Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Faribault artist honors Prince, Dylan & other musicians through her oil portraits October 17, 2016

Dana used a stencil to incorporate musical notes in to this painting of Prince. Notice the detail of the heart-shaped mole on the musician's cheek.

Dana Hanson used a stencil to incorporate musical notes in to this painting of Prince. Notice the detail of the heart-shaped mole on the musician’s cheek. Prince Rogers Nelson was inducted in to the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame in 2007.

DANA WARMINGTON HANSON can’t read a single musical note. But she doesn’t need to. She paints music.

Using a photo as her guide, Dana works on her Dylan portrait.

Using a photo as her guide, Dana works on a portrait of Bob Dylan during a summer concert in Faribault’s Central Park. He was inducted in to the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame in 1991. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo, July 2016.

This past summer, the Faribault artist painted several Minnesota Music Hall of Fame inductees during Faribault’s Concert in the Park Series as part of the Artgo! group of plein air artists.

Dana's younger version of Bob Dylan, born Robert Allen Zimmerman.

Dana’s younger version of Bob Dylan, born Robert Allen Zimmerman.

Her decision to paint Prince and Bob Dylan, especially, seems particularly fitting given the recent focus on those world-renowned musicians. Last week Dylan won the Nobel Prize in Literature. And Prince’s Paisley Park Museum opened temporarily to fans.

"Bob Dylan: A Voice to be Remembered," a 22 x 28-inch oil portrait by Dana Hanson priced at $1,400.

“Bob Dylan: A Voice to be Remembered,” a 22 x 28-inch oil portrait by Dana Hanson priced at $1,400.

Dana says she appreciates the musical talents of both. Back in the day, she listened to Dylan, which may explain why she painted two portraits of the Hibbing native.

Prince by Dana Hanson.

“Prince: A Voice We Remember,” a 22 x 28-inch oil painting on canvas by Dana Hanson priced at $1,400 honored the musician who died in April.

As for Prince, she’s not a fan per se, but calls him “an extremely talented and gifted musician.”

And I call Dana an extremely talented and gifted artist.

A poster posted at the initial exhibit.

A poster promotes an exhibit of Artgo! work in 2015. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo 2015.

Her artwork exudes the passion she holds for creating art. I’ve watched her paint for two summers now during the concerts in the park. She paints with a flair, with a zeal, with an obvious love for the craft. As a freelance artist, Dana does commission work of animals and people. She’s also created cover art for books and is currently working on contracted art for a children’s book.

Dana Hanson's oil paints.

The artist’s oil paints on foil during a summer concert. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

At her full-time job in Faribault’s Fareway Foods Bakery, Dana uses her creative skills, too, to bake and to decorate cakes along with her sister Bobbi Dawson. The two long-time professionally trained cake decorators call themselves the Sweet Sisters. Dana is certainly that. Sweet. Friendly. Talented. She hopes to some day make art her full-time work. For now, she paints when she can, with a regular first and third Saturday painting time at House Church in Eagan.

Dana Hanson's artist statement posted at the 2016 Artgo! art show in Faribault.

The artist statement for Dana Hanson posted at the 2016 Artgo! art show in Faribault.

Her artistic talents trace through her family. Dana’s grandma, Frieda Lord, founded the Faribault Art Center, today the Paradise Center for the Arts. Dana has a show coming there in February. It will be just one more opportunity to view and appreciate the talents of this gifted Faribault artist.

Dana Hanson also painted this portrait of Judy Garland, who was inducted in to the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame in 1991. Judy was born as Frances Ethel Gumm in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, and starred in "The Wizard of Oz."

Dana Hanson also painted this portrait of Judy Garland, who was inducted in to the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame in 1991. Judy was born as Frances Ethel Gumm in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, and starred in “The Wizard of Oz.” The portrait is a 22 x 28-inch oil priced at $1,400 in titled “Judy Garland: Follow the Yellow Brick Road.”

FYI: If you are interested in purchasing one of the portraits featured here, contact the Paradise Center for the Arts, Jeff Jarvis at the City of Faribault or me and we will connect you with Dana.

© Copyright 2016 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Photos of Dana Hanson’s art were taken with permission of the artist.

 

Minnesota teen debuts Dylan-style hit, “The Unforgettable Storm” July 30, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 8:27 AM
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TAKE NOTE, DYLAN FANS. Minnesota musician Emily Mattison’s debut performance of a Bob-Dylan-style song this past weekend has fans buzzing about this talented teen.

Strumming her guitar and following the talk-sing style of Dylan, the 16-year-old presented “The Unforgettable Storm” to a small-town audience in a city park edged by cornfields.

Fans embraced and applauded the young singer for her original lyrics that accurately captured one woman’s experience during a severe storm that ravaged the state Friday night.

Emily sang this rendition of a memorable ride through that storm following the Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant in Walnut Grove:

Going home to Vesta

From the Pageant

A bunch of happy campers…not.

#

It was storming

The wind was howling

It was one of those Minnesota Moments*

#

My heart was pounding

The weeds were laying flat

And, mom, I saw them

It was very scary

#

At the Pageant

I’d had a good time

Watching Laura Ingalls in real life

#

But after it ended

The ride home was terrible

#

I put my camera on the floor

I don’t know what I was thinking

I was just waiting and praying

#

When the ride

Finally ended

I screamed “thank you, God!”

#

Then I went to my mother

And I gave her a hug

“that was so scary”

#

But now we can joke about it

I don’t have to worry about it

I wish I’d taken some pictures

Of the unforgettable storm

#

The unforgettable storm

Yeah, the unforgettable storm.

#

Yup, Emily’s version of my experience caught on the road with three other family members during a severe thunderstorm that packed 70 mph winds is spot on accurate. I did enjoy the Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant in Walnut Grove. I did see the weeds blown flat along the side of the road.

My heart was pounding. I was praying. I did set my camera bag at my feet in the rocking car. (Why didn’t I take pictures?)

Yes, I hugged my mom and said, “that was so scary” when we safely reached her house an hour after we began the 20-mile drive back to Vesta.

I didn’t scream thanks to God, but I did quietly thank him. That’s OK, Emily. “Scream” sounds more dramatic and there was a lot of drama Friday night, at least for me.

The storm was, as Emily sang in verse three, “one of those Minnesota Moments.” A clever choice of words given I write for Minnesota Moments magazine.

Thanks, Emily, for putting a humorous spin on a truly terrifying experience. And thanks for publicly performing your original hit, per my gentle (maybe not-so-gentle) prodding at the annual Kletscher family reunion.

I loved the song, even if I didn’t love the unforgettable storm.

Minnesota musician Emily Mattison

TWIN CITIES AREA musician Emily Mattison is a member of the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies, has been playing violin for six years, guitar for two and nine months ago began strumming the ukulele. She wrote the lyrics for “The Unforgettable Storm” in about 20 minutes.

© Text Copyright 2010 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

© Lyrics Copyright 2010 Emily Mattison

Photo courtesy of Ronda Mattison