Category Archives: Awards

Arts Advocate of the Year Sherri Kukowski

Sherri Kukowski is Northwest Arts Advocate of the Year

The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council is pleased to announce this year’s recipient for the Arts Advocate of the Year Award is Sherri Kukowski of Badger. 

Kukowski is the junior high and high school math teacher in Badger, as well as the Math League coach, Prom Advisor, and Art Club Advisor. She is also a member of Badger Town and Country. Kukowski is a mosaic artist and the force behind the Badger Heritage Mosaic Wall, a handcrafted 26’ x 12’ mosaic art installation. Through the process of creating the Heritage Wall, she has realized the impact of the arts on the community. Community members who had never done any artistic work before continue to encourage each other. “It has been so fun. Young and old have worked together to create. Everyone has had a part.”

According to Badger Mayor James Rinde, “In early 2016 Sherri approached the city about a Badger Heritage Wall that would tell the story of Badger. The huge mosaic wall has brought together community members of all ages for the last three years and is far more than we ever imagined.”

Debbie Aune explained, “Sherri will advocate for art whenever she can. Sherri organizes, designs, fundraises, collaborates, writes grants, advocates and smiles tirelessly with sleeves rolled up. Sherri is a lovely manifestation of art advocacy.”

Resident Christine Modahl raved about Kukowski’s advocacy for the arts. “Sherri has a strong passion for art and enjoys sharing it with anyone anywhere. Her creativeness has gone miles in our community.  Starting out with becoming the Prom Advisor, she utilized her artistic talented mind and enthusiasm to get all the Juniors and Seniors involved, which created the perfect atmosphere to coordinate beautifully with each year’s theme. She moved on to start up the Badger Art Club in the school, which involves any and all teens wanting to learn about art. She organizes indoor art workshops for the students and gives her best effort to end the year with an annual field trip to educate them on different levels of art in Minnesota.”

Asked if she has any advice for aspiring artists, Sherri recommends that they be in touch with the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council. Education-wise and money-wise, the Arts Council helps so much. Regarding their art, she said, “keep playing with it. It will click. If one type of art isn’t working, take a break and try something else. Never quit.”

Our Arts Advocate of the Year award is given each year to recognize arts advocates within our seven-county region who stand out in terms of volunteerism in the arts. “Of the Year” award winners were nominated by area residents. This award comes with a cash award of $500.00. Funding for the Northwest Arts Advocate of the Year comes from the Minnesota State Legislature.

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. 

NW Minnesota Art Exhibit 2019 Winners

Northwest Minnesota Art Exhibit Winners Announced

The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council is excited to announce the Northwest Minnesota Art Exhibit Winners. Student and adult artists residing in a seven-county region including Kittson, Marshall, Norman, Polk, Pennington, Roseau and Red Lake recently entered into the Northwest Minnesota Art Exhibit and competed for $2,300.00 in cash awards. The winners were recognized at the Northwest Minnesota Artist Reception in Badger, Minnesota on March 31. To view a video of the entire exhibit click here.

Some of the student entries in the exhibit

Exhibit cash award winners were chosen while the exhibit was on display at the Badger Community Hall in Badger from March 20 to 31 by qualified juror and Region 2 Arts Council Grants Manager Holly Alcott. “I was completely humbled and joyfully impressed by the amount of talent. There were so many incredible creative works it was very difficult to choose the award winners. I applaud the creativity, talent, originality, and technical experience of all the artists that participated, both students and adults,” Alcott said.

NW Art Exhibit 2019

Exhibit Awards include:

Adult Winners

1stPlace $500 Elizabeth Rockstad of Ada in fine craft mosaic “Seasons”

Elizabeth Rockstad of Ada won 1st place at the NWMAC NW Art Exhibit with her mosaic “Seasons”

2ndPlace $300 Andy Hall of Climax for photography “Snowy Pasque Flower”

2nd Place Winner Andy Hall with “Snowy Pasque Flower”

3rdPlace $200 Connie Nelson of Hallock in acrylic painting “Tail Light”

Connie Nelson won 3rd place for her acrylic painting “Tail Light.”

Merit $100 Debbie Aune of Gatzke in watercolor painting “Busy Streets on a Cold Day: Badger MN”

Debbie Aune with “Busy Streets on a Cold Day: Badger MN.”

Merit $100 Betsy Saurdiff of Grygla in pottery “Nesting Bowls: My Little Beauties”

Merit Award Winner Betsy Saurdiff with her pottery “Nesting Bowls: My Little Beauties.”

Merit $100 Irene Bertils of Crookston in drawing “Prayer”

Crookston resident Irene Bertils with her merit winning drawing “Prayer.”

Merit $100 Peggy Branden of Karlstad in print “The Beast”

Peggy Branden with her print “The Beast.”

Merit $100 Tammy Hansen of Newfolden in acrylic painting “Golden Hay Harvest”

Tammy Hansen of Newfolden with her merit award acrylic painting “Golden Hay Harvest.”

People’s Choice $100 Debbie Aune of Gatzke 

Student Winners

1stPlace $300 Logan Johnson of Crookston in sculpture “Because I Could”

Logan Johnson won 1st place and People’s Choice for his chess set “Because I Could.”

