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11th beaver to arrive this week

"Groucho Beaver" is ready for his debut.

Al Belleveau, one of the founders of the Bemidji Sculpture Walk, said Monday that the anticipated 10th beaver, "Groucho Beaver" by Park Rapids-based artist Gordon Van Wert, is expected to be displayed sometime today.

First, though, a three-dimensional photograph is submitted to the members of the Bemidji Sculpture Walk for prior approval. Belleveau said this is a standard step in the process and is not expected to cause further delay.

"Groucho Beaver" was delayed due to deaths in Van Wert's family this spring.

Van Wert is an American Indian stone sculptor and was the only beaver artist who had offered a proposal of what he would do with his beaver blank.

Belleveau said Van Wert planned to paint the beaver black and decorate it with Ojibwe floral beadwork.

"It should be extremely striking," Belleveau said.

Van Wert did hear about the ongoing controversy surrounding "Gaea," the beaver sculpture by Blackduck artist Deborah A. Davis, and did tweak his sculpture to address that discussion.

It is not expected to be a controversial piece, Belleveau said.