1000 Paper Cranes Brings Hope to One Northland Artist

By KBJR News 1

February 19, 2013 Updated Feb 19, 2013 at 11:26 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - A Japanese legend promises a wish to anyone given one thousand paper cranes...for one Duluthian that wish is coming true.

A small crane carries with it a lot of hope, and for one Duluthian, the hope for good health.

"I had a brain tumor between my pituitary gland and my optical nerve right behind my eyes," said Todd Olson.

Todd found out he had cancer when he was ten, which left him legally blind; but a sign of hope came to him from across the globe.

"At that time this Japanese foreign exchange student, he and his family and friends who were in Japan at the time they heard I was ill... and as a get well gift they folded and sent me 1,000 paper cranes."

That gift inspired Todd to pick up origami and share it with others by teaching classes and even selling the paper art at various art galleries around the Northland.

"I do sell quite a bit of stuff especially through the summer there," said Olson.

Todd is also part of the Pineapple Art Center, which he had a hand in starting along with other Northland artists.

"We opened up about three years ago, a group of local artists didn't want to see the only locally owned art supply store close in downtown Duluth, well the only one in the city, so we got together and bought out this place and made it more of an art center instead of just and art supply store." said Lydia Walker co-founder of the art center.

The center is volunteer run and offers various art classes. Todd is even willing to do one on one sessions to anyone interested in learning origami.

You can find Todd Olson's paper cranes at the Art Dock in Canal park, Just for the Seasons, and of course at the Pineapple Art Center.

Todd has been in remission from cancer for eight years and says that art keeps him going.

If you are interested in volunteering at the center or would like to take a class visit the Pineapple Art Center website and facebook page.

Posted to the web by Kati Anderson.