Tag Archives: Featured Artist

Hope & Freedom: Mending the Soul by Christine Foster

Hope & Freedom: Mending the Soul, Portrait Stories by Christine Foster

April 26–June 17, 2017

NWMAC Gallery / Riverwalk Artists Gallery

211 DeMers Ave., East Grand Forks

 Meet the artist at the Artist Reception, Sat., June 17 3:00-5:00 P.M.

The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council (NWMAC) is pleased to announce an exhibition of painted portraits, stories and mixed media by Christine Foster. The art installation, Hope & Freedom: Mending the Soul, is now open through June 17, 2017 at the NWMAC Gallery in East Grand Forks.


“I had a vision to paint the stories of women who are survivors of mental, sexual, physical and/or spiritual abuse. I want to help victims who are in abuse situations currently or have been abused in the past to know that they are not alone, as well as to know that there is hope. I have incorporated both images and words in each woman’s portrait story.  The story will share the pain along with the healing journey.”


Christine Foster is an artist and teacher from Thief River Falls, MN. She received a $5,000 Artist Project Grant from NWMAC to create art in 2016 for her showcase, Hope & Freedom: Mending the Soul, which features paintings of women who have previously been abused and have since found help and redemption. The exhibit also features each woman’s story next to her painted portrait.


“Each woman has shared their life story with me through written form or conversation.  They decided what imagery, symbols, colors and words will best speak of their life. Women did or did not want part of her portrait included. I left it up to each woman’s discretion as to how she would like her story portrayed.  Each portrait story is a cooperative effort between the woman, the artwork and myself.


I envisioned using a variety of windows to display the portrait stories.  Windows are a symbol of the access to our souls.  The degree of openness will depend upon each woman and their healing journey.”


An Artist Reception will be held on Saturday, June 17, starting at 3:00 P.M. in honor of Christine and her accomplishments. Join us in the NWMAC Exhibition Room in the Riverwalk Artists Gallery–located in the River Cinema Mall in East Grand Forks–for an eye-opening art experience that will illuminate the stories of abuse victims and survivors in our region.

Organizations interested in featuring Christine’s exhibit at their establishment, please contact NWMAC. If you are an artist who is interested in exhibiting with NWMAC, please contact Kat Allen, Exhibition Specialist, at (701) 360-0805 or email NWArtsCouncil@gmail.com.



Kittson County Skies Exhibit Open Now

Photographer Megan Sugden exhibits Kittson County Skies, A Northern Lights Experience

January 18–March 5, 2017  Riverwalk Artists Gallery

Meet the photographer at the Artist Reception

February 11 from 3–5 pm

In the farthest, northwest corner of Minnesota lies Kittson County, home to winding rivers, Lake Bronson woodlands, and fertile farmlands that stretch as far as the eye can see — all beneath the glow of stars and the ever-changing Northern Lights. Photographer Megan Sugden has captured all of this and so much more in her exhibition, Kittson County Skies–- now on display at the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council gallery in East Grand Forks.

Megan is an award-winning photographer from Hallock, MN. Her work has been featured in National Geographic, The Sunflower, Prairie Grains, The Farmer, City Pages and Make it Minnesota. Megan is nationally recognized for her popular series, Kittson County Skies, which features beautiful images of local churches, farms and homesteads set against a stunning background of Northern Lights and the Milky Way. Megan also runs a successful portrait and wedding photography business and enjoys spending time with her husband and three children.

An Artist Reception will be held on February 11 from 3–5 pm. Join us in the NWMAC Exhibition Room in the Riverwalk Artists Gallery, located in the River Cinema Mall in East Grand Forks for a photography experience that is equally expansive and up-close, dark and colorful, and haunting.

To view more of Megan Sugden’s work, please visit www.meganphoto.com or www.kittsoncountyskies.com.

Rosemaling and Drawings by Jean Honl

The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council (NWMAC) proudly presents Rosemaling and Drawings by Jean Honl, an exhibit of rosemaled wood items and original drawings from Ms. Honl’s studio in northern Minnesota. This exciting exhibit opens Wednesday, August 31, 2016 and will be open to the public through Sunday September 25th in our gallery in East Grand Forks.



Jean’s interest in rosemaling began over 40 years ago when she enrolled in a rosemaling class offered through adult education classes. She “fell in love with the beautiful scrolls and flowers prevalent in this folk art,” then her interest became more than a hobby. Jean traveled to the Norwegian American Museum in Decorah, Iowa three times to take rosemaling classes from the masters. Today, her beautiful works are found in many countries.


Jean creates most of the wooden pieces she rosemals in her woodworking shop. She makes functional pieces including grandfather clocks, large cupboards and deacon’s benches, as well as the smaller items in the exhibit. More than able in carpentry, she also built her kitchen cabinets and a corner cabinet. Adding to her creativity, Jean draws designs on matt board, incorporating her favored scrolls with sweet symmetrical faces, or natural themes.




