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'Little Bird': Sculpture purchased for library

Margaret Olson, a Friends of the Bemidji Library Board member, admires "Little Bird," now a permanent part of the Bemidji Sculpture Walk. The sculpture was purchased with contributions from the Friends, Northwoods Garden Club of the Bemidji Area and the Region II Arts Council through funding from the Minnesota Legislature. Pioneer Photo/Molly Miron

The 2009 Bemidji Sculpture Walk features a bronze statue in a garden at the Bemidji Public Library.

The image is of a little girl sitting on a stack of books reading a bird book with a bunny cuddled at her feet and a sparrow perched on her toe. John Baer and Security BankUSA sponsored the placing of the statue. Now, the statue, "Little Bird," is a permanent embellishment in the library garden.

"This was many people coming together on this one," said Librarian Paul Ericsson. "It was Bemidji Collaboration at its best."

The Northwoods Garden Club of the Bemidji Area and Friends of the Bemidji Library, along with a grant from the Region II Arts Council, made the purchase of "Little Bird" possible.

Karen Sollom, secretary of the Northwoods Garden Club of the Bemidji Area, is in charge of organizing the care of the library gardens. She said the credit for making "Little Bird" a permanent feature also should be shared with a previous Bemidji Garden Club that has now disbanded.

When the current Garden Club of the Bemidji Area was established in 2006, Sollom said the remaining member of the disbanded club, Norma Lindell, joined. Lindell was in charge of the previous garden club's treasury and donated it to the Northland Garden Club with the stipulation that it go for a special display. The club built a stone surround for "Little Bird's" garden.

"We'll be putting some beautiful flowers in there next spring," Sollom said.

Sharon Geisen, president of the Friends of the Bemidji Library, said her group had the idea of buying "Little Bird" about the same time the Northwoods Garden Club did.

"When we heard that, we thought we should work to get the balance of the money," Geisen said.

The price tag on the sculpture is $5,200. The Friends contribution came from Red Door Book Store proceeds, membership fees and donations. The Region II Arts Council made up the remainder of the funding.

The creator of "Little Bird" is Julie Jones, a mother of five children. She lives in Fort Collins, Colo.