For Will Gunderson, art comes naturally. The local Edina artist has developed logos for popular companies, including Target and Go Radio; but, recently his art has been taken to the next level. Standing just shy of 40-feet-tall on 50th and France Ave. is “Stone + Stratus,” an illustration of Edina’s background.
“[It’s] a representation of the humble origins of Edina that helped form the new modern landscape,” says Gunderson. “‘Stone’ is the millstone pattern and ‘stratus’ is the clouds.”
Starting with nearly five different creative designs, Gunderson presented those to the 50th and France business owners as well as the city. Five was narrowed to three, and the Edina community ultimately chose the winning piece.
“We love that the city chose to have functional art as a part of this project,” says Rachel Thelemann, executive director of the 50th and France Business Association. “It really adds to the beauty and meaning of the area.”
Created on Gunderson’s MacBook, the piece was laser-cut to life out of COR-TEN steel — which will ultimately weather to a dark copper color. At night, it’s backlit by LEDs, creating a stunning effect. The unique pattern draws from representation, but also functionality.
“The pattern opens up as it goes upward to reveal a subtle gradation—much like a sunset or sunrise,” says Gunderson. “Clouds were then added for variation and a sky-like representation.”
View the monumental piece at the newly expanded north parking ramp, next to the post office. Gunderson’s piece is paired with “Garden Quilt,” a second ramp art installation at 50th and France.