This Mother’s Day there is a unique flower blossoming in the front lawn of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Stillwater.
The 32-foot-tall steel flower, titled “Blossom,” is a new public art installation that was cultivated by an art fund created from a generous bequest in the will of M. Neal Johnson, a long-time Oak Park Heights resident and member of Our Savior’s.
“Art often depends on its viewers to create a personal interpretation of the work,” said Pastor Dale Stiles about the sculpture. “When I look at it, I see resurrection and new life –
a bold reminder that we are Easter people every time we enter our church. But it’s more than just a symbol of new life; it’s also a symbol of growth. I see ‘Blossom’ as symbolizing the growth of our faith that leads us to blossom into the best followers of Jesus we can be.”
The “Blossom” installation is the largest commission to date by Our Savior’s using the M. Neal Johnson Memorial Art Fund endowment. Two significant contributions by anonymous donors provided completion funds for the project designed by St. Paul artist and architect Alexander Tylevich. “Blossom” was fabricated by AeroFab Inc. of Blaine, and the control system for the movable petals and the programmable multi-colored LED lighting was designed by The Automation Group LCC of St. Paul. Adolfson and Peterson Construction of Minneapolis installed the sculpture.
“The idea for ‘Blossom’ was inspired by my initial research into symbols of the Lutheran Church,” Tylevich said. “When I discovered the symbol of the Luther Rose, this iconic image became the liturgical foundation for the concept of this sculpture.”
Former Our Savior’s Art Fund Committee member Marilyn Meier participated in the selection of this project in 2014. “In consultation with Forecast Public Art and its executive director, Jack Becker, our committee interviewed three finalists for this project. The ‘Blossom’ sculpture by artist Alexander Tylevich captured the imagination of the entire committee with its dramatic simplicity and its unique beauty. The concept of having a flower with petals that would open and close was inspiring, and it would be a one-of-a-kind sculpture! It would also fulfill our donor’s mission to share art with the community of Stillwater,” Meier said.
A ceremony to dedicate “Blossom” will be held at Our Savior’s at 9:15 a.m. on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 14. Tylevich and members of the fabrication and installation team have been invited to attend. The public is invited as well.
Our Savior’s Lutheran Church is located at 1616 W. Olive Street in Stillwater.