Lindstrom artist Ian Dudley has been carrying around an idea in his head for years, a vision of a public art piece honoring three men credited with founding the Chisago Lakes and Lindstrom area. Very soon that long-lingering vision will become real, erected in 3D for all to touch and be inspired by. The trio of sculptures will be installed soon in Lindstrom and you should mark the dedication ceremony date of October 5 on your calendars now.
Dudley was doing research for his Vilhlem Moberg-with-bicycle piece-- for the eponymous Moberg park in Chisago City years ago-- when he first heard tell of Per Andersson, Daniel Lindstrom and Erik Norelius and their adventures. The trio’s mystique stayed with him over the years and Dudley did eventually receive a commission in 2012 to create sculptures memorializing these local founding fathers. He worked concurrently on this threesome and his Nellie Gustafson mid-wife and buggy piece, which was installed this summer during Karl Oskar Days, outside the Chisago Lakes Area library.
In short order the men’s super-sized likeness (Dudley’s pieces are generally 20 percent larger than real life) will be bolted into place in a small plaza in downtown Lindstrom. The dedication Saturday, October 5 is expected to be a big deal with Scandinavian dignitaries and extended relatives of the three men’s families attending. A quick primer on the artwork: Daniel Lindstrom carries a string of fish. He is Andersson’s half brother. Norelius accompanied Per Andersson and 100 or so other immigrants from Sweden by boat, to America in 1850. Within about four years’ time, Norelius, who was only in his early 20s, was documented serving as a preacher to the faithful in the Chisago City-Center City territory.
In 1862 he was involved in the founding of Gustavus Adophus College. History dictates that Norelius would have books with him, in his knapsack. Andersson was a woodsman and hunter and he’ll be carrying a rifle.