Five weeks before the election, and Minnesota's lawns are ablaze with more colors than you can see in the piles of fall leaves, thanks to endless arrays of political lawn signs. It's struck one group of Kingfielders as all a little bit much, and they've decided to have a little fun with it.
You may have seen the products of their creativity around town. Instead of exhorting viewers to support a candidate, one of these mystery lawn signs enthusiastically declares its support for the person reading it. Another, in a nod to grafiti artist Banksy, has a child adding a "k" and an "n" to a sign urging for a "no" vote on some unspecified cause. A third lawn eschews politics entirely, with a large, blank yellow sign trailed by a half-dozen smaller, duckling-colored ones.
In truth, they're all creations of the staff at Leonardo's Basement, the DIY center for science and art beneath Anodyne Coffeehouse, and its adult-oriented sibling Studio Bricolage. Tracy Nielsen, a Leonardo's Basement staffer, came up with the idea, said Mitchell Dose of Studio Bricollage.
"One day it struck her how polarized people's lawns are becoming," Dose said. "It's sort of perfect timing."
Now, Studio Bricollage is offering anyone who wants a chance to join in the fun this weekend. RSVP on Studio Bricollage's website, and show up at the adult workshop on Saturday, Oct. 6 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., the teen workshop from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. the same day, or the family workshop on Sunday, Oct. 7 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
"The invitation is open," Dose said. "We want to let anyone come and make a sign, whether it’s political, apolitical, anti-political, artistic, or straightforward. It's an invitation to use the (lawn sign) format to make a statement."