For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Barb DeGroot, 952-443-1459
Arboretum Presents 'Center of Gravity II' Exhibit
Display Showcases Peter Juhl's Balanced-Rock Creations
Chanhassen, MN (March 17, 2014) - Gravity-defying balanced-rock structures by Twin Cities artist Peter Juhl are the focus of a new photo exhibit at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.
"Center of Gravity II" opens Saturday, April 5, in the Restaurant Gallery of the Arboretum's Visitor Center and continues through May 17.
Juhl has been creating and photographing these temporary rock structures for about two decades. Combining elements of performance art, sculpture and meditation, "rock star" Juhl arranges natural stones found on location - most often along the North Shore of Lake Superior.
He uses only shape, weight and friction to create a one-of-a-kind composition. No glue, magnets, or other artificial supports are used. The sculptures may last a few minutes, or a few hours; with luck, long enough for a photograph.
"A good magic trick presents what we know to be a deception and makes us want to believe it's real. A good balanced rock sculpture does the opposite: We know it's real, but want to believe it's a trick," says Juhl.
"Though I try to create sculptures that look implausible, I also strive to elevate the stones in another sense, taking them from objects disregarded under our feet to essential elements in an organized and beautiful structure.
"My goal is to contrast the simple strength of these individual stones with the complexity and fragility of the work as a whole, which evokes a sense of serenity and comfortable tension."
Visitors to Minneapolis' Lake Harriet are probably familiar with Juhl who can be seen balancing rocks near the concession stand in the summer. He also travels to Lake Superior every year to create and photograph his rock sculptures. This is his second photo exhibit at the Arboretum.
"Center of Gravity II," comprising 34 photographs, opens Saturday, April 5, and continues through May 17 at the Arboretum.
Juhl will sign copies of his new "Center of Gravity" book on April 20 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. He will lead rock-balancing classes at the Arboretum on May 17, June 28 and Aug. 23. He will demonstrate his balancing skills April 5, 13, 26 and May 3. All demos will take place from 11 a.m. to noon, except for April 5, which is scheduled for 1-2 p.m.
The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, the largest public garden in the Upper Midwest, is part of the University of Minnesota's College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences. It is located nine miles west of I-494 on Highway 5 in Chanhassen. Open daily except for Thanksgiving & Christmas Day. Adults: $12; free for ages 12 and younger and free for members.