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New art exhibit at Farmington Dunn Bros. has an apt message in a couple of ways

Steve Kloyda studied art in college before going into the business world. He hopes his works, all featuring hearts and all done on an iPad, inspire goodwill among people.

The art exhibit that opened this week at Farmington's Dunn Bros. came about almost by accident, but David Hartnett, the coffee shop's co-owner, said it couldn't have worked out any better if it had been planned.

The artist whose work will be on display is a man named Steve Kloyda, an Eagan resident who regularly makes the drive to Farmington for his coffee. He's not an artist by trade, but he had been creating some works lately on his iPad. On one recent visit, he showed some of the things he had done to Hartnett, who liked what he saw enough that he gave Kloyda an assignment: create something to represent the Grow Farmington campaign currently under way to promote Farmington businesses.

What Kloyda came up with is a trio of colorful hearts on an aqua blue background. It is one of a dozen or so pieces unveiled at a meet-the-artist night Tuesday.

It was exactly the kind of thing Hartnett was looking for - something to symbolize bringing people together.

"He took that to the next step," Hartnett said. "Love does bring us together."

That fits the idea of Grow Farmington - of bringing together the city's various business districts, or of bringing shoppers downtown. But it also has a wider meaning. That's the other part of the accident. Because while Hartnett didn't put the exhibit together with the idea it would be unveiled on Sept. 11, the message fits well with that occasion, too.

The show still isn't explicitly about the events of Sept. 11, 2001, but the message fits. The more love there is in the world, Hartnett said, the less chance there will be an event like 9/11.

Hartnett has used the walls at Dunn Bros. as a rotating gallery space since he took over the business. He usually brings in works from a new artist every six to eight weeks. He likes to showcase creativity, and to encourage others to create.

This latest creation will go beyond the walls. Hartnett plans to use the image on t-shirts, mugs and everywhere else he can find a good place for it.

Talk about a happy accident.

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

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