Spirit of the Rivers

Spirit of the RiversWallen Sculpture is a monument to the American Indian which was erected along Mariners Trail in July, 2018. The bronze monument, pictured to the right, consists of an Indian man portaging a canoe, a woman, and an elder. Presumably, the man and woman have just landed on the shore of Lake Michigan and have met the elder. The scale of the monument is larger-than-life, with the ten feet tall man carrying a conoe eighteen feet long.

The Spirit of the Rivers sculpture was created by artist R.T.Wallen, world-reknown sculptor and Manitowoc native. Wallen returned to Manitowoc in 2013 to work on the sculpture.

The sculpture was funded by a local fund-raiding committee using donations from private persons, businesses, and foundations. It is located overlooking Lake Michigan along Mariners Trail across Memorial Drive from the Aurora Medical Clinic. The Woodland Drive Wayside, just south of the Monument, provides convenient parking.


Sculpture Program

Over the past several years, Dehne SculptureThe Friends of Mariners Trail sculpture Program has facilitated the donation of four sculptures along Mariners Trail. In November, 2010, Dancing Sandhill Cranes by sculptor Jim Dehne was installed just north of the Honey Pot wayside along Mariners Trail, about one mile south of the Two Rivers Trailhead at the Lighthouse Inn. That artwork is shown in the picture on the right.


Vanderheyden SculptureTo the left is shown the second art piece, Celestial Navigation by Carl Vanderheyden of DePere. The work, showing a heron, was dedicated in May, 2011. It is located immediately south of the Waldo Blvd. Wayside.


Enchanting Myth Burtard Sculpturewas created by sculptor Brenda Burtard. Placed in October, 2011, it is located at the Thiede St. Wayside.


Carl VanderheydenVanderheyden Sculpture has a second piece along the trail, On Eagles Wings was placed in October, 2011, and is located just north of the Manitowoc River.


Manitowoc Garden Club

The Manitowoc Garden ClubHuman Sundial has donated and installed several additions to the Trail in recent years. In September, 2014, a human sundial was installed along the Trail just north of the Chamber of Manitowoc County building (which is located near the Mirro Grive intersection.) The sundial is about 20 feet in diameter and has hourly calibration marks at ground level. When a person stands at the appropriate spot in the middle of the dial, their shadow points to the approximate time of day.


SOTR ImageIn August, 2015, The Manitowoc Garden Club also donated and installed a floral kaleidoscope on Mariners Trail. The kaleidoscope allows viewers who peer through a small telescope on the unit to see a beautiful flower pattern created by live flowers growing in a large pot at the end of the telescope. Rotating the flower pot in its holder changes the view. The kaleidoscope is also located just north of the Chamber of Manitowoc County building, next to the Human Sundial.


Sculpture Program Rules & Guidelines

Note: At this time, FOMT is not expecting to put more art work on the Trail. Ideas for more art are welcome and can be suggested it to the FOMT Sculpture Committee. The following guidelines have been established for any potential art donations.

The Friends of Mariners Trail (FOMT) organization has developed a sculpture program, through which select man-made works of art may be installed in areas along the trail. Set forth below are the special criteria and procedures for consideration of additional art sculptures along the Mariners Trail.

1. Artists' sculptures can add interest and enhance the beauty of Mariners Trail.

2. FOMT desires to maintain a delicate balance between the natural beauty of the trail and enhancements through man-made works of art.

3. FOMT is not currently seeking additional sculptures or man-made works of art along Mariners Trail. Nevertheless, FOMT will consider requests from an individual or organization that wishes to donate a sculpture for the trail.

4. The following guidelines apply to case-by-case consideration of any additional sculptures along Mariners Trail:

(a) Sculptures must be donated (FOMT does not purchase any artwork);

(b) Once installed, donated sculptures become the property of either the city of Manitowoc or the city of Two Rivers (depending upon location), which municipality governs land use rights (i.e., FOMT does not govern use of land along the trail);

(c) Total costs of artwork, signage, and installation are the responsibility of the donor;

(d) Landscaping around the sculpture and maintenance and upkeep of the artwork and site remain the responsibility of the donor; and

(e) Any damage to the sculpture or site, including natural causes and vandalism, must be repaired by and at the donor's expense. Sculptures along Mariners Trail are not covered by FOMT insurance.

5. Applications for consideration of donated sculptures must be made in writing and include the following: (i) detailed description of the artwork, including dimensions; (ii) artist's name (and background, if relevant); (iii) suggested or desired location along the trail; and (iv) donor's name and contact information. Submit applications to FOMT, P.O. Box 2341, Manitowoc, WI 54221-2341.

6. Applications are first reviewed and considered by the Sculpture Committee of FOMT. If the committee recommends installation of the donated sculpture, the application proceeds to the full FOMT board, which meets monthly (January - October). If the FOMT board concurs, the application is then submitted to the applicable municipality (City of Manitowoc or City of Two Rivers), which has final decision authority and governs land use rights. The process of consideration and approval of sculpture applications may take considerable time.

7. For more information or questions about the FOMT Sculpture Program, please contact us at marinerstrail@gmail.com or FOMT, Box 2341, Manitowoc, WI 54221-2341


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External Links
Chamber of Manitowoc County Manitowoc Area Visitors and Convention Bureau