Center of Gravity


'Center of Gravity II'
Photography exhibit by Peter Juhl
Oswald Visitor Center Restaurant Gallery
April 5-May 17, 2014

Gravity-defying balanced-rock structures by Twin Cities artist Peter Juhl are the focus of a new photo exhibit at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.

Juhl has been creating and photographing these temporary rock structures for about two decades. Combining elements of performance art, sculpture and meditation, "rock star" Juhl arranges natural stones found on location - most often along the North Shore of Lake Superior.  He uses only shape, weight and friction to create a one-of-a-kind composition. No glue, magnets, or other artificial supports are used. The sculptures may last a few minutes, or a few hours; with luck, long enough for a photograph.

"A good magic trick presents what we know to be a deception and makes us want to believe it's real. A good balanced rock sculpture does the opposite: We know it's real, but want to believe it's a trick," says Juhl. "Though I try to create sculptures that look implausible, I also strive to elevate the stones in another sense, taking them from objects disregarded under our feet to essential elements in an organized and beautiful structure. My goal is to contrast the simple strength of these individual stones with the complexity and fragility of the work as a whole, which evokes a sense of serenity and comfortable tension."

Visitors to Minneapolis' Lake Harriet are probably familiar with Juhl who can be seen balancing rocks near the concession stand in the summer.  He also travels to Lake Superior every year to create and photograph his rock sculptures.  This is his second photo exhibit at the Arboretum.

Peter Juhl

Meet the Artist

Meet artist and rock-balancing expert Peter Juhl at these special events"

Booksigning--Peter will sign copies of his new "Center of Gravity" book on April 20 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Arboretum Gift Store, located in the Oswald Visitor Center. 

Rock-Balancing Classes--He will lead classes at the Arboretum on May 17, June 28 and Aug. 23 at the Marion Andrus Learning Center. 

Rock-Balancing Demonstrations--See Peter's skills in action April 5, 13, 26 and May 3 in the Oswald Visitor Center balcony.  All demos will take place from 11 a.m. to noon, except for April 5, which is scheduled for 1-2 p.m.