Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

BCG Guest Artists


Blank Canvas Gallery and Education Center, 311 Main Ave. S., in Park Rapids is announcing a new feature at the gallery. They are now exhibiting the artwork of Guest Artists for the benefit of the Park Rapids community. Part of the BCG mission is to provide the opportunity for the public to come into the gallery and view original artwork in a comfortable environment. This is a chance to see contemporary artwork produced by local and regional artists. Viewers also have the chance to learn more about the artwork by visiting with one of the artists. All staff members at the gallery are the artists themselves so they can discuss any of the displayed art with visitors.

At this time and continuing throughout the Fall season Mary Williams, Liz Kuhn and Sandra Thimgan, Battle Lake area artists, are showing original creations of handmade jewelry and sculpture. This is an opportunity for the public to see and learn about several different kinds of artwork that previously have not been shown in Park Rapids.

Guest artist Mary Williams is a sculptor. Her first love is stone carving, but she also creates pieces in clay and bronze. When asked why she sculpts, Mary’s response was that it satisfies her need to create, it is something she is compelled to do. She delights in working with nature’s materials to form shapes and images pleasing to the senses. Mary received her formal training from the Art Institute of Chicago. She has participated in many exhibitions and master art workshops and received numerous awards. Among her honors, Mary received the prestigious Lake Region Arts Council/McKnight Foundation Fellowship, a year long project in which she experimented with armature and concrete to create outdoor garden sculptures. She was also commissioned to produce a life-sized Ojibwa Indian woman in limestone, commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Otter Tail County, MN Historical Society. The work is installed on the west bank of West Battle Lake. Mary shares her love of sculpting willingly and unselfishly. Nearly every year since 1997 she has taught a popular figurative clay sculpting class, sponsored by the Art of the Lakes organization, in her Clitherall, MN lake home. She has also taught stone carving and clay figurative classes at the Vero Beach Museum of Art, Vero Beach, FL.

Jeweler Liz Kuhn, a long time resident of rural Minnesota, is attending the Communication Art and Design program at Alexandria Tech College. Liz’s “Steampunk” jewelry items, made with clay and watch gears, are her latest creations and her favorite to create. Each piece is made with polymer clay and watch gears. Liz bought a number of old pocket watches on e-bay and has incorporated their parts into small clay sculptures. Liz’s stone jewelry is made with sterling and copper wire which is wrapped on semi-precious gemstones.

Sandra Thimgan, jewelry artist, began making jewelry 15 years ago, incorporating beadwork with macramé work. More recently she began “repurposing” flatware into jewelry pieces, naming it Silver’wear’ (“It’s not just for dinner anymore!”)

“My husband often comments about the ‘power tools’ I’ve accumulated for my jewelry work (drills/saws/grinders/hammers/torches/vises) – you see what he means.”

Sandra has become fascinated with building chainmaille and began incorporating it into her Silver’wear’ pieces. She says that chainmaille is magical, weaving hundreds of rings into pieces which drape beautifully and are a joy to touch and wear. Over time her jewelry has become a combination of wire work, metal work, beading and natural fibers.

All three of these Guest Artists have unique and interesting objects de art on display at BCG. This is a wonderful opportunity for the public to see something different, ask questions and learn more about the artwork that is produced by the many talented artists in the region; they may even become inspired to try their hand at some form or artistic expression themselves. Maybe next year they will be displaying their own artwork at the Blank Canvas Gallery in Park Rapids.

It’s always free, fun and inspiring to visit:

Blank Canvas Gallery and Education Center

311 Main Ave. S.

Park Rapids, MN

Blank Canvas Gallery and Education Center

311 Main Ave. S.

Park Rapids, MN 56470 218-237-2770


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