The wheels keep turning and the art keeps inspiring as we celebrate the memory of Edward O. Lund
It has become a tradition: Friends, family, artists, runners, scotch lovers and more gather to remember a remarkable Fresnan and raise money for art students. The Edward O. Lund Foundation puts on a double-header this weekend, featuring the Hammer Road Rally on Saturday at Shaver Lake and the Scotch, Brew & Art Affair on Sunday at The Mad Duck at Campus Pointe.
Pictured above: Joyce Aiken and William Raines enjoy last year’s Scotch, Brew & Art Affair.
I knew Ed — who died in a cycling accident — in his capacity as an art curator and preparator. The fun thing about these memorial gatherings is the way they bring people who knew and loved Ed together. I talked with Ed’s sister, Lisa Lund-Brown, about why this weekend is special to her.
Q: I think it’s touching that your foundation’s weekend events focus on a few of the eclectic interests in Ed’s life: cycling, scotch, craft beer, and art. Like most of us, your brother had “different sides” to him.
A: Ed was such a cool guy. I am so blessed to have had the time with him that I did. He was curious about everything and would, in turn, become expert in those things he was interested in, which were many. Not only did he love cycling, scotch, craft beer and art, he was a talented gardener, classic car buff, dancer, climber, and so much more. I think this is why he connected so deeply with people. He was a true Renaissance man who loved to share his knowledge and gifts with others, honestly and unconditionally. When you attend the Hammer Road Rally or the Scotch, Brew & Art Affair, you will find an eclectic mix of people there who were touched by those many sides of Ed.
Q: This year’s Hammer Road Rally cycling race in honor of your brother is being held at Shaver Lake for the first time. What does that location mean to you?
A: Ed and I used to go to Shaver as kids with our parents, and then in our teens and twenties with our friends. Stopping for the “world famous chunky bread” was always the highlight (it still is for me actually). Ed loved the mountains and spent a lot of time on a bike around Shaver, as well as just hiking and climbing whatever boulder or structure looked interesting along the way. He spent endless hours riding the roads there once cycling became a bigger part of his life, so when we talked about moving the Hammer to Shaver after last year’s event, it was more of a “duh” moment than a conversation. It just made sense.
Q: There are four routes you can choose in the race that range from easy to extremely tough. Just reading about the “Hammer” makes my legs hurt. Tell us about what that route entails. What do you think of the cyclists who can pull it off?
A: We talk about our scholarships being life-changing for the students, well everything I hear from cyclists about this year’s Hammer route is that this will be a life-changing experience on a bike. It’s a 6-8 hour ride that includes 30 miles of gravel, 15 miles of which are vertical. It’s a physical and mental challenge that most cyclists will never experience anywhere else. It’s exactly the kind of ride Ed would have designed were he here today. Big climbs and descents, beautiful landscape and diverse roadways. The Hammer route is a monster ride that tests the heart of a cyclist, I think. It’s not about the winning time for everyone, it’s about the challenge and the finish. That was Ed’s style.
Q: On Sunday, the “Scotch, Brew and Art Affair” is held at The Mad Duck Craft Brewing Company at Campus Pointe. For people who haven’t attended before, describe the activities and ambiance.
A: Oh, I love this day. This is our “Affair’s” fourth year at the Mad Duck, Campus Pointe. We set-up in the square with tents and tables, fine foods, scotch whiskys and brews, wrapped in the sounds of Ben Boone’s quintet. There is really quite a special energy that envelopes the square during this time. Amazing art from our scholars, well-known local artists and even a few international artists. Each year all those elements come together in a beautiful way, with smiling faces, reverie, people discussing art and people swaying to great jazz – it’s a true melding of all the cultural treasures we have in our community. And, at the end of the evening, we are able to give something back to students who will inspire future joy.
Q: Your father, Edward O. Lund Jr., for the first time will be at the events this year. Tell us a little about him. Which of his qualities do you think rubbed off on your brother?
A: Yes, we’re very excited that Dad is joining us this year! Dad was a professor of art at Fresno State from 1966 until he retired in 1995. Ed spent countless hours and days hanging out in the art department with Dad and the many vital artists that were in the department at that time, so the extent of what rubbed off on Ed is immeasurable!
Dad has actually donated a pendant from his collected works this year. I’ve always called it wearable art because it’s as beautiful around the neck as it is encased and hanging on a wall. I’m so happy to have Dad be part of the experience this year.
Q: Proceeds from the weekend’s events fund scholarships for Fresno State art and design students.You got to help select seven winners this year. What do they receive?
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A: We cover all costs associated with the London Program, which is a semester study-abroad course wrapped into three weeks of intense study of art and culture in the U.K. Most of our scholars have never travelled outside of California, let alone on an airplane to another country. The Lund Foundation scholarship covers all costs associated with the program which include: airfare, public transportation, room and board and program fees. We also give the scholars a generous stipend which we hope will help ease the financial stress of being away from work for three weeks or allow them to take advantage of learning opportunities and experiences outside of their coursework in London.
Q: This is the fourth year that the foundation is honoring your brother in this way. For you, it’s a chance to reconnect with and meet new people from the different “worlds” that Ed’s life intersected. What is this annual experience like for you? Is it still as tough emotional experience as I’m sure it was at the beginning?
A: Every year has been amazing – and emotional. I still cry each time I welcome and thank our guests at the beginning of the ride or the art affair. The tears though come from a different place today than they did four years ago. Today it is not grief or sadness that gets me going, it is when I look out at all the new and familiar faces, it fills my heart with humble joy and gratitude. So, I cry. But only for a moment! Then we move on to what has become a couple of really beautiful gatherings that bring good people with big hearts together. Ed had that ability, so I can’t help but think he’s watching over us and inspiring those who know him to share a special Ed-story with someone who may not have had the pleasure. We love, laugh and cry for two days. It’s pretty special.
Q: What do you think Ed would say about all of this?
A: Ed was always comfortable in the spotlight or out of it, but he never sought it out. So, I think were he still alive and being honored like this, he would be quite humbled by it all. But I think he would also be proud of what his life continues to do for others after his death. The fact that he is still helping students discover their inner artistic gifts is something Ed would have LOVED. He would also have loved all the events – a crazy hard ride one day and great music, food, art and scotch the next. It would have been a perfect weekend for Ed.