Lunchtime Tourist

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March 1, 2004 // UPDATED 9:23 am - April 25, 2007
By: Linda Koutsky
Linda Koutsky

Darcy Ferrill artworks, Midwest Plaza, 801 Nicollet Mall

Craving sunshine? Blooming flowers? The pale green color of new spring leaves? Then you must go immediately to the Midwest Plaza building next to Barnes & Noble and bask in the vivid colors of paintings by local artist Darcy Ferrill.

Three paintings (one nearly mural-size) feature local sights including The Hennepin Avenue Bridge and Nicollet Mall and fill the lobby with bright, animated brushstrokes -- they'll remind you why we live here.

The multitalented Ferrill created these paintings in 1996. She proposed several ideas to liven up the lobby of this busy Nicollet-to-Marquette thoroughfare and the developers bought them all.

In addition to the paintings in the Nicollet lobby, tucked further into the building are two mixed-media pieces by the artist. "The Midwest Compass," filling an entire wall by the elevators, shows the Midwestern states connected together like puzzle pieces. Minnesota shines in stainless steel while city names and quotes are printed on a Plexiglas overlay.

On either side of the map are paintings of rural and urban landscapes. Behind the guard's desk in the center of the building is "Navigating the Skyways," a construction of steel and brass architectural forms with an oxidized copper-colored boater as a metaphor for the urban executive's career journey.

Ferrill rarely paints today. Her creative pursuits are taken up as a partner in the architectural firm Trellag/-Ferrill in Northeast, designing plans and accents for homes, offices, restaurants and spas -- including a spring unveiling of a new Juut spa in Gaviidae Common, 651 Nicollet Mall.

When you're craving an escape from this March misery, turn to these artful renditions of Downtown in full summer brilliance.

LUNCH TIP: Don't miss the creative entrees and Ferrill-designed light fixtures at Zelo next door in the Medical Arts Building, 831 Nicollet Mall.

Send your tips to thelunchtimetourist@hotmail.com.