2ndPlace $150 Adriana Isum of Crookston in painting “Serenity”

Adrianna Isum of Crookston with her painting “Serenity.”

3rdPlace $100 Amber Lee of Hendrum for painting “Koi”

“Koi” by Amber Lee won 3rd place in the student category.

Merit $50 Madilyn Race of Goodridge for sculpture “Chowing Down”

“Chowing Down” by Madilyn Race

Merit $50 Elysa Christensen of Crookston in mixed media “Fifth Dimension”

Elysa Christensen won a merit award for “Fifth Dimension.”

Merit $50 Anissah Novacek of Greenbush for drawing “Live Aid”

“Live Aid” by Anissah Novacek of Greenbush

Merit $50 Phenix Glessing of Ada for tea set sculpture “Apple of My Eye”

“Apple of My Eye” by Phenix Glessing

Merit $50 Elliot Chapman of Crookston for a photography “Grain Elevator”

Elliot Chapman of Crookston with his photograph “Grain Elevator.”

People’s Choice $50 Logan Johnson of Crookston 

A dozen exhibit pieces of art were chosen to be included in the Traveling Art Exhibit, which will travel this next year to area libraries. Watch for the schedule to be announced and for it to arrive in your community.

Of the Year Awards

Three awards are given each year to recognize artists and arts advocates within our seven county region who stand out in terms of artistry or volunteerism in the arts. “Of the Year” Award winners were nominated by area residents.

Of the Year Award Winners include:

NW Artist of the Year Jean Honl

Jean Honl of Roseau will be awarded the Northwest Artist of the Year Award for fine craft of rosemaling. 

Jean has been rosemaling for over 45 years. Her work is currently exhibited in our gallery in East Grand Forks. Our Artist of the Year 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. It is a cash award of $500.00.

NW Arts Advocate of the Year Winner Sherri Kukowski

Sherri Kukowski of Badger will be awarded the Northwest Arts Advocate of the Year Award. 

Ms. Kukowski is a mosaic artist and a strong advocate for the arts. She created the Heritage Wall at the Badger Community Center — a 26 ‘ X 12 ” glass mosaic public art installation showcasing rural life in northern Minnesota. Our Arts Advocate of the Year award is $500 and includes arts from all disciplines.

NW Star Award Winner George French

George French of Crookston will receive the Northwest Star Award.

Mr. French is a musician, specializing in piano and organ, and head of the music and theater departments at the University of Minnesota Crookston. He has directed numerous theater productions and is a dedicated and active volunteer in his communityThis award comes with $5,000. Artists can only receive our Northwest Star Award once, as a lifetime achievement award.

These awards will be presented at the Northwest Minnesota Arts Exhibit Reception on Sunday, March 31in Badger at the Badger Community Center at 111 North Main Street, Badger, MN  56714. Refreshments will be served at 2:15 pm with the program beginning promptly at 3:00 pm. Local entertainment will be featured during the program. In addition, the 2019 Creative Minnesota survey results for our region will be presented, followed by a brief discussion of the impact of the arts and culture in the region. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend. For more information about the Arts Exhibit see our website: http://www.northwestminnesotaartscouncil.org/2019/03/2019-nw-annual-art-exhibit/

Funding for Northwest Star and Northwest Artist of the Year comes from The McKnight Foundation. Funding for Northwest Arts Advocate of the Year comes from the Minnesota State Legislature.

2019 NW Annual Art Exhibit

NW Minnesota Art Exhibit 2019

This year the annual Art Exhibit, featuring art from a variety of mediums, will be in Badger at the Community Hall, 203 N Main St, Badger, MN  56714 and runs from Wednesday, March 20 through Sunday, March 31, 2019. Hours are 10:00 am to 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm to 7:00pm on weekdays, Saturdays from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm, and Sundays from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. 

The Annual Art Exhibit features 100 pieces of visual art, photography, and fine craft from38 adults and 31 high school student artists from our 7 county service region competing for $2,300.00 in cash awards. Attendees at the exhibit will also be able to vote for People’s Choice. Exhibit cash award winners will be chosen while the exhibit is on display by Holly Alcott, a qualified juror from Shevlin, Minnesota. They will be recognized and receive their check at the Artist Reception. 

NW Art Exhibit at the Badger Community Hall 2019

The Artist Reception will be at the Badger Community Center, 111 N Main St, Badger, MN  56714 on Sunday, March 31, 2019. Artist of the Year and Arts Advocate of the Year Awards, and the Northwest Star Artist lifetime achievement award will be presented at that time. The artist reception program begins promptly at 3:00pm and ends around 4:00pm. Refreshments will be served starting at 2:15 at the community center prior to the program. People’s choice voting will end promptly at 2:45 on the day of the reception, in order to count ballots. Local entertainment will be featured during the program. The Creative Minnesota survey results for our region will be presented. We are proud of the economic impact of the arts in Region 1.    

2019 NW Minnesota Art Exhibit in Badger March 20-31.

The Exhibit and Reception is open to the public and free to attend. Many pieces of art are for sale and the public is encouraged to shop. Purchases can be marked as sold and picked up on March 31 at the reception. The reception is a wonderful day of celebrating the arts in our region with a usual attendance of about 200 people. Please feel welcome to attend.