Before my daughter could drive, I’d zip across Franklin Avenue, down West River Parkway and drop her at school every morning. I’d take that route because it was close to my office and we’d pass Kimber’s Gallery, it would always make me smile.
The East River neighborhoods are a secret in Minneapolis. How Kimber’s Gallery is kept a secret is a mystery to me. She has the genius and whimsy of Gaudi, and the talent of a master bronze sculptor. Her home, studio, and gallery on 3020 E Franklin, just before the Franklin bridge, stops you in your tracks with bright Matisse colors beckoning you in. The first time I saw it, the Humpties perched on top of brick columns told me that there were surprises inside.
As you open the door, a Cirque de Soliel cast welcomes you with glasses held high, legs waving in the air. There are fantasy Humpty Dumpties, dancers, jesters, acrobats, more than you can take in at a glance. Every inch of space is rollicking with creativity. It makes you want to be part of this circus and take the party home with you.
Kimber started sculpting at Coon Rapids High School. Sculpting classes included welding, it was love at first torch. Women and welding were uncommon, and not encouraged at the time. It still isn’t, but she had talent that couldn’t be overlooked. By the time she got married and had children she had moved on to clay. Her son asked her to make him a Humpty Dumpty. The egg citation of that first Humpty brought her back to bronze, and her family of characters that inhabit the gallery today.
If you’re lucky, you might even get to see her workshop with all the gear and eggs in process. It is as fascinating as the finished work. When you are in Minneapolis, run by the gallery, I promise that you’ll be delighted. Art by Kimber, 3020 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis, www.artbykimber.com. If you don’t want to go alone, call me. Use the secret password, HUMPTY at 612 384 1360 or email me @ [email protected] (that’s me).