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La Crosse to consider where to put Hatched Baby sculpture

"Hatched Baby" was created by Wolfgang Auer, an artist from La Crosse's German sister city of Friedberg.

Contributed photo

After months of labor, “Hatched Baby” is nearly ready for visitors after a city committee Friday approved its placement in the southeastern lawn of La Crosse City Hall.

“We have finally, so-to-speak, put the baby to bed,” said La Crosse Arts Board chairman Doug Weidenbach.

The rest of the board applauded decision on where to place the fiberglass sculpture — created by Friedberg, Germany, artist Wolfgang Auer. The board has been considering the question since September.

The 9-foot-tall sculpture of a blue baby sitting in a white eggshell — now in a Myrick Park shelter — will be moved sometime before mid-March, when the city’s parks department needs to get the shelter ready for spring.

There are some administrative tasks to complete before it’s moved, such as making sure it’s properly insured and arranging transportation, but Mayor Tim Kabat confirmed Friday that his office is working with the parks department to get the sculpture placed.

“The Blue Baby is coming,” said Kabat.

After the arts board’s self-imposed March deadline last month, the mayor spoke with the board about the possibility of placing the sculpture at City Hall as a way of honoring the artist, who is from La Crosse’s German sister city of Friedberg. It will be displayed in the green space off Sixth Street, near the butterfly garden installed last year.

“People can see it, which is the point of art after all,” Weidenbach said.

Arts board member Jennifer Terpstra suggested the board hold a reception to let the public see the baby once it’s in place.

While Weidenbach acknowledged that some people consider it controversial, he was pleased to see it sparked a public conversation about art and what it means.

“That is part and parcel what it means to create art,” Weidenbach said.

Board members and city staff are looking into the possibility of some sort of plaque explaining where “Hatched Baby” came from and Auer’s intentions in creating it.

“It’s a win-win for everybody, whether you like it or not,” Weidenbach added.

Council member Roger Christians, who is on the arts board, suggested the city send photos and a letter of thanks to the artist after the piece is in place.

“If we had not put this somewhere, it would have been a shame,” Christians said.

The sculpture is on temporary loan and will eventually be returned to Friedberg.

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City government reporter

Jourdan Vian is a reporter and columnist covering local government and city issues for the La Crosse Tribune. You can contact her at 608-791-8218.

(46) comments

Sports-fanatic

Are we being pranked?

Asiseeit

send the little boy home

hrpufnstuf

I just Google searched this thing and they had one in Cinncinati and they were glad to see it go. There was also a photo of the same blue baby's face stuck on a crawling body in Germany.

What goes around

I’m thinking someone in our sister city is mad at us or just wants us to look ridiculous. This thing is fugly.

Mr Mojo Risin

It smells like old "folks" in here!

Nastysmell

Perfect idea, give it to the Freedom From Religion folks (folks is not the term I choose for them but kind of politically correct) in Madison. Kill two birds, they will spend all their time figuring how to make a lawsuit against it and at the same time they won't be bothering good folks.

Snow Cougar Mary Burke

This was a bit before my time, but my older friends joke it can become profitable art that should be called the "Birth of Mork". Make it so you can deposit a couple of quarters so the head would pop out of the top of the cracked egg with a sound system playback of Robin Williams voice saying "Nanoo, Nanoo".

Cassandra

Yes, bots didn't exist when Mork and Mindy was on TV.

Snow Cougar Mary Burke

But stupid hate-filled liberals did, right snowflake?

LaCrosseTaxPayer


What a fitting place for that thing! A cracked egg with a freak sticking its head out, just like the cracked heads at city hall poking their heads out of their A#%es!!

Jobaba

Absolutely love it! If art had no impact we wouldn't have art. Some people can't see beyond the end of their nose. Open your mind. You don't have to love it.

mw546

Can we re gifted to someone else?

Buggs Raplin

Let's give it to Onalaska in the spirit of regional cooperation.

Calmone

Onalaska would NEVER accept that monstrosity. We are more particular in what we allow, unlike La Crosse. I'm sorry you misunderstood.

668 The Neighbor of the Beast

Lets put it in a "time capsule" and let the generations after us worry about it.

random annoying bozo

finally, something uglier than the gravel tower called city hall. the 'sculpture?', and the gravel tower were made for each other.

Buggs Raplin

City Hall architecturally reminds me of the castle of the Wicked Witch, though I haven't seen any flying monkeys. I hear they're all working for Hillary.

ToldYaSo

I don't care much for the sculpture, but I would choose it over the painting they're proposing for the parking ramp.

