The River of Knowledge

by Rollin Alm, 2003

About the art

In this massive mural of the Mississippi River, the water serves to connect. In a more literal sense, the artwork connects library visitors to the great river flowing just blocks away. Metaphorically, it connects the viewer to the river of knowledge available within the library. Local artist Rollin Alm created the piece with 15 paper panels, painting them with watercolor to align with the feel of water flowing. The resulting 60-foot river scene was framed in cherry wood, covered with Plexiglas, and intentionally hung to run parallel to the Mississippi. Alm also created one other offering for the library’s opening in 2003: He curated a local art show, several pieces from which still hang on the library’s walls.

Artist statement

“From a historical standpoint, I created a landscape looking to the northeast over the Mississippi where Pierre Bottineau’s hard work has inspired people to settle and call it their home.”

Funded by the Minneapolis Public Library percent for art program