are non-functional.

  • Fred

    This type of hearing boils down to a collection of patronage-seekers, progressives, and others with nothing better to do.