Edward Lund’s death on Oct. 3 left a huge hole in the hearts of those who knew him.
“He was like a brother to me,” Fresno State Art Professor Nick Potter said. “You know, he was 10 years older than me and we spent a lot of time together.”
The two met when Lund returned to the Valley from New York to pursue a graduate degree in art at Fresno State.
It was a shock for one of Lund’s closest friends to not speak about him in the present tense.
“It’s shocking to be talking about Ed like this,” Potter said. “But in past tense, you know?”
Dr. Stone Beck was Lund’s chiropractor and used to race with him for the Stevens Bicycle racing team. He said that Lund would take life to a higher form than the average person.
“It’s hard eulogizing a person,” Beck said. “Memorializing a person and it’s easy to go into hyperbole but I would say that Ed’s life kind of was a form of art. And everything that he did, he paid that much attention to it and I think he gave that much thought to it.”
The chiropractor had nothing but kind words to talk about his cycling partner and said that Lund had a presence about him wherever he went.
“He was an elegant human being,” Beck said. “You know ‘elegant’ is kind of a strange word to use in a context of a man. He just had a presence about him everywhere he went; the way he stood; the way he moved; the way he talked; the way he felt. You know, the tone of his persona was just graceful, calm, really elegant. Was just a beautiful person.”
While Lund was a gallery technician at Fresno State’s Conley Art Gallery and the Art Space Gallery at Fresno City College, he was more of an artist. In the sense of not just creating art, but also installing it.
“His main specialist skill was that he can hang a show perfectly in a really quick time,” Potter said. “Like, he knows how to use the tools, he could build special frames and cleats and things to make everything look perfect. So he’s kind of the person that everyone in town would ask to help or he would offer to help them when they had a show.”
Lund was known around Fresno as the go-to person if you were going to show your artwork at a gallery for ArtHop. He would volunteer to help you install the artwork if you were a friend of his. But he did this not just because he was your friend, it was much more than that.
“Primarily because he wanted to help,” Potter said. “But also because he wanted to make sure it was done right. It pained him to see shows that weren’t hung properly.”
When the first Thursday of the month approached, it meant that Lund was buzzing around the city in preparation for ArtHop.
“When an ArtHop comes around, he’s like hanging four shows all over town,” Potter said. “Trying to help lots of people out, buzzing around really fast, he’s been stressed out because he’s got a million things to do. Then he can enjoy that everyone’s having a successful show and their work looks good and it’s lit perfectly.”
Lund would sometimes show his own work during ArtHop at galleries across the city, but it wasn’t the case all the time. He was too busy helping other people.
“While I think a lot of us wanted him to make more [art],” Potter said. “But he was just too busy helping everyone else with their framing and building and hanging up shows.”
Potter said that would annoy other artists, but not Lund.
“Sort of sacrificed his own art for other people really,” Potter said. “Because we know that he’s a great artist, but he’s just seemed to be more committed to helping other people and a lot of us would get really grumpy if that was a situation for us. But he took a lot of joy helping everyone else.”
Lund’s expertise for art installations wasn’t just limited to galleries, though. Beck had an art piece installed by him and found out it wasn’t as simple as it seemed to put up a painting.
“If you hang a painting, what do you do?” Beck said. “You throw up some nails and you put it up. You look at it. At the time, I had no idea I was dealing with a master craftsman at the art of presenting art.”
Beck watched in awe as Lund worked on the art installation like it was a museum masterpiece.
“Oh my goodness,” Beck said. “He brought a toolbox you wouldn’t believe and it probably took a good hour and a half to two hours just to get that thing perfect. Where it was, the space, everything was done correctly.”
Lund brought his same passion for art to the roads around the Valley. He would ride with his friends, go on 100-mile bike rides with other riders and would race with teams like the Stevens Bicycle team.
“Where did Ed ride?” Beck said. “Ed rode everywhere.”
Joe Booth, another of Lund’s cycling partners, said that Lund’s work as a gallery technician would take him off the bicycle for months at a time. But it didn’t affect his cycling when he made it back on the road.
“He had a physical job and he would be off the bike for 10 months,” Booth said. “And he’d come back and he would just hurt guys. He would just ride so hard that just trying to hold his wheel, you’d be like ‘I don’t want to do this.’”
Lund wasn’t just about art and cycling. Potter said he was passionate about cars and was an avid collector of vintage Volvos. Lund would also race cars and bikes.
Potter had a fond memory of a time he went on a test drive with Lund.
“One of my fondest memories was way back when we first met,” Potter said. “We just had this hairbrained idea. We saw a Porsche for sale, secondhand, it was parked up. We’re like ‘Let’s call the guy and see if he’ll let us take it for a drive.’”
They left with the Porsche and headed to the foothills.
“And then Ed just really took it to the limit,” Potter said. “Including shifting down and overtaking and crossing into oncoming traffic going uphill and I was like squeezed back with the G-forces.”
That was the only time Lund and Potter ever did that. They planned on doing more car rides in the foothills and film it.
“I got to be in a car when he was actually racing it, which was fun,” Potter said. “Then it was some guy’s Porsche, probably wondered why we had used all of the gas because we had gone all over town.”
“No doubt, he was an amazing Renaissance man,” Potter said. “He was a championship cyclist, he was a dancer, he was a super collectible vintage car mechanic, you know, fashion guru, makes good cocktails.”