Enjoy art from around the world at Duluth’s Sculpture Garden, a best kept secret tucked into Lake Place Park above the Lakewalk. Duluth exchanged art with its sister cities in the 1990s and the park is a great spot to stop and enjoy international sculpture and majestic views of Lake Superior.

“The Stone” is a red granite sculpture by Kenneth Johansson and was given to Duluth by its sister city of Vaxjo, Sweden. This piece consists of four pillars supporting an elegant, bow-shaped top. The design is intended to unite humanity and nature as forms in space. According to the artist, the stone block the sculpture was cut from now sits in Vaxjo to serve as “a direct connection to this sculpture that has traveled the same route as our ancestors once did.”

“The Arising” is a collaboration between Duluth artist Carla Stetson and Almut Heer from Germany. Arms and hands intertwine to support each other and rise up toward the sky to cradle a dove poised to fly. Stetson designed the piece to express the fact that it takes the support of the whole community to create peace. The hands spring from two dolomite columns sent from Germany by Heer, and the ancient rock symbolizes the earth.

“Green Bear” is a bronze sculpture by Leo Fromich Lankinen and Valter Soyni of Russia, given to Duluth from its sister city of Petrozavodsk. The piece represents peace and harmony between nations as well as between people and three types of life —human, animal and plant. Given to the city during the Cold War years, the bears represent the two great powers of the time, the United States and Russia. The bears stand head-to-head and between them is a flower, which portrays protecting and nurturing nature. The open space between the two bears resembles a small child.

“Water and Friendship” is a steel, copper and brass sculpture by Koji Hirato and was given to Duluth by sister city Ohara, Japan. The piece represents the water of both cities (Ohara sits on the Pacific Ocean), and the flow of friendship the cities share. The piece depicts water absorbed from the ground by a tree and becoming the life force that compels it toward the sky. In this cycle of water, various lives are born and bloom.

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