Lyndale group raises money for peace sculpture

The Lyndale Park Peace Garden Project Committee is selling origami gifts to fund the Spirit of Peace sculpture planned to be installed in the Lyndale Park Peace Garden, 4125 Harriet Ave. S., in 2006.

The gifts include origami peace crane earrings, fabric origami pins and mobiles for $10 apiece. Already, 200 pairs of earrings have sold. The novelty earrings are folded 14 times from pieces of paper one and a half inches square and then preserved with a light coating.

“It’s a great way to get something and give a significant donation to the project. So you get two gifts. And they’re a great stocking stuffer,” said Minneapolis Parks representative Mary Lerman.

North Carolina artist Sue Hansen made the cranes. She uses the activity as a kind of therapy and a family project. After she was diagnosed with a brain tumor, she folded 1,000 cranes before her first surgery – following the Japanese legend that says that the activity will grant the folder a wish. Another surgery later, her tumor is in remission.

The sculpture will replace the decaying wooden peace bridge currently in the park. The bridge was dedicated in 1985 in observance of the 1945 atomic bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and to the memory of Sadako Sasaki, a Japanese child who folded well over 1,000 cranes before she died of exposure to radiation.

The 12-foot bronze sculpture that will replace the bridge is designed by St. Paul-based artist Caprice Glaser. A circle of boulders bearing plaques with steps on how to fold a crane leads to a finished crane with outstretched wings. The stones come from ground zero in Hiroshima and Nagasaki following the bombings.

The Lyndale Park Peace Garden committee’s goal is to raise $150,000 for the sculpture’s construction, which will still feature the Japanese style Yatsu-Hasi bridge but one rebuilt with more durable materials.

To order the origami gifts, call Mary Lerman at 313-7726. For more information about the Lyndale Park Peace Garden Project, go to www.minneapolisparks.org and click on volunteers.