Photo of The metal art pillars on the east side of Weissman Memorial Bridge in Great Falls, Montana

Weekly Gem #155 How did he get a shoe in there?

Published 3/17/2018

Location:  This hidden gem is a very unique pair of pillars, flanking the east entrance to the Weissman Memorial (pedestrian) Bridge, in Great Falls, MT (see the Clue Me! Map).

It's fun to watch the pedestrians watch the pillars. The bridge is fairly long, spanning the Missouri River. From a distance, say the west end of the bridge, a person sees the pillars, but takes no special notice. Getting closer it becomes obvious that the pillars are art ... but what, exactly?

Then details emerge and these pedestrians seem to enter an invisible puddle of molasses, gradually slowing to a halt as their attention is riveted to the unusual art. It's almost as if they are compelled to stop and scrutinize each of the eight puzzling panels, only then being released to continue their journey.

This sparks interesting conversation in the cars driving by, as their occupants routinely observe people standing and staring at the pillars.

"Look at those people staring at the construction! Are they nuts?"

"Yes! And bolts, pliers, and chains. Heck, there are a bunch of teeth, and even ... a shoe!"


"Their gears are spinning. I think they're hooked!"

"Get a (vice) grip."

The artist, Alex Smithson, must surely chuckle now and then.


Here's the hidden gem entry from our Clue Me! map.


File this gear under "Art"


The metal art pillars on the east side of Weissman Memorial Bridge

Why It's Interesting

This is one of a pair of pillars flanking the east end of the bridge. It's amazing how much fun it is to look at the various bits and pieces that were used to make this unique work of art.

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