FARGO - Wimmer’s Diamonds has finally gotten its own ring.
Several of the great-grandchildren of the store’s founder, Fred Wimmer, gathered Friday, Sept. 10, to install a one-ton steel sculpture in the shape of a diamond ring in front of 4582 32nd Ave. S.
As morning rush hour traffic zipped by, the sculpture, with multiple ring segments bound together with stylized “Ws”, was lowered onto its pedestal, then wrestled into place, while family members took photos and video.
The assembled cousins said the ring is a symbol of family bonds.
“It’s just a very special art installation by my very creative family members,” Aaron Wimmer said. “We didn’t know what we wanted, but it just evolved into a ring that we hope will be a unique part of the neighborhood.”
Aaron, who co-owns the shop, said his great-grandfather would be pleased.
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“I think he’d be very impressed by all his great-grandchildren’s creativity and efforts,” he said. “I don’t think he ever envisioned that Fargo Jewelry Manufacturing (later Wimmer’s Jewelry) would still be open 102 years later.”
The sculpture was built by Gabriel and Matt Wimmer.
Matt owns Northern Jack Ornamental Fabrication in Detroit Lakes, Minn., where the sculpture was fabricated and assembled. He started on the sculpture in July. Gabriel joined him in August and together they spent a month finishing it.
“It all comes together with the family aspect. It’s very satisfying,” Matt said. “It’s all separate, but all together.”
“I kind of like it. There’s all these imperfections, like a marriage or a family,” said Gabriel, who works on projects for movies and Mardi Gras in his Louisiana sculpture studio.
The sculpture will be lit by a floodlight above from the shop and lights positioned on the ground.
The base weighs about 500 pounds and each of the ring segments weighs 200 pounds, Matt said.
The sculpture is a nod to the business’s beginnings.
“We’re still manufacturing jewelry, just on a larger scale,” Matt said with a grin. “You always try to make your elders proud of you.”
Great-granddaughter Beth VanDeWalker, another artist, helped come up with the ring concept.
“I really think the cool part of it is that Fred (Wimmmer) was a metal craftsman, an artist,” VanDeWalker said. “The great-grandchildren have all followed different professions, but they are all artists. “It’s still kind of the same spirit.”
Gabriel is the son of Randy Wimmer, who for many years partnered with his brother, Brad Wimmer, in owning the company.
Ownership of Wimmer’s Diamonds is now in transition to Aaron, Brad Wimmer’s son.
The downtown Fargo and West Acres stores were both recently closed, and the business has been consolidated in the new shop, which opened Sept. 1.