Tag Archives: woodworking

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. 

Tree Spirits: Works in Wood by Regional Artists

Now Open at Riverwalk Artists Gallery in East Grand Forks

Tree Spirits


Works in Wood by Regional Artists

The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council (NWMAC) is excited to exhibit woodworking pieces of art–all exceptionally carved, chipped, formed, sawed or turned–by regional artists from Northwest Minnesota.

Artists being featured at the NWMAC Gallery in East Grand Forks include Candace Osborn of Ada, Cliff Nelson of Crookston, Dick Grega from Warren, Jim Johanneck from Red Lake Falls, Matt Kroulik of Stephen, and Matt Noel from Stephen.

Wooden sculptures and functional pieces of art have been created since ancient times. Whether the artist has used a traditional or innovative technique to create a simple, intricate or abstract design, each piece ends up with it’s own distinct look.  This natural and renewable art medium is truly unique.


“Every finished piece I create is different,” explains Jim Johanneck–a wood sculptor and turner from Red Lake Falls, “because every piece of wood I start with is different in the first place. Even if I create two pieces from the same type of wood, they end up looking entirely different. No piece can be copied, and every piece is truly one of a kind.”

We may not have a grand Redwood forest in our region, and certainly not a rainforest of diverse species of trees, but that hasn’t stopped our regional artists from acquiring different types of wood for their art from all over the world. Matt Noel of Stephen was even given wood from a palm tree to experiment with. Many of the artists have found that our region and lack of trees has actually inspired them to use wood as their medium.

“Growing up on a farm in northern Minnesota gave me an appreciation for nature and wildlife,” recalls artist Candace Osborn of Ada, whose detailed carvings of people and various animals show her creative dedication and amazing technical and anatomical skills as an artist.

All of the works can be viewed at the NWMAC Gallery now through February 11, 2018. If you or someone you know would like to meet our featured artists, please join us for a  Gathering at the Gallery on Sunday, February 11 from 2:00 – 3:00 P.M. as we close out our show. We are located at 211 DeMers Avenue in East Grand Forks, within the Riverwalk Artists gallery. Regular hours are 2-8 P.M. Thursday–Saturday, and 2–5 P.M. on Sundays.

For more information about this show or how to exhibit with NWMAC, please contact Kat Allen, the Exhibition Specialist at (701)360-0805, or the main office at (218)745-9111. You can also email NWArtsCouncil@gmail.com with your inquiries or to sign up for our newsletter.

RWAG: Paint Your Wagons!


Featuring: Brenda Baumer & John Rakowski

September 02, 2015 – September 20, 2015

ARTIST RECEPTION: September 19, 2015 

1PM – 5PM 

NWMAC’s Gallery located in Riverwalk Artists Gallery

(Warren, Mn) – Northwest Minnesota Arts Council is proud to feature work from East Grand Forks Resident Brenda Baumer and Erskine Resident John Rakowski as this month’s featured artists at their gallery in Riverwalk Centre Mall.


Brenda Baumer earned her degree in Social Psychology from Park University, choosing a career in the mental health management field. Upon retirement in 2014 Brenda began her journey as a self-taught artist with inspiration from artist Bob Ross, and encouragement from many friends and artists in the local community. Brenda’s paintings are created from memory and  imagination, evoking serene wooded scenes and landscapes. She is experimenting with new subjects. Brenda’s paintings have been shown in community exhibits. Brenda’s work was selected for the NWMAC Regional Exhibit in Thief River Falls, and one of her paintings was chosen to be included in the NWMAC Traveling Art Exhibit which is now visiting East Grand Forks’ Campbell Library.

JR_BuckboardJohn Rakowski grew up in a farming community and always had his hand in woodworking. He remembers when farming relied on horse-drawn wagons, and when as a child he made his own toys replicating tractors, trucks and farm villages. In high school John built furniture, including book shelves and a table. His adult career led him to be head of grounds maintenance at the Grand Forks Air Force Base, a career he misses; but in retirement he has returned to his first love of wood-working. John has spent twenty years building wooden models of the wagons and buggies he remembers, including buckboards, grain wagons, and Amish buggies. Several of his pieces have won blue ribbons at the Polk County fair.

10414516_877029658991091_137525728504845841_nPaint Your Wagons will be displayed in the NWMAC gallery inside River Walk Artists Shop and Gallery from Wednesday, September 2nd to Sunday, September 20, 2015. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday3:00 to 7:00 pm, and Sunday2:00 to 5:00 pm. The Arts Council gallery and River Walk Artists shop & gallery are located in the River Cinema mall. Park in the large lot to the north and enter the mall door: we are the first door on the right.

We welcome private showings, and are happy to answer any questions. For more information or a private showing, call the arts council office at 218-745-9111; or you may contact the gallery coordinator at 218-965-4216, or email: tmjacobson16@gmail.com.