The pinecone is an iconic symbol of Minnesota: These woody, seed-filled cones are where our Northwoods come from. Marcia McEachron’s stainless steel sculpture Pinecone, located in the center of a maze at Centennial Lakes Park, stands 10 feet tall like one of those towering trees it might someday become. As you navigate the paths around this sculpture or view it from across the lake, sparkling in the sun in its idyllic setting, Pinecone represents the environmental beauty of our state, as well as the continuity of nature.
McEachron took her first metalworking class in 1978 from a blacksmith in Uptown Minneapolis. McEachron creates sculptures in wire, too, as well as prints and paintings. But she is especially attracted to working with stainless steel—“an emotional metal,” as she describes it, with reflective qualities that play with light and shadow, a characteristic of her art. An avid hiker, she considers the pinecone, with its seeds, to be a metaphor for the renewal of life. McEachron also believes that public art enhances community by providing shared destinations; by “placing imagination in a public place,” she hopes her sculptures inspire people who see and enjoy them every day.
Pinecone was donated to Edina and Centennial Lakes Park by John and Jean Hedberg, members of the family who owned Hedberg and Sons. This sand and gravel business was located along France Avenue, where Centennial Lakes Park now sits, from the 1950s until the mid-1970s. The Hedbergs were philanthropists and volunteers who contributed significantly to Edina for decades. This connection between former landowner and current sculpture garden is another coincidence that brings the past and present together in Pinecone—just as the forests of tomorrow grow from the pinecones of today.
Contributed by Laura Westlund, a tour guide at the Weisman Art Museum and an art hound for Minnesota Public Radio.