Artist of the year Jean Honl

Northwest Artist of the Year Award Given to Jean Honl

The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council is pleased to announce that Jean Honlof Roseau has been awarded the Northwest Artist of the Year Award. Honl is a talented fine craft artist in rosemaling and woodworking. 

Jean Honl lives in Roseau with her husband Pete and is originally from Malung. In 1974 she took a community education class on rosemaling and she was hooked. Honl is also a master woodworker. She designs and builds all the furniture pieces that she needs for her rosemaling work. Honl has studied at Vesterheim Norwegian American Museum in Decorah, Iowa. She worked as an artist-in-residence in the Roseau and Badger Schools. She continues to demonstrate her art at workshops, arts events, festivals, and libraries. She is currently exhibiting her work at the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council Gallery at the Riverwalk Gallery in East Grand Forks.

Honl enjoys that you never create the same thing when you rosemal. You start with the same basic patterns, but you come up with new designs, color, shading and detail. “I love that about it. Honestly, I don’t know what it’s going to look like until it’s done.”

According to Elwyn Ruud, Honl is “an amazing artist and teacher. I continue to be impressed with her works of art, talents and her gift of sharing her art by teaching adults and students. Her quiet and calm manner of teaching bring out the creative spirit of each child.”

When asked about the impact of the arts, Honl explained that “For society, it’s very important. It’s another way of learning and looking at things. Art makes the world beautiful. You can learn about other things in art. You plan, use your imagination, get your own ideas.” 

Asked if she had advice for aspiring artists, she said, “Don’t give up! Keep on going if you love what you are doing. Don’t be too critical of yourself.”

The Northwest Artist of the Year Award is given each year to recognize artists within our seven-county region who stand out in terms of artistry. This award can be given to any discipline artist including visual, performing, or creative writing who are emerging or at a mid-way point in their artistic endeavors. “Of the Year” Award winners were nominated by area residents and comes with a cash award of $500.00. Funding for the Northwest Artist of the Year comes from the McKnight Foundation.