Stay in the Loop

New Sculpture Installed On The Nordic Plaza

The North Loop’s newest Instagram-worthy attraction took some delicate work with a forklift to lower it into place on a blustery morning.

The new Blue Deer sculpture on the Nordic Plaza is a 700 pound, ten foot tall piece of steel and aluminim art, in origami style. It was commissioned by United Properties, which owns the plaza as well as the two buildings on either side, Loose-Wiles and The Nordic.

The sculptor, Nathan Mabry, wanted something that would complement The Nordic’s logo, a set of deer antlers, while also symbolizing the local area. A blue loon appears perched on the deer’s head.

“The loon relates to Minneapolis and Minnesota in general,” Mabry said. “It’s the state bird. So the combination of the two, it’s really a symbol of the North Loop, The Nordic, Minneapolis and the state of Minnesota.

“And also I like the way the loon sort of feels like this fleeting moment forever captured. It’s landed on the sculpture and it can be going somewhere else and it sort of brings up this idea of migration and what happens within this plaza.”

United Properties has a Community Giving Fund which it uses to enhance areas where it builds, through initiatives such as public art, street trees, historic preservation, affordable housing and sustainability.

Gordy Stofer, Vice-President of United Properties, said the company invested more than $300,000 in local communities through that fund in 2018 alone.

“A big part of our mission is to enhance public areas like this outdoor plaza,” he said. “This was a big focus of this project, really from the get go. We wanted to create kind of the backyard and the living room of the North Loop here.”

In the next few weeks, they will also be installing curling courts on The Nordic Plaza.

By Mike Binkley, North Loop Neighborhood Association

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