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35W Bridge: Uptown Art Fair and Honoring the Memory

August 1, 2007, tragedy struck the Twin Cities.  It’s a day most of us won’t ever forget.  The well-traveled 35W bridge collapsed during rush hour injuring approximately 150 people and killing 13 people.  Thirteen months later the bridge has been rebuilt…much faster than many predicted.  Memorials have been created for those who died or were injured. As we look back on all that has happened, we do know the lives of families and friends who lost loved ones will never be the same.

The annual Uptown Art Fair was preparing to open at the time of the bridge collapse.  Taking into account this horrific incident and wanting to help in some way, the Uptown Association contacted the Salvation Army who brought their red kettles to help raise funds for the aftermath. Uptown Art Fair director Maude Lovelle, committee members, and artists wanted to provide some means of help at the event that typically draws over 300,000 people throughout the weekend.   To further help the cause and pay tribute to those who died in the collapse, a local artist Marni Tobin was selected to honor the victims with a commemorative painting titled “13 Flowers” representing the individuals whose lives were lost.   The original print is traveling around the Twin Cities yet today.  All proceeds from the sales of the prints and the auction of the original artwork is being donated to the  35W Bridge Victim’s Fund.

During difficult times of turmoil and duress, our communities have pulled together to help.  Though many say that this accident could have been prevented, we may never know that for sure.  However, as we begin our drive across the new 35W bridge, may we continue to honor and remember those who died and those who were injured.  May their families know we are thinking of them. Let none of us forget the lessons learned.

Published on: September 18, 2008