Bunny and Bear sculpture

The “Bear and Bunny” sculptural bench is displayed outside of the Edina Library. It was completed in July of 2020. (Photo courtesy Edina Community Foundation)

This is an installment of Curious Edina, an Edina Community Foundation project that seeks to answer residents’ questions about their city. Questions for Curious Edina can be sent to ECF@edinacommunityfoundation.org.

In July of 2020, the Friends of the Edina Library held a socially distant unveiling of the newest piece of public art in the city of Edina: the “Bear and Bunny” sculptural bench on the recently created plaza beside the front door of the Edina Library.

The sculpture comes from a bequest by the late Linda Brandt. Brandt was a longtime Friend of the Edina Library and president of the organization. She wanted something that would delight children and families.

The Friends’ Board asked three artists to submit plans for sculptural benches, around themes that were stipulated in Brandt’s bequest. Her sister made the final decision. Local sculptor and calligrapher Janey Westin designed the piece that was chosen. Westin carved the bench out of Indiana limestone; coincidentally, Ms. Brandt was from Indiana.

Shortly after the unveiling, “Bear and Bunny” was covered to protect it during the construction work on the library, and the covering was just removed in November. Chris Sadar, president of the Friends, and Nick Andrews, the library’s manager, both confirmed that a formal dedication would be scheduled in 2021, when it is safe to gather.

Thanks to Maureen Millea Smith, a librarian at the Edina Library, for the answer to this week’s question.

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