Meet Artist Dwight Michelson

Meet Artist Dwight Michelson

January 17, 2018 Art Community 3


Dwight Mickelson (b. 1964), is a sculptor, metal-worker and furniture-maker and the artist connecting people and their ideas that shape the World Garden Commons, the stormwater pond at Rabanus Park.  Raised in Hawley, Minnesota, Mickelson has always been interested in the intersections that exist between art and craft, between nature and culture and between body and spirit.

Artist Dwight Mickelson demonstrates the creation of the Cajon drums for the Listening Garden at World Garden Commons in Rabanus Park

Through inclusive and participatory community collaborations with people of many ages and backgrounds, Dwight designed the first notable feature constructed within the stormwater pond, the Listening Garden.

Dwight Mickelson, (2nd left) leads a community of participants in debarking the logs that eventually create the giant log marimba emerging from the Listening Garden, providing a visual rhythm and exciting play for children

Dwight says, “It is my hope that this place will encourage the art of listening…. to nature and to each other.”

The Listening Garden is a land sculpture that provides a listening and sound experience highlighting the natural world within the city.  The sculpture’s features encourage visitors to listen and create sound as a conversation with nature.

At the core of the sculpture are the two listening alcoves. In the smaller alcove to the northeast, visitors can sit, relax and listen to the sounds of the nearby wet meadow where frogs, crickets, birds and various creatures congregate to create a symphony of natural sounds.

Connecting two listening areas in the Listening Garden is a giant log marimba emerging from the hillside providing a visual rhythm and exciting play for children

The opposite and more public side of the sculpture holds a larger sound shell designed for small concerts, drum circles and theater events.  Connecting the two listening areas is a giant log marimba emerging from the hillside providing a visual rhythm and exciting play for children.  As seen from above, the entire sculpture resembles the shape of the human ear.  The alcoves include a semi-circle of steel Cajon drum seats designed to be played by hand, or with a stick while seated.

During Welcome Week, children play on the steel Cajon drums in the Listening Garden a sculpture in World Garden Commons in Rabanus Park

Dwight finds inspiration in the worlds of sculpture, music, travel and the environment. Since 2005, he has been the owner and operator of Mickelson Design Studio, Moorhead. Previously he owned Mickelson Body Shop, Hawley, MN.  Mickelson is a member of the Society of Minnesota Sculptors, the International Sculpture Center, and the FMVA.


3 Responses

  1. Diane Nelson says:

    I saw a couple of your pieces at THE LODGE on Detroit Lakes, MN They were two lamps and were very beautiful. Do you have a place on the internet or in a store that you could look at your pieced for sale? I would be interested in seeing some products

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