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In June through September of 2022, the  Lakes Area Precious Plastics Lab and Springboard for the Arts presented “Future Fossils,” a temporary land art project that was one of dozens across the Upper Midwest participating in the initiative, 4Ground: Midwest Land Art Biennial. As part of this far reaching project designed to raise awareness around important land and water issues affecting the region, a set of three temporary art installations designed and created by local artists in the Lakes Area Precious Plastics Lab were displayed along the Fergus Falls Riverwalk between June 30 and September 1, 2022.

An Artist holding up large, plastic flower shapes with white petals and colorful speckles, and a green center.

Future Fossils Artist, Laura Youngbird

Featured Artists were Nancy X. Valentine (Fergus Falls), Chelsey Beilhartz (Fergus Falls), Laura Youngbird Breckenridge), Katy Olson (Fergus Falls), Erik Peterson (Alexandria), Jess Torgerson (Fergus Falls), and Erika Frikken (Elbow Lake). Each site, located between Court and Cascade Streets along the Fergus Falls downtown Riverwalk, invited residents and visitors to consider our responsibilities to the land and to one another going forward. The sculptures, which included depictions of both real and mythical creatures, were intended to create an element of mystery and surprise along the riverwalk, and encourage reflection and conversation about our relationship to the land and to one another.

“We’re thrilled for the opportunity to host this project, to engage with local artists around our relationship to the land, and invite people to reflect on the impacts our overuse of plastic has on our landscape, our bodies, and our future.” said Cedar Walters, Public Information and Education Officer at Otter Tail County Solid Waste, who started the Precious Plastics Lab two years ago, the first of its kind in Minnesota.

“With the opening of Fergus Falls’ new riverfront market, and celebrations for Fergus Falls’ 150th birthday taking place this summer, we are excited to support the voices of these local artists, who are bringing up profound questions about how stewardship of our natural resources fits into the conversations about Fergus Falls’ past and future,” said Michele Anderson, Rural Director at Springboard for the Arts. “It’s also so exciting to be part of the larger story that 4Ground artists are telling through the projects that are happening across the upper midwest. We’re honored to have been invited by Franconia Sculpture Park to be part of this transformative and powerful public art event.”

Three artists stand outside a building, next to an abstract, colorful metal sculptural shape

Future Fossils artists, Erik Peterson, Jess Torgerson, and Erika Frikken

About the Lakes Area Precious Plastics Lab

The Lakes Area Precious Plastic Lab was established at the Otter Tail County Recycling Center in fall of 2020. Precious Plastic is an open source global community of innovators who enable others to participate in local grassroots recycling by transforming ordinary plastic items into useful products or art. Learn more:

About 4Ground Land Art Biennial

Developed by Franconia Sculpture Park Executive Director & Chief Curator in collaboration with more than 20+ community partners including tribal organizations, art museums, and land conservationists, 4Ground is a far-reaching initiative spanning the Upper Midwest, designed to raise awareness around important land and water issues affecting the region while celebrating the art, land and history of the rural Midwest and boosting tourism of the region through suggested road trips to experience site-specific land art.

For more information, follow via web or Instagram at @4GroundBiennial.


Springboard Staff

Rural Program Director
Read the press release!

See the press release for Future Fossils

Press release

Lakes Area Precious Plastics Lab

Learn about the Lakes Area Precious Plastics Lab!

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4Ground: Land Art Biennia

Learn about the 4Ground: Land Art Biennial

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