Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

A cool door and some cool art in Northfield October 29, 2010

NOW, HONESTLY, tell me. If you were walking down the sidewalk, saw this sign, these stairs clinging to this brick building and this wide-open welcoming door, wouldn’t you race up the steps?



This stairway leads to Nancy Carlson's art studio in downtown Northfield.


I didn’t race, but I hurried, after I’d snapped a few photos of this appealing scene in downtown Northfield. Never mind that my husband and second daughter thought me somewhat crazy. But, unlike them, I typically carry a camera on my hip and see photo ops in places most people wouldn’t.

Besides, the cloth on this door reminded me of the 70s, my era, and all the years I stitched clothing from psychedelic fabrics.



This fabric on the studio door takes me back to the 70s.


Inside, more bright colors awaited me. Just look at this bold chair and equally bold artwork. Freelance painter and mixed media artist Carla Thompson of Barefoot Studio created the vivid horse painting.



A perfect pairing of bold art and a bold chair inside the studio.


She’s in to bright colors and whimsy and I took a fancy to her wood block paintings. Visual art paired with words—humor and simple thoughts on life, according to information from her Web site.



Whimsical designs painted on wood blocks by Carla Thompson and photographed, by me, at a weird, artsy angle.



Wood block art by Carla Thompson



Mirror art by Carla Thompson frames visitors perusing her art during last weekend's Studio arTour.


Artists Meg Jensen Witt and Nancy Carlson joined Thompson in displaying their art in Carlson’s studio during last weekend’s South Central Minnesota October Studio arTour and Sale. Carlson, in my opinion, has a pretty cool place, in the McClaughry Building, 101 E. Fifth Street, to hang out and create her watercolor and India ink pieces.



An overview of Nancy Carlson's art studio in the McClaughry Building, 101 E. Fifth Street, Suite 211, Northfield, during the arTour last weekend.


Witt’s ceramic wall hangings and table top pottery, in mostly subdued, muted tones, contrasted sharply with the bolder art of her friends.



Examples of Meg Jensen Witt's nature-themed art.


But that’s the great thing about art. We all have different tastes. Exactly what we like depends on many factors—for me, my rural upbringing and that 70s influence.

© Copyright 2010 Audrey Kletscher Helbling