A reception for the artist was held on Saturday, September 17th, in conjunction with the Art & Wine Walk. During the event, Ms. Honl  demonstrated rosemaling on a 3-foot by 4-foot board. Her pieces in the gallery are for sale, and include rosemaled trunks, clocks, jewelry boxes and more. She also has framed drawings for sale.

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Rosemaling and Drawings by Jean Honl will be available for viewing during gallery hours: Wed. through Sat., 2:00 to 8:00 p.m., and Sun., 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. The gallery is closed on Monday and Tuesday. The Arts Council gallery and River Walk Artists shop & gallery are located in the River Cinema mall, East Grand Forks, across Demers Avenue from Cabela’s. Parking is available in the large lot next to the Blue Moose.



NWMAC Featured Artist: LaVonne Forsberg – 2014 Star Artist of the Year

NWMAC Featured Artist of the Month

LaVonne Forsberg

“2014 Star Artist of the Year”


Wednesday, April 22, 2015, until Sunday, May 31st.

River Walk Artists Gallery – East Grand Forks, Mn

Artist’s Reception: May 09, 2015 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council is excited to announce the opening of an exhibit of artworks by Northwest Minnesota’s 2014 Star Artist of the Year, LaVonne Forsberg. Forsberg, of Thief River Falls, MN is well known for her expertise in many media, including stained glass and watercolor. This exhibit focuses on her watercolor paintings.

LForsberg_042015bLaVonne says she has “always lived in Northwest Minnesota, close to nature, animals, flowers, water, woods, and four seasons.”  These surroundings and memories provide her with a wide choice of subjects on which to base her art work.

She began painting as a Rosemaler and decorative painter, then in 1982 began watercolor as her primary focus. She still enjoys working in other mediums such as oil, acrylic, collage and stained glass. She and her husband are currently working on stained glass windows for the twelfth church they have created windows for collaboratively.

LaVonne writes:

Although my work includes several types of media, I love the unexpected journey of watercolor, with the strong rays of color and value.  I enjoy painting the stories I see in the faces of people.  I enjoy an early morning walk, making the first tracks in the new snow, seeing the birds and flowers arrive in the spring, and a walk in the woods.  The colors and texture of nature inspire my artwork.  My greatest reward is sharing my art with others.

~ LaVonne Forsberg

LForsberg_042015dMost of LaVonne’s art education has been on-going study with well-known European and American artists, helping her form her own style. Her work has been shown in several states, and galleries, group and individual shows, and her work may be found in other countries as well as across the United States.

Gallery hours are Wednesdays through Saturdays, 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm, and Sundays, 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm. An artist reception will be held May 09, 2015 in the Arts Council Gallery from 4:00pm  to 6:00pm.  Refreshments will be served and the public is welcome to join in the festivities.  The Arts Council gallery and River Walk Artists shop & gallery are located in the River Cinema mall across the street from Cabela’s and just east of Mamma Maria’s restaurant.

We welcome private showings, and are happy to answer questions of any kind. For more information or a private showing, call the arts council office at 218-745-9111; contact the gallery coordinator at 218-965-4216, or email: tmjacobson16@gmail.com.  Visit our website at: http://www.NorthwestMinnesotaArtsCouncil.org.

Featured Artist: Deb Aune & “Midwest Living”

The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council is delighted to announce the opening of MIDWEST LIVING, an exhibit of artworks by longtime artist and resident of Gatzke, MN, Debbie Aune.

MidwestLiving_1Aune works predominantly in watercolor, but includes mixed media, soft sculpture, and welding in her choices of art media.

Deb Aune: Midwest Living

In preparation for the show Aune stated, “I wanted to paint what I’m sensitive to; the outdoors and the busy farming community that is so important to the traditions of Northern Minnesota.”

Deb Aune: Midwest Living

Her “Tired Dolls” sculptures are the embodiment of a lifelong passion for everyday walking, traveling, collecting anything odd and recycling, and they incorporate pieces of truck tread found along roadways.

Deb had this to say about her collection

This collection of works encompasses the spirit, strength, and beauty of my personal world right now as I continue living on the farm, teaching art intuitively and guiding children to find their inner strengths through and in art.

MIDWEST LIVING will be showcased March 6th through April 19th at the NWMAC gallery in East Grand Forks. A reception for the artist will be held Saturday, March 14th from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

Gallery hours are Wednesdays through Saturdays, 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm, and Sundays, 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm. The Arts Council gallery and River Walk Artists shop & gallery are located in the River Cinema Mall.

For more information or a private showing, call the arts council office at 218-745-9111; contact the gallery coordinator at 218-965-4216, or email: tmjacobson16@gmail.com.