Kingfield sculptor finds St. Paul home

A Kingfield sculptor's work called "The Family," has found a new home at St. Paul's Como Park Zoo and Conservatory.

At the end of August, sculptor Russell Erickson, 54, removed the steel-rod pieces intended to represent a father, mother and child, from its longtime downtown Minneapolis home at Hennepin & Washington avenues. Twin 29-story condo towers will be built on the site.

Erickson, who put the sculptures on a long-term loan to the Food and Drug Administration regional office in the late 1970s, said more than a dozen people contact him interested in taking on "The Family" -- including representatives of area neighborhood groups, a University of Minnesota fraternity and a private homeowner in Northeast Minneapolis.

Staff at the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory were "very enthusiastic" and able to take on the pieces immediately, he said.

"The Family" now stands in a picnic area near Seal Island and is on a 25-year loan to the zoo.

"It's a great spot. It's just fantastic," Erickson said.