Ahead of the Minnesota Timberwolves' home opener Monday night, local artists put together an earthy tribute to the team’s fallen leader.
Honoring head coach and president of basketball operations, Flip Saunders, who died last week after battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma, eco-ad agency Übergrün created a leafy art installation at the Nicollet Island Pavilion in Minneapolis. Over the weekend, Übergrün’s crew raked together a massive Wolves logo above the hashtag “For Flip.”
“We thought maybe this is something that we can do for Flip,” Übergrün’s Björgvin Saevarsson says. “It could be symbolic — create something beautiful with leaves that’s going to blow away, but while it’s there it leaves a big impression.”
Flyover of the #Twolves leaf installation
Here's a unique aerial view of the #Twolves #ForFlip leaf install from the weekend. The piece is comprised of 99.99% of MN's finest autumn leaves, and approximately .01% of mouse that set up it's home in the art. Smart mouse, who'd attack a giant wolf face!?
Saevarsson's agency works with companies to incorporate nature (think moss, snow, plants, etc.) into their “green” ad campaigns, and his team came up with the idea on Friday. By Sunday he had roughly 10 people working on it, while praying that the weather would cooperate. The autumnal piece, which took about half of the day to produce, will stay up until Mother Nature decides otherwise.
On Monday morning the piece attracted a steady stream of visitors, Saevarsson says, including some who were eager to share their favorite Flip memories.
“We’ve met personal friends of Flip who are coming here — very touching stories,” he says. “There have been a lot of tears this morning.”