Rochester Local

A Not So Private Sky | ♡ Heart of the City for Rochester Families

This post is sponsored by Destination Medical Center

a not so private sky
“A Not So Private Sky” by Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle // photo by: ab-photography.us

We are continuing our series “Heart of the City for Rochester Families.”  In this post we turn our attention to A Not So Private Sky, the first artwork installed in the Heart of the City, a project by Destination Medical Center.

Public art has been one of the core foundations of the design of Heart of the City. Five world-renowned artists were invited to collaborate with the Heart of the City design team resulting in a truly integrative process.  There will be five distinct and engaging pieces of new art, as well as the the re-installation of the Rochester’s beloved Peace Fountain. The careful and thoughtful design process of the embedded artworks as well as the Heart of the City itself draws in Rochester, MN residents and visitors to engage in shared and individual experiences.

We know from past observation and anecdotal experience that public art has a role in creating pride in a space as well as creating lifelong memories and rich history of a community shared space.

Between now and the end of the year, we will be exploring more of these projects to help familiarize the community to these works of art, and the artist inspiration and meaning behind each piece.  Art is such an important part of public spaces, and is especially engaging for children and their families.  These works of art encourage interaction and imagination by the spectator of the environment surrounding them.

a not so private sky
Installation day of “A Not So Private Sky” // photo by: ab-photography.us

A Not So Private Sky

Artist: Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle – Chicago, IL

The first artwork to be finished and installed is “A Not So Private Sky” by artist Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle. This artwork was set in its permanent location on August 11, 2021 in the very heart of the Heart of the City. To begin to understand and interpret “A Not So Private Sky,” let’s take a deep-dive into science and geometry for a moment.  This is truly fascinating and brings about new appreciation for the artwork.

“A Not So Private Sky” features a vertical tower of 16 dice-shaped, stainless-steel objects with 12 faces called dodecahedrons. In science, a dodecahedron is one of 5 Platonic Solids, or any of the five geometric solids whose faces are all identical, regular polygons meeting at the same three-dimensional angles.


Platonic solids have been studied by mathematicians and science for thousands of years. The other 4 Platonic Solids (4, 6, 8, and 20 faces) have been said to represent earth, air, fire, and water.  The dodecahedron is meant to represent the universe.  There is, in fact, a chemical compound called Dodecahedrane whose carbon atoms are arranged as the vertices of a regular dodecahedron. As we know, carbon is the very basis of life.

“The dodecahedron is in one way or another related to carbon, and this piece is called “A Not So Private Sky” which in a sense is kind of referring to everything that’s above it, the fact that we all have something at stake and ownership,” Maglano-Ovalle has said. The piece was created based on the interest of the artist including the climate and atmosphere which we all have ownership in. (quote originally found here.)

a not so private sky
Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, the artist of “A Not so Private Sky” on installation day // photo by: ab-photography.us

Maglano-Ovalle has visited Rochester previously when he presented an Art Exhibition at the Rochester Art Center. The artist explained that he felt fondness for the Peace Fountain and it’s verticality.  With a Not So Private Sky, he wished to continue the vertical axis the fountain created on the east side of the Heart of the City and extend that towards the Gonda Building on the west side.

Around the central vertical column of “A Not So Private Sky” you’ll find other single and smaller groupings of dodecahedrons.  This is where the piece can be truly interactive.  On a recent visit to the Heart of the City, children were climbing all over the smaller structures and having a great time imagining what this could be.  One child said that they imagined these as “weird clouds that fell down from the sky,” and another thought it was a “new kind of brick from the future.” A child’s imagination is truly boundless!

We hope you will take the opportunity to see this unique art installation in the Heart of the City.  Stay tuned for additional features on the other 3 new pieces of artwork integrated into the Heart of the City design.

a not so private sky
“A Not so Private Sky” by Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle // photo by: ab-photography.us

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