Edina, Minn., Oct. 24, 2018 – Three new pieces of public art — all designed by elementary school students — were installed on the Edina Promenade in October.
The interactive pieces are the culmination of months of work that began with a grant from the Edina Education Fund and the City’s Arts & Culture Commission. As part of the grant, students at each Edina elementary school got a lesson on public art. Then, they had the chance to come up with ideas to represent the theme “I am” and create miniature versions of their proposal.
“Our original intention was to match up one winning student with a working artist, and bring the student’s vision to life as a large piece of public art,” said Cheryl Gunness, who helped launch the project while on the Arts & Culture Commission.
The judges were overwhelmed by the quality and creativity of the more than 130 submissions and found it impossible to narrow to one. Instead, they picked their nine favorites and reached out to artists to let them choose which to create. The student winners then worked hands-on with the artists over the summer to bring those designs to life.
“A Reflection of Me,” designed by Highlands Elementary School student Ayana Griswold and built with Nick Legeros, is a small bronze figure with a reflective face, meant to be a mirror to those who walk up to it.
“Since the theme is ‘I am,’ I thought that the sculpture should represent everyone, not just one person,” Ayana wrote in her artist statement.
“The I in Edina,” designed by Concord Elementary School student Mac Anderson and built with Charles Morrill, features oversized green building blocks that create the letters E, D, N, A. Visitors who stand in the center become the “I” in Edina.
"Rainbow Bridge," designed by Normandale Elementary School student Sylvia van Norman and built with Morrill, is a walk-thru covered bridge with its sides and top made of translucent panels filled with multiple colors. The effect is like being inside a kaleidoscope.
All three artworks, which are permanent installations, can be found on the Edina Promenade just south of 70th Street. The Promenade, located in the heart of greater Southdale near Centennial Lakes, is a three-quarter mile greenway with walking and biking trails featuring multiple pieces of public art and contemplative spaces in between retail, residential and recreational amenities.
For more information on public art in Edina, visit EdinaPublicArt.org.