Trygve Nordberg, Karen Pollard and Wendie Owens

We are flattered to host the esteemed collaboration of Trygve Nordberg, Karen Pollard and Wendie Owens – on their River Song prototype. Their valued experience, as shown below in the team’s work examples, brings a unique level of depth to what the public life could be on the River Balcony.

Work Examples

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The Prototype

River Song is an interactive sound experience, overlooking the Mississippi River,
that blends elements of the city and river into an ever changing orchestral refrain.

People walking along the River Balcony at the Kellogg Mall Park will be drawn to a series of original shadowboxes spaced about 150 feet apart along the railing beside the river bluff.

These handmade shadowboxes contain unique, playful sculptures which meld natural materials of the river with materials of the city. Subjects include flora, fauna and industrial features of the Mississippi River.

At each station, people of all ages interact with the sculptures. Pressing keys, striking chimes, and pulling levers inside the shadowbox elicits different sounds—a mélange of bird songs, water sounds, voices or boats—sounds which are found where the river meets the city. Individuals and groups can compose their own music out of these myriad sounds. A background river rhythm ties the individual compositions together.

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The following link will show you the planned location for the River Song prototype. (O) Nordberg_T_Page_4




Contracts and Permitting

Contracts and permits are now in progress. We are so excited to be working with the prototype teams and commission artists. Over the past few weeks we have been hard at work ironing out contract details and starting the commission artists’ working groups. Additionally, we have secured Kellogg Mall Park and started the event application and permit process.

Good news!

We are grateful to have Union Depot contribute the use of their plaza for the River Rock! prototype. This location is one of the entries to the River Balcony and the prototype is sure to catch your eye as you arrive from the LRT.

We are excited to have Knutson Construction consider sponsoring the festival. As the details get worked out, find out more about Knutson Construction through this link here and envision the great work they can do in Saint Paul. If you are interested in sponsoring the festival please contact Tracey Kinney at

Winners Announced!

We are pleased to announce that the following people and organizations will present their prototypes at the River Balcony Prototyping Festival on September 10th!

  • Three Seven – Water Source
  • Alyssa Baguss and Aaron Dysart – EcoDistrict Commission
  • Public Art Saint Paul – Dakhóta Wordscapes on the River
  • Trygve Nordberg, Karen Pollard and Wendy Owens – River Song
  • Emily Stover – Cultural Exchange Market
  • Suzanne, Tesia, and Josef Kosmalski – River Soundings
  • Kimley Horn Landscape Architecture – River of Birds
  • Works Progress Studio – WATER BAR | HEALING PLACE
  • Ramsey County Historical Society – Portals
  • AVENTUR CAMPANA– River Rock!
  • Kimley Horn Landscape Architecture – Wrapped in Anticipation

Winners and Commissions Map V5The selected proposals highlight the vital connection between the Mississippi River and the City of Saint Paul. They educate, engage, and entertain while helping us gain a deeper understanding of our connection to the river.

We’re very excited to work with these artists over the coming months. Their temporary installations will give us a better sense of how more programming, public art, and engaging activities can make the River Balcony a premier destination in Saint Paul.

Thanks to everyone who submitted a proposal. We received almost two dozen entries, with a lot of great ideas for bringing more activity to the downtown riverfront. Unfortunately we were unable to fund all of them.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll share more information about the winning artists and their prototypes. Stay tuned!

The Award Winners are….

Join us! The River Balcony Prototyping Festival Award Winners will be announced at the River Balcony Community Meeting.

The meeting is Thursday, April 28, 2016 from 5-7pm  (program at 5:15) at the Science Museum of Minnesota in the Discovery Room. The agenda will include an update on the River Balcony and the announcement of the festival winners.

For more information on the River Balcony Community Meeting download the flyer here.

Thank you!

Thank you to everyone who submitted a proposal! We received almost two dozen entries for the River Balcony Prototyping Festival, and over the next couple of weeks we’ll be reviewing them and selecting the best entries.

Winners will be announced at the River Balcony Open House on April 28th at the Science Museum of Minnesota.

Submissions due in 1 week!

The submission deadline for the Prototyping Festival is just one week away!

Help us bring the concept behind the River Balcony to life with your ideas for making this future pedestrian path a vibrant destination and premier opportunity to connect to the Mississippi River.

Learn more and download the RFP (PDF)