Albert Lea Art Center’s annual event is July 16, 17

Published 10:30 am Saturday, July 10, 2010

Seven area gardens will be in the spotlight as the Albert Lea Art Center holds its annual Art & Garden Tour Friday and Saturday, July 16 and 17.

Hours are from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased at Addi’s Floral & Gifts, Ben’s Floral & Frame Designs, Doyle’s Hallmark and at the Albert Lea Art Center. Tickets will also be available at the gardens during the tour.

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Following is a little about each of the featured gardens and the artists who will be in them.

Ron and Donna Widenhoefer

Albert Lea

Among the Widenhoefers’ garden highlights are a crescent-shaped rose garden, rows of zinnias and marigolds, day lilies, coneflowers, coreopsis, bee balm and impatiens. There are also containers of annuals. One corner is saved for vegetables.

In the Widenhoefer garden are basket weavers Arlene Cherney and Nancy Decker. Arlene, of rural Glenville, is a member of the Upper Iowa Basket Weavers Guild and also has connections with Minnesota Weavers. Her daughter, Nancy, a retired Adams elementary teacher, shares her interest.

Dale and Millie Westland


The Westlands combine flowers and garage sale treasures in their garden. There are dozens of recycled metal pieces and many places to sit and watch the martins and other birds. The Westlands have filled their garden with surprises and have outlined it with flowers and vegetables.

In the Westland garden are artists Paul Williams and Deb Schnell.

The two southern Minnesota artists have more than 60 combined years in creative fields. Schnell teaches art at Riverland Community College and Williams maintains the home studio.

Ted and Judy Hellie

Rural Albert Lea

The Hellie farmhouse is sheltered by tall pines and green ash. Garden beds, with perennials, annuals and native plants, nearly surround the house. There are also a fish pond and waterfall, as well as a vegetable garden near a former cattle barn.

Painter Marie Bottelson is the artist in the Hellie garden. Bottelson, of New Hope, has always dreamed of opening her own business. She has chosen paint to portray her observations of nature.

Rick and Marie Mammel

Albert Lea

Rick uses his imagination in his garden. A bright blue bunk bed frame provides support for pole beans and spinach. He’s recently planted a number of unusual trees. He’s also the artist in the garden. He defines his mission as art mirroring humanity. He taught art and art history at the college level for 30 years.

Charles and Sherry Seberson

Albert Lea

Tall pines provide generous afternoon shade in the Seberson garden. Hostas, lilies, impatiens and a raspberry patch fill the garden. A colorful, semi-circular garden with three gravel paths and a brick patio are featured on the sunny side of the garden.

The artist in the garden is Bonnie Wedge. She creates art to make people smile. Her art is a whimsical combination of hand-made paper, bottle caps, aluminum cans, spoons and Jell-O molds. Wedge’s dolls have been featured in the Art Doll Quarterly magazine.

Dale and Marilyn Matson


The Matsons wanted a disciplined landscape for their edge-of-the-village home. The result is neatly bordered flower gardens at the front door and the south part of the lawn. A pergola over the deck provides shade.

The artist in the garden is Linda Draper of Austin. She works in acrylic, watercolor, pencil, oil pastel and photography. Her favorite subjects are people, but she also enjoys capturing nature in unusual ways with her photography.

Brad and Tempest Arends

Albert Lea

The Arends garden is a combination of rock walls, evergreens, boulders and berms filled with flowers. Brad Arends has created his garden over the last six years and credits special soil created by a local nursery and the generous use of mulch for the rapid growth of his plants.

In the Arends garden is watercolor artist Lu Callstrom. She began working with watercolors eight years ago and creates florals with abstract qualities. Her goal is to capture the essence of a subject.