New library may get local  artist’s original sculpture

Jason Bernick (fourth from left), a fourth-generation member of the Bernick Family, presents a check for $22,750 to the Cambridge City Council on behalf of the Bernick Family Foundation. The grant money will be used to construct Parkwood Park on the east end of Cambridge.

Part of the original plans for the new Cambridge Library called for an open-air reading area, dubbed a “sculpture garden.” 

During the March 2 Cambridge City Council meeting, the council gave the “thumbs up” to make the area true to its name with the possible addition of a piece of art created just for the library by local artist Ian Dudley.

Dudley, who has created bronze work for such clients as the Bell Museum in Minneapolis, Wells Fargo, the Lindstrom Library, plus the cities of Fergus Falls, Taylors Falls, Lindstrom and Chisago City, is offering to create a steel sculpture for the new library, pending his being awarded a grant from the East Central Regional Arts Council.

“There is a whole lot of ideas going around in my head,” Dudley said in reference to what the sculpture might look like, noting that it will probably be based on the concept of kids and reading interwoven into a maple tree pattern of some sort. Assuming he is awarded a grant, he said he would be happy to give the council visual updates of his progress.

“We had always imagined the back area to have a central focal point,” said City Administrator Lynda Woulfe. “Ian has done a lot of work in this area and for libraries. So that’s why we thought to bring him forward.”

Woulfe said Dudley is willing to apply for the grant himself, so no staff time would be involved.

The council unanimously gave the “thumbs up” to go forward with Dudley applying for the grant.

City receives donation for new park

Also at the council meeting, the city was given a $22,750 donation from Bernick’s Family Foundation for Parkwood Park on the east side of Cambridge. 

According to Cambridge Community Development Specialist Carri Levitski, the money will be used to construct shuffleboard courts, horseshoe pits, plus both regular and wheelchair swings.

“In considering what type of equipment should be placed, we acknowledge the different demographics and the park would be utilized by all generations,” Levitski said. “We sought to develop a park with assets that currently don’t exist anywhere else in the city.

“The Bernick Family Foundation was started to honor the legacy of the company founders by continuing the tradition of supporting organizations consistent with the family’s core values,” she continued. 

“It’s an honor to support the community in this way,” said Jason Bernick. “Community is a very important piece to what we do. Without the community, we wouldn’t have customers, and it’s really our customers who support us – it’s important for us to support the community back.”


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