The four panels of “Quadriga: Elements of State” by MaryBeth Garrigan were inspired by the gilded copper sculpture situated atop the portico of the Minnesota State Capitol entitled “Progress of the State” by Daniel Chester French and Edward Potter. As in the original sculpture, Garrigan depicts the classic elements of water, fire, air, and earth as horses in her acrylic on canvas panels, translated into traditional Venetian smalti glass mosaic for this installation at MSP Airport by Miotto Mosaics Art Studios. In contrast to the original sculpture, Garrigan’s horses, and the elements that they represent, are unbridled as they swirl across the picture plane, suggesting a delicate balance between the powers of government, agriculture, industry, natural resources, and quality of life in Minnesota.
Artist Statement: The Fire Horse uses the warm southern sun to turn black soil green. Fire brings flowering beauty to Minnesota’s prairies in spring, as well as a warming glow during winter in the hearths of our homes. Summer campfires by the lake evoke memories of storytelling with friends and families.