Edina's Choice

Take a tour of public art this summer.
3D6+4 by Craig Snyder at the Promenade.

Ten spectacular new pieces of public art—huge, colorful outdoor sculptures—await your votes in the People’s Choice award category. This is a wonderful ongoing project for which the community can thank Public Art Edina and its chair, Barbara La Valleur. And don’t forget, says La Valleur, public art in Edina is more than just these fabulous sculptures. Also underway is a GoFundMe campaign to purchase Judd Nelson’s “Slapshot” (and perhaps a figure skater as well) for Braemar Arena. There are also artistically wrapped utility boxes. And you can’t miss the 10-foot-tall stainless steel “Pinecone” in Centennial Lakes Park. “Wouldn’t it be wonderful,” says La Valleur, “for “Pinecone” to become as iconic for Edina as “Spoonbridge and Cherry” is for Minneapolis?”

So go on an Edina public art treasure hunt. In three separate locations—the Promenade, 50th and France, and Grandview Square—you will find sculptures chosen by Public Art Edina for this year’s display. Vote for your favorite, either by paper ballot (available at City Hall, the senior center, Centennial Lakes Park and the Edina Art Center) or, new this year, on the Edina to Go app. Voting closes at the end of September.

The 10 sculpture artists each receive a $500 stipend. In addition, People’s Choice award winners receive $1,000, $750 and $500 for first, second and third place. All three People’s Choice winners are invited to exhibit their artwork in our community for a second year.

La Valleur encourages ongoing community support in funding Public Art Edina initiatives.

Here is a guide to the 10 pieces of public art selected for display from June 2015 to May 2016.


3d6 + 4
by Craig Snyder

Plymouth artist Craig Snyder is a web developer by day and a welder of steel, copper and brass (much from salvage yards) by passion. His art, he says on his website, is “…hot, hypnotic and appeals to [his] inner pyromaniac.”

“3d6 + 4” is three large red dice of painted steel. It “represents a lot of great times with family and friends, playing Yahtzee and role-playing games,” says Snyder.

Snyder also has another sculpture on display at The Promenade this year, “Xuberant! II.”

La Casa Del Carbonero

by Alonso Sierralta

Alonso Sierralta is originally from Valparaiso, Chile, where his grandfather taught him how to weld when he was just 10 years old. “I’ve always known what I wanted to do,” Sierralta says. He earned an MFA from the University of Nebraska and teaches sculpture and painting at Concordia University in St. Paul. Sierralta lives and has a workshop in Minneapolis.

“La Casa Del Carbonero” is inspired by traditional dwellings used by Chilean charcoal workers. Like much of Sierralta’s work, it juxtaposes natural and synthetic materials. In featuring things brought together via a kind of transplantation, Sierralta’s favored theme of immigration is revealed.

Screw Tail Bass

by Andrew Ray Arend

Andrew Ray Arend grew up in the woods around Rochester, and learned welding and auto repair at a family friend’s salvage yard. His favorite places include Rochester and Kodiak, Alaska, and his favorite sculptor is Auguste Rodin.

“Screw Tail Bass” is constructed of scrap metal—featuring screws in the tail— because Arend likes to reuse the old and not be wasteful. “My art is not dark and scary nor graceful and pristine,” says Arend in his artist statement. “It’s right in the middle and intends to evoke emotions of happiness and laughter.

Letting Go
by Judd Nelson

Judd Nelson’s experience with public art in Edina goes back to 2003. Of Barbara La Valleur and Michael Frey, general manager of the Edina Art Center, he says, “They get me. They get my work.” While he has exhibited pieces in many public shows, “there are not many opportunities in the Twin Cities besides Edina and Hopkins.”

“Letting Go” is one of the first sculptures in which Nelson combined human and animal forms. His other sculptures, including “The Gang’s All Here” on display at 50th and France this year, celebrate Minnesota wildlife; still others, like “Slapshot” feature sports figures in motion. A trademark of his work, evident in “Letting Go” and “The Gang’s All Here,” is the integration of openings and space within the sculpted figures.

by Timothy Cassidy

Timothy Cassidy lives and works in New York Mills. He creates his large metal sculptures at his 45-acre home studio. The first year he exhibited at the Minnesota State Fair in 1997, he won first place.

“Horns,” according to the MN Artists website, is “an assemblage of various sized and shaped claws and horns. The top portion of the sculpture appears to be on fire.” In December, Cassidy told the Pioneer Press, “I look at my pieces as conversation starters. It’s interesting to hear everybody’s point of view.”

Gravitations II
by Steve Elliott

Steve Elliot was born in Virginia and now lives in Nebraska, where he is dean of the School of Arts and Humanities at Wayne State College. Elliot also served four years of active duty in the Marine Corps.

The artist’s website says “Gravitations II” is constructed of stainless steel in a style consistent with the artist’s “interest in the relationship between nature and structural complexity.”

Xuberant! II
by Craig Snyder

Often, says Snyder about the II of “Xuberant II,” an artist finds a subject he likes and is a hit with other people. Variations like I, II, III are a way to experiment with and develop the expression of a popular theme.


High & Dry
by Kyle Fokken

Kyle Fokken describes himself as “a mixed-media collage sculptor who uses antique toy imagery to talk about relationships between generations and probe what we value as a society.”

“High & Dry” is Fokken’s take on the Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine.” A visual combination of wooden shoe and submarine, the piece consists of hand-cut pieces riveted together onto a steel armature.


by Jim Dehne

Jim Dehne was born and raised on a dairy farm in Wisconsin and still makes use of some buildings on the property to work on as well as store and exhibit his sculptures. He is also the creator of “3 Dancing Sandhill Cranes,” the Edina Public Art 2014 second-place People’s Choice award winner, on display this year and last at 50th and France. “I am so honored to have my sculptures on exhibit in Edina,” Dehne says. “I can hardly believe my good fortune, to be able to do and sell this work I love so much.”

“Moose” is 7 feet high at the shoulder, 9 feet, 1 inch tall at the antlers. It is constructed of welded iron rods, painted black with copper paint highlights.