Skip to main content

Fargo's public art problem: Vandals strike again, this time damaging Sunny

  • Author:
  • Updated:

"Every single piece of public art that has gone up downtown has been vandalized," the Arts Partnership, an arts advocacy group based in Fargo, wrote on its website.

The most recent was Sunny, a painted fiberglass bison statue that has stood at Broadway and Main streets in downtown Fargo for eight years. It was damaged and knocked over Saturday, the Arts Partnership says.

This is just the latest public art piece to be vandalized around the town in the last few years. About a one minute walk from Sunny, the Fargo-Moorhead Piano Project's public art piano was knocked over and damaged in August, and after an effort to fix it, it was eventually damaged beyond repair, the Arts Partnership said. Several other public art pianos were also vandalized this fall.

The Arts Partnership noted instances of public art vandalism in 2012 as well.

Raising money for repairs

In an effort to hopefully repair Sunny, the Arts Partnership has started collection donations. Shortly before noon Wednesday, the Arts Project had raised $430 towards repairing and reinstalling the statue, Fargo Forum reports. And Wimmer’s Diamonds, which bought the statue for $8,500, has pledge to match donations up to $2,500, the Arts Partnership says.

For the meantime, Sunny is being stored at Wimmer's Diamonds until it can be sent back to Fiberstock Inc., based in Buffalo, Minnesota, to be fixed.

Pat Kruger, of Blaine, Minnesota, will be invited to repaint the piece, Forum says. She painted the statue as part of the 2006 "Herd About the Prairie" campaign to increase public art by scattering 43 individually decorated bison statues throughout the community, the newspaper notes.

This most recent instance of vandalism has the Arts Partnership once again calling out to the public to help keep public art intact. The organization says it hopes the Fargo City Commission's newly approved Arts and Culture Commission will look into how other cities with public art have kept the pieces safe.

The commission, which is a first of its kind for North Dakota, was formed to address the push for public art, including what will be added and where. They're set to meet for the first time next month to discuss a public art piece to honor late Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker, who recently died, Valley News Live reported.

Next Up

freight train railroad tracks

Man crawls to safety before train hits his stuck wheelchair

The incident happened Tuesday on Highway 169.

US Bank Stadium

Sizing up Vikings coaching candidates we know about so far

A closer look at some of the head coaching candidates interviewed by the Vikings

St. Paul police

St. Paul: Man called police to report he killed his wife

Police are also investigating a separate fatal shooting in the Frogtown neighborhood.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Timberwolves survive Knicks' second-half barrage to get back to .500

Karl-Anthony Towns' lay-in helped Minnesota get a win in The Garden.

FLickr - crime scene tape do not crozz

Charges: MN teen shot mom after dispute over meth

The girl's mother said there had been a dispute over methamphetamine.

bad roads, blizzard

No travel advised: High winds, whiteout conditions in NW MN

Zero visibility in parts of greater Minnesota Tuesday night.

holy angels high school j nelson

Update: Holy Angels evacuated over bomb threat, school says

Someone left a voicemail early Tuesday suggesting there was an explosive device.

radio station, microphone

Convicted stalker charged with harassment of another DJ at The Current

He pleaded guilty to similar charges involving the DJ's colleague back in 2015.

Mall of America exterior Tyler Vigen Wikimedia COmmons

10 new shops, food stops at Mall of America

Donuts, K-fashion, model cars — the new tenants cover a lot of bases.

Gophers basketball

Gophers fall below roster minimum, postpone Penn State game

It is "due to internal COVID-19 protocols within the Golden Gopher program."

Raheem Morris

Report: Vikings request interview with Rams' Raheem Morris

Morris was once the youngest head coach in the NFL at 33 years old.

train crossing S Boardman Ave, New York Mills, Minnesota - August 2013 crop GSV

Sheriff: Drunk driver crashed trying to 'beat the train'

The BNSF train slammed into the side of the driver's car.