Arts and Culture 

  1. Public Art
  2. Winona Municipal Band

Blue Heron Coffee House Picture of Blue Heron

Blue Heron Project

In 2007, Lynette Power designed and sculpted the dramatic model of a heron that was seven feet tall. Her smaller renditions of herons were studies for the larger version River Spirit. This sculpture was the prototype for a very successful fundraising event sponsored by the city of Winona, MN, and its local businesses. The Blue Heron Project raised $44,000 dollars for the Cities Fine Arts Commission. Fifteen of the great birds were cast in resin for local artists to paint. They were displayed throughout Winona for the summer and auctioned off in the fall.

Pictured is one of the sculptures in front of the Blue Heron Coffeehouse at 162 W. 2nd Street.

One of the remaining statues is at the corner of Franklin and Wabasha Streets.

Ratliff Poem smaller

Winona Poetry Walk

The Fine Arts Commission and the City Planning Department celebrates local creatives by placing their words step by step within our sidewalks alongside our local and regional laureate poets, creating a democracy of verse. The Winona Poetry Walk project consists of original poetry stamped into the sidewalk throughout downtown.

Located downtown on Third, Fourth, and Fifth Streets between Main Street and Lafayette Street.

More information about the Poetry Walk

The Color Project Picture

The Color Project

Winona Creative Laureate, Sarah Johnson, in partnership with the Fine Arts Commission (and sponsored by the Winona Foundation) has begun a project of original murals, that celebrate the creation of vibrant and welcoming spaces.  

WINONA Letters Picture

WINONA letters

Designed by local sign makers MyType and commissioned by WINONArts as their first piece of public art, the WINONA letters (which also have an ARTS addition) are a popular stop for all visitors and community members for photos with iconic Sugar Loaf in the background.

Located near the Visitors Center 924 Huff Street

HBC Fence MuralHBC Art Wall Picture

This is a project that spanned four years and was a collaboration between The River Arts Alliance, Hiawatha Broadband Communications, South East Minnesota Arts Council, and the City of Winona. Julia Crozier was the coordinator for the project and led the mural aspects. She organized annual public participation for painting the backgrounds for the murals, painting 5-9 murals per year. She designed and painted the black lined aspect of the murals to tell the story of communication throughout history. This project is now part of the HBC fence and the nearby newly renovated Winona Levee Park.

Located at 34 Main Street in Levee Park

The Historic Masonic Drops

Masonic Drop Picture

The scenic stage drops were designed by Sosman and Landis of Chicago in 1909, procured by M.C. Lilley and Company of Columbus, Ohio, and installed under the direction of Lilley’s western representative, Bestor G. Brown of Wichita, Kansas. Originally when grouped in various combinations, the individually numbered drops created 59 stage scenes and there were 99 individual pieces. In 2019, 13 of the drops were lovingly restored by community donations and with funds from the City. The remainder of the collection now resides in Des Moines with their Masonic Chapter.

Located in the former Masonic Theatre 251 Main Street

Winona Stained Glass

Winona was dubbed the stained glass capitals of the United States and has a long history of beautiful works of art in its houses of faith, homes, and businesses with many notable works still existing and worth visiting. For a wonderful stained glass walking tour go to Visit Winona’s Stained Glass Tour information site. Winona still has a number of working stained glass studios.

Willet Hauser Art Glass Co., Inc., with studios in Winona and Philadelphia, is the largest stained glass enterprise in the United States. Willet Hauser partnered with the City to design and then made a generous gift of the panels in the archway at Levee Park. 

Cathedral Crafts Inc. artisans take great pride in restoring stained glass windows designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany, John La Farge, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Munich-Meyer Studio.

The Reinarts Studio, in business for over 50 years, has made many noted windows including those at the Vatican Chapel in Jerusalem.

The following are just a few examples of this important art form in Winona.

Tiffany Stain Glass Window at WNB Financial
Levee Park Stained Glass

Designed and donated by renowned local firm Willet Hauser Architectural Studios in 2019 as a gift to the city for the new archway anchoring the entrance to Levee Park. There are four panels- two reflecting the view of the river and flora and fauna to be found there, and two depicting the bluffs and theirs.

Located at the entrance to Levee Park, corner of Main Street and Second Street

Tiffany Windows WNB Financial

The famous Tiffany Studios of New York created all of the building’s stained glass windows from architect George Maher’s sketches. The art glass was so dazzling that newspapers covered the installation 1916.

Ernest L. and Grace Watkins King (daughter of J.R. Watkins) commissioned Chicago architect George Washington Maher to design a grand bank building for Winona Savings Bank at 204 Main Street in Downtown Winona. Maher had also designed buildings for the J.R. Watkins Medical Company. After two years of construction, the grand opening of the new Bank building occurred July 1, 1916. With its Egyptian Revival architectural style and Prairie School influences, the building features monumental columns in the front entrance, Italian marble, a massive steel vault, Tiffany stained glass windows, and a gun collection and African safari trophies of E.L. and Grace King.

Located at 204 Main Street

Merchants Bank Window

Produced by Mosaics Art Shops of Minneapolis, the Main Window in the Merchants Bank Building was created in the Tiffany Studios style but adds Prairie School elements to match its unique architecture. The building was built in 1912 by the Minneapolis firm of Purcell, Feick and Elmslie to bring a different vision to life when constructing our third bank location in the early 1900s.

The firm was a leader in “The Prairie School of Architecture” style and architects Purcell and Elmslie were close associates of Louis Sullivan (all three were contemporaries of Frank Lloyd Wright). The Merchants Bank building is the largest and most famous example of their unique, progressive contribution to early 20th century architecture.

Located at 102 East Third Street