Take the scenic route with a public art tour

What's the story behind that sculpture by the trail?

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Carrie Robinson-Cannon talks about Po Shu Wang's tapered arch sculpture on a public art walking tour Sunday, Sept. 20. (John Molseed/

For the past six weeks, Laura Turnquist has walked the trails in downtown Rochester for exercise to recover from a heart transplant.

She said she noticed and appreciated the art and sculptures along the trails. When she heard the Rochester Art Center was hosting talks and guided tours of the works, she made a point to attend Sunday.

“It’s a great opportunity to learn the stories about these works and learn about the artists,” Turnquist said.

Carrie Robinson-Cannon, a Rochester Art Center volunteer who led the tour Sunday, said she thought the same thing.

Robinson-Cannon taught some of the kids art camp classes at the museum this summer which also included a walk to one of the pieces along the trail that are part of the Art4Trails program.


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Carrie Robinson-Cannon leads a group on a public art walking tour Sunday, Sept. 20. (John Molseed/

When she was asked by museum leaders to lead tours of the art, she saw an opportunity to learn more about the art and share the knowledge with others.

“I love learning these new things, and I love sharing these things with others,” she said.

Ten people joined her tour Sunday.

Turnquist and her daughter, Lesa Heckt, followed Robinson-Cannon for the approximate three-quarter-mile tour along the Zumbro River.

“It makes it more meaningful to learn about the art and the artists,” Hecht said.

“I love that people are willing to slow down and look at this art,” Robinson-Cannon said.


Art4Trails is a nonprofit program is a collaboration between the city, the Rochester Art Center, RNeighbors, the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, Rochester Downtown Alliance and Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council.

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Carrie Robinson-Cannon leads a group past Sebastien Richer's sculpture "Perfect Canoe" on a public art walking tour Sunday, Sept. 20. (John Molseed/

Some of the installations are temporary. Others, gifted to the city, are permanent pieces of public art.

Robinson-Cannon said she believes people are becoming more supportive of art in Rochester.

“There’s a growing appreciation,” she said. “You can see that on a walk.”

Masks and physical distancing are required for the tour.


If you go

What: Rochester Art Center Public Art Walking Tours

When: 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 27, and 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 4

Where: Begins at the Rochester Art Center

Tickets: The tour is free with $5 museum admission.

More info: Masks and physical distancing are required for the tour.



John Molseed joined the Post Bulletin in 2018. He covers arts, culture, entertainment, nature and other fun stories he's surprised he gets paid to cover. When he's not writing articles about Southeast Minnesota artists and musicians, he's either picking banjo, brewing beer, biking or looking for other hobbies that begin with the letter "b." Readers can reach John at 507-285-7713 or
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