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Wow! Mobile Metal Lab Coming to 4th Avenue Fest

The third annual 4th Avenue Fest on Wednesday, June 16, will feature guest artist Sara Hanson and the Wow! Mobile Metal Lab creating a community tree sculpture.

Sara Hanson

Hanson created a mobile art studio for metal arts in a decommissioned metro transit bus and she will drive it to the Austin Municipal Pool parking lot for the event.

Hanson will work with community leaders to create and add detail to the sculpture base from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday. Leaders include Mayor Steve King, Austin Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Elaine Hansen, The Hormel Institute’s Eva McDonald, Austin Public Schools School Board Chair Kathy Green, County Administrator Trish Harren, the Welcome Center’s Dora Arizola, Mayo Clinic Health Systems-Austin and Albert Lea Vice Chair of Administration Kris Johnson, and Austin Aspires’ Sylvia Hernandez.

The public will interact with the Wow! Mobile Metal Lab from 3-8 p.m. at 4th Avenue Fest to pour individual metal leaves and attach them to the tree base. The resulting sculpture — created in real time during 4th Avenue Fest — belongs to the City of Austin and will go on a tour of the community before final installation at a location to be determined.

“This project demonstrates our belief in paying artists for their work and creates a fun and inviting art engagement project available to all Austin residents at 4th Avenue Fest,” said Miranda Moen, chair of the Culture and Arts Commission and owner-designer of MO/EN Design Practice in Austin.

Metal workers at work. Photo provided

The sculpture project is funded by a Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC) grant for $5,000 awarded to the City of Austin Culture and Arts Commission. This is the first funding secured by the Culture and Arts Commission.

4th Avenue Fest is an annual community summer kick off focusing on connections and healthy living, including movement, the arts and culture. Fourth Avenue Fest is hosted by the Culture and Arts Commission at Horace Austin Park with over a dozen community partners. Visitors can enjoy this free event with live music and dance, canoe/kayak, swim or yoga activities, art making and a chance to meet others while enjoying city parks.