Nastysmell

Blue is the new orange. If you really want to see ugly stuff, take a look at what happened to downtown Green Bay. All the new condos have just wrecked the riverfront. All this cr*p hurts my eyes.
Bring on the metal butterflies, a little better, but not much.
Perhaps they could put a spring and motor on that baby so it pops up like one of those kids toys.

MyongAndrado

Well .. Sculpturing is my passion.. and I love this piece of art.
I truly like. Not all between the place has to be an old and cool artifact encouraged from history wars or the the history of La Crosse.
It's great , New , fresh and unique....something many people have issue within this city Hall... [smile]

Myong Andrado | Designer @ https://www.likenessme.com/

Redwall

What has the Big Indian got to do with the Blue Baby? Why is the Fibune pushing this Hiawatha statue issue at every turn?

An article about the weather (see accompanying side bar re: Hiawatha).

An article about Blue Baby statue aborted (err, gifted) by German artist (see accompanying side bar re: Hiawatha).

"Turning Blue" is an idiom that fits the angst, anger, and sophomoric agenda pushing of Fibune scriblers.


hrpufnstuf

Repaint it! simple.

LaCrosse Lady

This liberal finds that 9 foot thing hideous. It’s not that it’s blue as much as the REALLY blue used. Plus - the eyes, teeth, egg, and it’s 9 feet!

There is just nothing about this that makes you think of gentle babies. It’s so off it just registers as wrong.

At least the city isn’t wasting money moving it to some park. Maybe in a few years it will be “lost” when new carpeting is put in.

What do you do with a gift you hate from someone you don’t want to insult? Put it out for a bit then misplace it. Maybe there is another Wisconsin city with an art museum (Madison) that can give it a “proper” home.

overtaxed

And we have a river sooo close. It could accidentally fall into the deepest channel. HIDEOUS is not a strong enough word!!

Comment deleted.
Rick Czeczok

Why must people like you take a stab at everyone. Even if it makes no sense what so ever.
Please explain this comment so the rest of us understand your opinion on this matter.

madmen60

There have been allegations of racism lodged at Auer based on this sculpture. It certainly is controversial.

Remingtonsmom

It sort of makes sense for the Blue Baby to be displayed at City Hall. After all, City Hall is full of babies who often make taxpayers blue and/or grit their teeth.

madmen60

Exactly

Prairie

just out of curiosity....whats the fine for vandalism?

Redwall

Thats what "Go Fund Me" web site is for.

Rick Czeczok

This will end up to be an embarrassment to the city, and the government that runs the it.
This sculpture is a joke from Germany, talk to the people that work for Fast corp and they will tell you how bad this sculpture is made. There are so many beautifull things we can put in this city and this is not one of them. Council should be ashamed of themselves for putting such a hideous piece of garbage in this city much less on public display. I want it to go on a referendum, just to show how out of touch the council is. Where do I get the papers I will start it.

Buggs Raplin

And, of course, since it's a black baby, accusations of racism will ensue to its critics. It's what liberals do, if someone disagrees with them on most any issue, they're racist.

Cassandra

It's blue. Time to join the 21st century and get a color monitor, Chippy.

Green85

We need a new arts board.

canman

This isn’t art, at least the Indian’s sculpter had good intentions to be representative of his intentions. Babies aren’t born with a full set of choppers from a chicken egg.

Asiseeit

I'd like to know why they didn't keep it in Ohio ? don't they appreciate "art" there ?

Buggs Raplin

This is liberalism in action folks. Now that they've got this ugliness in place, they'll move to tear down the Big Indian. Just watch.

Buena Vista

I like this piece of art. I really do. Not everything within the city has to be an old and crusty artifact promoting past wars or the the history of La Crosse. It's nice, modern, fresh, and different....something many people have trouble within this city.

vmax

Maybe they could bury it as a time capsule. Out of sight, out of mind for 100 years.

Goldenyrs

I love all kinds of art. Unfortunately this "Blue Baby" is just plain hideous - my personal opinion, of course. Since it will be sent back eventually, perhaps this can be done sooner instead of later. They can use it for a Halloween decoration and scare the kids in another country.

Jusssayin'

The stupid shhhh La X spends its money on...maybe deep enough for homeless to sleep in? Or future Blue Man Crew advertising?

Calmone

I object. The hatched baby is making fun of women that have had babies. Our babies don't look like that and it's wrong to put up a monument that makes a laughing stock of babies everywhere. I call for it to be destroyed. I'll be getting all of my mommy friends to protest until that happens. This is NOT art. I'm sorry you misunderstood.

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