SHANASKA CREEK, Minn. – A historic Minnesota bridge became a temporary loom in the early spring of 2011, thanks to artist Randy Walker.

The 136-year-old bridge was part of County Road 102 in Le Sueur County and now spans Shanaska Creek. Its wrought-iron and pin construction makes it a rare design and it is on the National Register of Historic Places.

For PASSAGE, Walker took four large spools of colored acrylic thread—totaling 4,800 feet—and wove the material across and around the truss bridge. The thread was designed to withstand sunlight and remained in place for approximately half
a year. Part of Walker’s intent with thepiece was the opportunity for viewers to witness its changing aesthetic through the shifting seasons.

Primarily, however, Walker hopes the installation will give this now decaying bridge a new chapter in its history and encourage people to celebrate its forgotten past. When the work was removed, the fibers were given to the St. Peter Weavers in St. Peter, Minnesota, where it is being woven into a vibrant textile artwork. The project was funded by the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Le Sueur County Commissioners.