Art Adventure in Your Pocket

Edina art teacher creates a mobile app that demystifies public art.

If you have driven around the traffic circles on 70th Street toward Target and the Galleria, you may have caught a glimpse of statutes on the Edina Promenade from your car window. Or perhaps you’ve seen those utility boxes around town wrapped with art. Have you ever wondered, “What is it? Who made it? Why did they make it, and what’s it about?”

“Those are the questions I ask,” Edina art teacher Shannon Steven says. That information is out there,
but it’s not always easy to get to.

Now there’s an app for that. And Steven, who teaches at Cornelia Elementary, created it. It’s called Wonder Wander. The free app will find your location, let you know what art is around you, show you a photograph
of it and display the artist’s and the piece’s name. It also has one interactive feature called, “See, Say, Do.” Click on each one for an activity, video of the artist explaining their craft and suggestions on how to interact with the art through reviews and votes. These features turn your phone into a virtual private tour guide.

“I just adore public art and sculpture and adventure,” Steven says. “As an art teacher, one of my main missions is to make art accessible to people. Public art in particular is meant for people to interact with so it’s kind of how I got the idea to have something that mapped and located art.”

Her idea was turned into a reality with the help of her husband and his company Cloudburst that creates apps and software for small businesses.

For people to be able to see information about art and guide themselves is invaluable to an audience says local artist Bradley Scott Davis. A reproduction of his painting Origin, with Sea Turtle and Frog is wrapped around a utility box at the intersection of 66th Street and France Avenue. It’s also in the app.

“My artwork is fulfilling on what it’s out to do which is to be seen and to be interacted with and to have an impact,” Davis says. “[Wonder Wander] is a bridge between the public and the art itself. It’s a link between that intention of providing art and then the intention of the artist which is to reach the people themselves.”

Steven believes Wonder Wander can also be a bridge between people from all walks of life.

“I think if people are out there using Wonder Wander, they’ll see who their neighbors are,” Steven says. “They would get out and move their body and see art and learn and have fun. If all of a sudden people from different communities even within Edina start to see each other out there and interact over art that would be really cool. Art has the potential to build community and impact the community in a positive way.“

Wonder Wander features artwork in Edina, local artists’ work around the Twin Cities and some historical sculptures from around the Twin Cities. Steven wants the app to expand and is looking for art teachers across the Twin Cities to help her develop it further.

To help Steven, email Wonder Wander at To download the app, go to