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Sculpture tour will add to Art Leap experience


Patrick Pope (left) answered visitors' questions about his bead weaving at Art Leap last fall. He was among artists at Smoky Hills Art, one of the stops on this year's Art Leap driving tour Saturday, Sept. 24 and Sunday, Sept. 25.

Art Leap, an "open studio event" featuring artists' studios and culturally rich destinations in the Park Rapids area, will include a sculpture tour in 2016. Art Leap dates are Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 24 and 25. Studios will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Highlights of Art Leap include music, hors d'oeuvres and seeing fall colors at their peak while driving from studio to studio. It's a great time to purchase original art for your home and meet the artist who created it. Enjoy live demonstrations and other art activities at some locations.

Three new sites invite exploring. Bruce Engebretson makes household textiles and historic reproductions in wool, cotton and linen. His weaving studio houses seven looms, all homemade and mostly from the late 1700s and early to mid 1800s. Engebretson plans to demonstrate fiber preparation using natural dyes and spinning and weaving. He will host guests Lucy Bjerke, Donna Marjamaa, Ann Zick, Kasey Mistic and other weavers at his home west of Osage.

Paul Albright isn't new to Art Leap but he has opened the Heartland Art Studio in Dorset. Visitors will find Albright's sculptures and Jim Fletcher's drawings and paintings, Terri Young's pastels, Jeff Renner's oil paintings, Raymond Wattenhofer's bronzes and oils and Melvin Loch's traditional Native quill work.

Terrapin Station in Nevis has been on the Art Leap tour as a destination for music and art for many years. This fall Stacey Skinness' art will be the primary focus although visitors are likely to find some entertainment as well.

Again this year, Bickey Bender will show her acrylics, watercolors and collages and host seven other artists at the Red Caboose site: Glenn Anderson, woodcarving; Nediha (Meta) Kolakovic, jewelry; Bob Landrigan, woodcarving; Gayla McElroy Orr, painting; Karen Sharbo, oils and glass (jewelry, vases, etc.); Gina Singer, pottery; and Lowell Wolff, photography.

At Smoky Hills Art, visitors will find artists demonstrating their craft: Robin Cunningham, jewlery making; Bernie Cunningham, lapidary; Don Wattenhofer, woodturning; Pat Pope, bead weaving; Cyrus Swan, pottery; 2 Eyes Weaver, fiber weaving on a loom; and others. Visitors also will find a new outdoor mural at this Downtown site.

David Norstad greeted visitors at his Ragged Edge Art Studio at Art Leap weekend last year. He will open his studio again for Art Leap 2016 Sept. 24 and 25. Brochures with maps are available at the Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber Visitor Center and Park Rapids Area Library.

Elisa Schaum, Glass by Elisa, will host Mark Carlson, metal worker, at her studio and Earl and Jeanette Wohlman are adding a pottery display.

Smoky Hills Art and Paul Albright's Heartland Art Studio in Dorset will host live performances both days. In addition to the artwork by John Salhus, Jim Denomie and Mike Raidt on display, the Nemeth Art Center is hosting a concert and songwriting workshop with Brian Laidlaw Sunday, Sept. 25. The concert will be at 5:30 p.m. To register for the songwriting workshop, email

Brochures with maps, sculpture tour directions and descriptions, performance times and other information are available at the Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center, Park Rapids Area Library and other locations and at PRLAAC's website at

Art Leap 2016 is sponsored by PRLAAC with funding provided, in part, by a Region 2 Arts Council Grant through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature and the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund passed by Minnesota voters on Nov. 4, 2008.


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