HANDCRAFTED BEAD BRACELET dangling from her left wrist, Sue Hammes-Knopf slips specks of orange beads onto a needle and then onto a matching orange string.
I marvel at her ability to do this—to work with the tiniest of beads in the spotlight of a long-armed lamp that looms over her work area. Natural sunlight from four floor to ceiling windows kisses her back.
I cannot imagine having the patience, steadiness of hand or vision to work with such fine beads, to create the beautiful bead work I see here, in this third floor studio in historic downtown Northfield during the South Central Minnesota Studio ARTour.
And when I speak my thoughts aloud, Sue muses that she’s developed patience in 35 years of marriage and that she “feels” the beads as much as sees them.
Across the room, Maryrose Gondeck also creates art. She’s worked in numerous mediums—graphite, oils, acrylics, pastels, pen and ink, colored pencils, photography…
Her drawing of ripened corn on corn stalks was the visual symbol of this year’s Studio ARTour. A perfect fit for a tour of 20 studios featuring 44 artists in the rural region that encompasses Northfield, Faribault and Cannon Falls.
What a plethora of gifted artists we have here, in this area of Minnesota I call home.
FYI: This concludes my series of five posts on the South Central Minnesota Studio ARTour. To see previous posts showcasing selected artists on the tour, check my recent archives.
The work of 44 artists was shown in 20 studios during this annual October event. This year I chose to peruse the work of some artists I had not seen on past tours. And I know, in that selective process, I missed out on viewing other incredible art. Next year.
I’d encourage you to visit the Studio ARTour website to learn more about all of the participating artists.
Also, check out the upcoming Fine Craft Collective, a collaborative gallery show at 506 Division Street in downtown Northfield open from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday – Saturday and from noon – 4 p.m. Sundays from November 14 – December 24. You will find the works of 17 local artists for sale at this annual event. Click here for more info.
No matter where you live, I hope you will support local artists by attending events like the South Central Minnesota Studio ARTour and the Fine Craft Collective, by encouraging and asking questions, and, if you can, purchasing art.
I grew up in the 60s and 70s in rural southwestern Minnesota, with minimal exposure to the arts. It was the times as much as the distance and lack of money which isolated me from the art world. That is why, perhaps, I appreciate the arts as much as I do. Absence, as they say, makes the heart grow fonder.
© Copyright 2013 Audrey Kletscher Helbling