This is no ordinary art show!
Although the wind had no mercy, it was a true pleasure traveling from town to town (often down gravel roads) to meet several of the Meander Artists. You might not have any idea many of these Studios even exist were it not for the Upper Minnesota Art Crawl, affectionately known as the Meander.
There are several common threads throughout the tour. All evidence that the community, it’s artists and the Meander coordinators have a very strong understanding of their ‘brand’.
- The Walking Bridge and Minnesota River
- Arts Meander Calendar
- Kiwanis Popcorn Stand
- The incredibly beautiful and diverse Minnesota Valley landscape
- Networking! Competition isn’t a word in the Meander vocabulary, but cross-promote sure is.
Each of these local treasures are cherished and carefully protected by everyone involved in the Meander. …a testament to their commitment towards longevity. It’s no accident the Meander has continued for 11 years. As you enter each Studio you can tell the Artist is totally committed. You never get the impression anything is an afterthought or getting in the way of normal business. Each Studio offers hor d’oeuvres and a warm welcome. Guest books help track where Meanders are coming from so that the coordinators can promote accordingly. Bright red or white ‘M‘ buttons adorn each attendees lapel as a badge of Meander honor. Marketing at it’s finest!
This same integrity carries over into each Artist’s craftsmanship and presentation. MVTV Wireless was able to visit a few Studios to show our support. We’ll be blogging about each Artist in the coming weeks. Subscribe to our Blog by entering your email address on the MVTV News page, or by clicking on the RSS feed link.
The pieces you are about to see are hand-crafted and top quality. The entire event carries an attitude… ‘If you’re going to do it, do it right so it lasts for years.’ And, the stories behind their passion are amazing! Take, for instance, River Bank Folk Art’s Curt & Paula Soine. Curt shared with us the story of how he came to carve his first decoy. Watch the MVTV Blog page for upcoming Artist Profile stories, one featuring Paula’s $400 goose!
Stony Run Woods, Granite Falls, has been creating native willow & rustic furniture & accessories for 27 years! We’ll be sharing the story of Dale & Jo Pederson transformed their passion into a community service.
tokheim stoneware’s Gene & Lucy Tokheim, Dawson, create Scandinavian influenced pottery that’s been enjoyed by kings! These functional pieces frequently adorn the art of local artist Franz Allbert Richter.
We also visited with Visual Artist, Tamara Isfeld whose work is exhibited in Montevideo’s Java River, Gene Stukel Photography’s amazing images of The Walking Bridge, Bradley Hall who has been actively building community through the arts and Andy of A to Z Letterpress Printing … Brad and Andy are co-creators of the Meander Calendar! We have far to many images from these visits to include in this blog post. Subscribe to the MVTV News Blog now so you don’t miss a single Artist Profile story!
The Meander is by no means a ‘stuffy’ event. We had our share of fun!
See you at the 2015 Meander Art Crawl,MVTV Wireless, Your Broadband Internet Provider ‘Connecting Rural Minnesota’