The people of Edina have made Salut Bar Americain a fixture of the 50th & France neighborhood. “Here’s our chance to return the favor,” says Zach Saueressig, general manager, in announcing SALUT’s new initiative to protect another fixture of the community: Edina’s public art.
“With the support of our guests, civic organizations like the Edina Lions Club and the Edina Community Foundation, we’re honored to spearhead this effort,” continues Saueressig. Salut will host fundraisers, solicit donations, and facilitate complementary efforts to enable both the purchase and long-term rental of public art under the auspices of the Edina Community Foundation.
“We’re a catalyst in this effort,” says Kip Clayton, Parasole vice president, “but there are many participants.” Among those collaborating on the fundraising effort with Parasole are Ann Swenson of the of the Edina City Council; Edina Community Foundation executive director, Dick Crockett; Brett Angel of Edina Lions Club; Scott Neal, City of Edina administrator; Edina Public Art chair, Barbara La Valleur; Larry Friedrichs from the Edina Lions Club; Rachael Thelemann, executive director of 50th and France Business Association, and many others.
Fundraising will begin in early September and culminate on Saturday, October 26th during the annual Pumpkin Fest in downtown Edina. The Edina Lions Club will coordinate fund raising during Pumpkin Fest. Salut also intends to donate 10 percent of profits from Salut sales on Wednesday, September 18th. We invite Edina residents to a Meet the Sculptor dinner with Heidi Hoy that evening. “This grass roots effort to raise funds for the purchase of Spaulding represents a unique public private partnership that will enhance Edina streets and bring art into public spaces, says Clayton. “We love the idea that Edina shoppers, 50th and France neighbors and local kids can all play a role in this endeavor.”
For Salut, the uncertain future of Edina’s public art is hardly an abstract issue. “Right outside our front door is perhaps the community’s best loved work of art – sculptor Heidi Hoy’s bronze canine, Spaulding.
“This piece was a real departure for me,” says the Minneapolis-based artist. “Much of my work is pretty serious, but I was commissioned to do this piece right after I’d adopted a dog – my first – and I really enjoyed the opportunity to create something fun; to really make people happy.”
Diners on Salut’s patio know just how well Spaulding succeeds at his mission. “People can’t keep their hands off him,” says Saueressig. “He’s a magnet for kids, but that dog brings a smile to everyone’s face. We just fell in love with Spaulding, and now we can’t bear the thought of losing him.”
Without sufficient funds, however, 50th & France will indeed lose Spaulding. “The Edina Public Art Committee was able to rent him for a period of one year, but that arrangement will soon end,” says Edina Public Art chair, Barbara La Valleur. “The only option left is to permanently adopt Spaulding. That’s where Salut and the public comes in.”
For every $500 raised, the Edina Public Art Committee is able to secure a yearlong rental of a sculpture or other piece of public art. The 50th and France Business Association contributed the initial round of funds for the three rentals in the downtown area. The purchase prices are set by the artists and vary widely.
“Spaulding will cost $7,650 to purchase and La Valleur has announced a lead gift of $1,000 toward that price from Edina residents Doug and Sharon Pugh,” adds Clayton.
Upon completion of the fundraiser, he will remain as a permanent addition guarding the entry to Salut. “After using the gift funds to purchase the sculpture, the Edina Community Foundation will transfer ownership to the City of Edina.”
Salut’s & Edina’s investment in the effort began with Hoy’s sculpture, but doesn’t end there. “We love Spaulding,” says Edina City Council member Ann Swenson, “and we want him to have lots of company.”