For Immediate Release Media Contact: Barb DeGroot, 952-443-1459
A Summer Salute to the University of Minnesota and State Pride
Chanhassen, MN (Nov. 16, 2012) - Get ready for a "gopher" invasion next year at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum as it embarks on a summer-long celebration of state pride and one beloved "maroon and gold-garbed" rodent.
Headlining the festivities at the Arboretum will be the whimsical "Gophers in the Garden" exhibit of uniquely painted Goldy Gopher statues gracing the gardens and plant collections of the Arboretum. See if you can find them all! The gopher statues - measuring 4-ft. 6-inches - will be designed by local artists selected through a juried art call and sponsored by companies as well as individual donors and families. The basic gopher forms will be created by TivoliToo, a Mendota Heights manufacturing company known for its three-dimensional creations. "Gophers in the Gardens" runs June 1 - Aug. 31.
As the University of Minnesota mascot, Goldy Gopher will provide a dose of fun and whimsy for Arboretum visitors, while also highlighting the Arboretum's vital role and mission as part of the university - in short, to provide a community and national resource for horticultural and environmental information, research and public education.
In addition to the gopher invasion, the summer celebration will include outdoor live musical performances, "open houses" in the gardens and plant collections, plus indoor exhibits on such topics as the history of the university's Goldy Gopher mascot and U of M northern-hardy plant introductions (i.e., apples, grapes, blueberries and more). Also planned are learning opportunities about gophers and other rodents and their habitat, plus tips for gardeners.
The Arboretum is calling on local artists to submit designs for gophers before the deadline of Jan. 18, 2013, and a panel of judges will select a certain number of designs to be shown to potential sponsors. The arboretum also is soliciting statue sponsorships from local companies, as well as individual donors and families, with price points ranging from $4,000 to $7,000. Artists whose designs are selected by sponsors will receive $1,000 stipends. This is a unique opportunity for artists, companies and individuals to be part of a high-visibility project. Proceeds from the exhibit will benefit the Arboretum.
For more information on submitting an artist design or to receive a sponsorship packet, call Mary Carlson at 952-443-1425 or Lindsay Sypnieski at 952-443-1427. Or visit www.arboretum.umn.edu/gophersinthegardens.aspx.