It feels like lately my little world is feeling very serendipitous. I meet one person, they lead me to another, it leads to a new project or inspiration. It is pretty much a dream come true. So many great artists, and energy and people wanting to do big things!
I thought it would be fun to share the story of how I became involved with a group of guys in Edina and how we started a brand new initiative called Art of Edina
Back in September, my friend Pat Kelly called me.
He asked me if I would like to come to a super nice country club at 7am and stand up in front of a group of men who are business owners, entrepreneurs, leaders in the community and talk about myself. When I asked what I should talk about, he just said to tell them my story. I thought it sounded like a fun new challenge so I agreed.
So early one morning in October, I headed to the country club. While the men were slowly filing into the room that overlooked Lake Calhoun, I snuck out and took a few shots of the sunrise. Since I am usually toasting frozen waffles, packing lunches and listening to Curious George at that time, it was a treat to witness the rising sun over the lake my family loves.
Here's a screenshot of the Instagram I posted that day:
After I took a few shots, I went back in and gave my presentation.
A total of 3 slides: Past. Present. Future.
Clever, right!? 😜
I told them a bit about my past. A Wisconsin girl who attended UW Madison and then spent half a decade working for the statewide newspaper, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Then I told them my more recent story: a mini-van driving iPhone-photographer mom who had morphed into a published, Canon 6D-wielding "commercial, fine art and family" photog,-slash-social-media marketer within a quick two years. I also told them about my beloved community group, Minnstameets that I co-founded.
And then I played a slideshow of my photos during the Q&A.
A few days later I got a call from Mr. Brad Johnson asking me to come into his office. He is a Partner + Investment Advisor at Tradition Wealth Management in Edina, MN. I was a little nervous he was going to ask to manage my wealth (which would have been really embarrassing since I don't have anything on a level that needs "management" *yet*) but instead he said something to the extent of the following: "We (referring to himself and the leaders of two other Tradition Branches - Scott Beuning at Tradition Capitol Bank and Erik Hendrikson at Tradition Mortgage) have been in this business for over twenty years. We have a portfolio filled with great clients. We have made good money. Now it is time to give back. When I saw your presentation and I heard about everything you are doing on social media and for the community, I thought 'That's what we need to do! We need to do something new! Fresh. Exciting. Something our families can get excited about. Something that gives back.'"
So I left his office excited to have met a group of guys with that much enthusiasm, but also wondering what the heck I could do for them.
Eventually the three of them decided to form a company initiative called "Tradition, Pass It On." Which is basically their way of giving back to the community. You can read about it here:
The Art of Edina is one aspect of Tradition's Pass It On.
Together we created the Art of Edina as a way to give rising and established Edina artists a public space to display their art.
The only rule to Art of Edina is that we have no rules! We promote art. From finger painters to professionals. And we promote community. Especially those in our community - Edina.
And, we have great media coverage! We have already been featured by Southwest Journal and the City of Edina. We have an article coming out in Edina Magazine soon, some future projects with Artful Living and more!
In February we installed our first gallery. It is located at Southdale Center (see photo above) and highlights the works of the children from Concord Elementary. That art will stay on the walls for three months.
Next, we installed a gallery at Braemar Ice Arena lobby. It features photos from anyone in the community. We found the art for the gallery by scouring the hashtag #ArtofEdina on Instagram and also through direct emails we received. The artwork displayed at Braemar Ice Arena represents the Edina Parks and activities at parks.
We plan to have a large launch party that is open to the public. It will take place on the evening of Thursday, May 19th at the Galleria! We are currently busy getting the art ready for the show!
I could not be happier to be a part of this initiative and to watch it grow! I have been working closely with some wonderful, hardworking women - Laura Johnson and Beth Webert - to get everything ready for each show!
To read more about Art of Edina, you can find us:
on the web at www.ArtofEdina.com
on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ArtofEdina/
and of course on Instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/artofedina/