28. Spartan

Artist: Ken Nyberg


With funds from the Donald E. Dybdal Fine Arts Fund*, well-known local sculptor Ken Nyberg was commissioned to create a Spartan sculpture that was initially placed outside the west entrance to the Fireplace Lounge and gymnasium building in 2004. Spartan was eventually relocated to its current site outside the east door of the gymnasium, where it welcomes visiting teams and fans to the gym where the M State Spartan athletic teams compete.

Two Fergus Falls businesses also contributed their expertise for the project: Minnesota Motor Company was involved with choosing the color and painting the Spartan, and Fergus Monument delivered the 11-foot creation to campus and positioned it on its pedestal.

The drawings for the Spartan originally included a sword, but that detail was eliminated during the process of designing the statue. The statue’s original concrete pad, which remains on its first site, contains a time capsule filled with college memorabilia from that era.

Spartan was one of dozens of larger-than-life outdoor works that Nyberg crafted with scrap metal. The sculptures, many on display in his hometown of Vining, have been featured with their creator in regional and national news media.

*The Donald E. Dybdal Fine Arts Fund was created by bequest from the estate of Donald E. Dybdal to Fergus Area College Foundation in 1999 to further enhance the visual arts at M State. The fund has been used to purchase visual art and support educational opportunities in the visual arts.

Ken Nyberg shares his story and about his art.