Local artist’s featured piece on Walking Sculpture Tour celebrates diversity

Marty Leenhouts’s piece titled “You” one of the 24 new sculptures displayed on the CityArt Walking Sculpture Tour

Local artist’s featured piece on Walking Sculpture Tour celebrates diversity

MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) -The CityArt Walking Sculpture Tour added 24 new sculptures in the City Center of Mankato and North Mankato.

The outdoor exhibit features pieces from artists from across North America including Minnesota,to be displayed year-round and promoted to the public for sale.

For local wood carving artist Marty Leenhouts, it’s the first time his work is displayed on the tour.

“It’s called “You” so that each person that looks in the mirror, they are to be reminded of the wide variety of people and unique contributions they all make to the state of Minnesota, when they look around the outside and see all the various designs and shapes and colors that surround their image," said Leenhouts explaining his featured piece.

The art, shaped as the state of Minnesota, is the largest piece he’s done so far.

“It took a couple hundred hours," said Leenhouts.

Leenhouts has been wood carving for over 35 years, also teaching the skill from his website at mychipcarving.com

Each sculpture featured on the walking tour comes with a unique meaning and message. Descriptions can be found beneath each piece of art. For Leenhouts, his piece celebrates diversity.

“I’ve always had an idea as I’ve walked through airports when there’s a lot of people. That everyone is created so uniquely. Everyone is so different, unique, such variety. So that’s what gave me the idea for this sculpture," said Leenhouts.

Onlookers are encouraged to go vote either online or in the voting ballot boxes located downtown, for their favorite sculpture. The sculpture voted as the People’s Choice Winner will become a permanent piece in the CityArt tour.

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