Local Execs Share Their Favorite Works of Art

Local Execs Share Their Favorite Works of Art

Twin Cities museums offer a colorful change of scenery and an array of dining options. We asked local execs to share their favorite locales and works of art.

0113-LocalExecs_pic1.jpgDean Phillips, chairman, Talenti Gelato
“When I was a kid, Chuck Close’s Big Self-Portrait at the Walker was the first piece of art that literally stopped me in my tracks. Its realism continues to amaze me, and now, my own children. While I await the advent of time travel, the Tudor, Charleston, and Hôtel Gaillard period rooms at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts instantly transport me to remarkable spaces, places, and times. If only the walls could talk. The breadth and quality of the Historical Society’s collection at the Minnesota History Center are astounding, but my favorites are the amazingly preserved sites at Fort Snelling and the Alexander Ramsey House, where you can feel and reflect on our state’s remarkable history.”

0113-LocalExecs_pic2.jpg Mark Lenss, president, Red Dragon Solutions
“The Science Museum is top on my list, because it’s loaded with cool stuff for everyone, no matter their age. My favorite piece of art is a sculpture near Whole Foods on Excelsior Boulevard in Minneapolis. It’s a man chiseling himself out of stone. I’ve always liked it for two big reasons—it’s unexpected to see something so well done in that location and it reminds me that we are all a work in progress.”

0113-LocalExecs_pic3.jpgAnn Underbrink Hill, major gifts officer, Feed My Starving Children
“I love the Mill City Museum for the way that the exhibits are so perfectly integrated into the original environment. Just down the street, by the federal courthouse, I love the lawn-mowing Rockman by sculptor Tom Otterness. There are several of these characters at the courthouse. Each is quirky but easy to decipher. They’re simple, entertaining, and are the antithesis of the heavy business conducted within the walls of the courthouse.”

0113-LocalExecs_pic4.jpgRobert Kelen, owner, Italy by Web
“I’ve been going to the Walker Art Center all my life. It’s got a great permanent collection and interesting temporary exhibitions. I really like Claes Oldenburg’s giant plug and his other larger-than-life pieces—not just Spoonbridge and Cherry. I’m also partial to the Roy Lichtenstein and Alexander Calder sculptures outside the museum. I’ve seen these pieces nearly every day for decades. They’ve become a part of my daily routine, and how I identify life in Minneapolis.”

0113-LocalExecs_pic5.jpgJoe Schmit, sports anchor, KSTP-TV
“My favorite museum is the Minnesota History Center because I go there and feel young. My favorite piece of art is the Herb Brooks statue near Xcel Energy Center, because it reminds me of so many great moments on and off the ice.”

0113-LocalExecs_pic6.jpgGretchen Buhler Ventura, president and CEO, Technology Project Group
“I love the Minneapolis Institute of Arts for all of its reverence of the ancient and exotic. It takes me places that I include in my dreams. I also love the Deborah Butterfield horse sculpture at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. It’s organic and timeless and majestic.”


Where to Lunch

Café Minnesota Minnesota History Center, St. Paul, 651-259-3000, mnhs.org
Elements Café Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul, 651-221-9444, smm.org
Gather Walker Art Center Minneapolis, 612-253-3410, gatherbydamico.com
Mezzanine by D’Amico Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, 612-870-3180, artsmia.org
Mill City Café Mill City Museum Minneapolis, 612-341-7557, mnhs.org