Longing to visit the nearby park, this bronze dog gazes out the gallery window. Credit: Photo by Linda Koutsky

Longing to visit the nearby park, this bronze dog gazes out the gallery window. Credit: Photo by Linda Koutsky

Canine-inspired crafts

Updated: July 14, 2015 - 2:39 pm

Edina Art Center
4701 W. 64th Street, Edina, MN 55435

Anyone who’s had a dog knows they love attention. A new exhibit at the Edina Art Center lavishes attention on dogs of all shapes and sizes. And this show is not just for people — your dog is welcome too. Just bring a leash. Water and treats are available.

The Edina Art Center is well hidden yet passed by thousands of speeding drivers a day. It’s right alongside Highway 62 west of the France Avenue exit, but if you haven’t been there before you probably haven’t even noticed it.

Founded in 1976, the center is a leading hub of creativity in the southern metro. Its three-story building hosts dozens of classes for kids and adults in drawing, painting, photography, jewelry, dance and media arts. The center is also one of the premier pottery facilities in Minnesota with 24 throwing wheels and several different types of kilns. Members receive discounts on classes, invitations to exhibits and members-only shows, and special access to studios.

Twelve artists from all over Minnesota were selected for “Art with a Bark!” The media is as diverse as dog breeds: lost-wax bronze sculptures, stained glass mosaics, colorfully glazed tiles, laser cut steel, found object assemblages, canvas photos; there are beautiful fine art portraits worthy of heads of state and wildly colored fur that makes you smile. The dogs are everything you expect from a dog, they’re regal, inquisitive, conniving, shy, happy, full of anticipation and looking for attention.

On opening night several dogs visited the gallery. Most had never been to an art exhibit before. There were no accidents.

Many local and regional artists sell work in the gift shop and art supply store. I bought a shiny, cute enamel state of Minnesota necklace I had seen at an art fair earlier this summer and lost track of the booth. Ceramic candlesticks, whimsical tableware, handmade soap, lots of jewelry, Minnesota-made dog treats, dog notecards, dog coffee mugs — this shop is great for gifts! When’s your dog’s birthday?

While you’re in the neighborhood, take advantage of one of Edina’s great outdoor parks. Lake Cornelia is right outside the door of the Art Center. Along its shores is a 2.3 mile walking path that goes through a wooded area and over a boardwalk. It’s a small slice of nature in the city. We spotted a grebe — a bird that looks kind of like a small loon. Exercise stations, playground equipment, tennis courts, disc golf, and a fishing pier wrap around the 22-acre park. Edina’s Aquatic Center with a wave pool and pirate ship anchors the southeast end.

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“Art with a Bark!” on exhibit now through July 29th.

Art Center hours: Monday–Thursday, 9 a.m.–8 p.m. ; Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.–1 p.m. (Closed July 3rd, 4th, & 5th) 

LUNCH BREAK: Build your own delicious burgers, pizza, or salad at Tavern on France (6740 France Avenue South)