Art Center event showcases living art alongside traditional work

Published 9:00 am Sunday, July 8, 2018

The Albert Lea Art Center is once again marrying two art forms for its annual Art and Garden Tour.

“That’s what makes this garden tour special,” Art and Garden Tour co-chairwoman Joyce Purdy said.

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The tour, open from 4 to 8 p.m. July 13 and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 14, will feature five gardens and seven artists. The event also includes a stop at Hill’s Gardens and a demonstration on creating container gardens.

Albert Lea Art Center has organized a yearly tour since 2009, but have had tours on and off since the 1980s.

Art and Garden Tour co-chairwoman Beth Tostenson said the event gives community members a chance to appreciate the beauty of gardening and landscaping.

“It’s an, quite an art to be able to do that,” Tostenson said.

Steve Tubbs holds some of the mugs thrown but not yet fired. His finished products will be on display in his gallery space during the tour. Sarah Kocher/Albert Lea Tribune

Additionally, artists and their work will be located at each site. In some locations, Tostenson said, the artists will demonstrate their craft, like painting or jewelry-making, at the site.

For potter Steve Tubbs, getting the work to the garden site will be easy; after all, it’s his garden.

Tubbs and his wife, Debbie, will display a landscape that features low-maintenance blooming plants and shrubs. They have augmented these with annuals to add color, Tubbs said.

In addition to their garden, Steve Tubbs’ new gallery space, located on his property, will be open for the public to take a look at. Attendees may recognize his work from the Convention and Visitors Bureau or pieces sold at Sterling Drug, but there’s more.

“There’s a bigger variety and more one-of-a-kind pieces here,” Tubbs said.

His pieces will share the limelight with those created by his sister, Molle Rued, who will exhibit wine cork jewelry, keychains and ornaments as well as fairy gardens displayed within the landscaping, Tubbs said.

“The fairy gardens are a, you know, they’re kind of a crossover product between Art and Garden,” he said.

This is the Tubbses’ second time in the Art and Garden Tour, but the first at this house. Tostenson said there are no recent repeats from previous tours.

“We try and mix them up every year,” she said. “… We do have a repeat from years ago, but, you know, gardens change.”

Another location on the tour will also feature two artists, one for each day of the tour. Tostenson said attendees can split the locations up between the two days of the tour.

“It is just so surprising — fun — and we learn so much being able to meet these people,” Purdy said.

It is also an opportunity for gardeners to show off what they’ve been laboring over, too.

“They’re so thrilled to be able to share their passion with people,” Tostenson said.

The Art and Garden Tour is a fundraiser for the Albert Lea Art Center.

This year’s locations

Garden: Steve and Debbie Tubbs, 1508 Seath Drive, Albert Lea

Artist: Steve Tubbs, ceramics, and Molle Rued, jewelry, fairy gardens (both days)

Garden: Jason and Joie Willner, 220 North Lane, Albert Lea

Artist: Bonnie Broitzman, watercolor, pen (Friday), and Patty Tewes, jewelry (Saturday)

Garden: Carol and John Lang, 806 Lincoln St., Albert Lea

Artist: Ruth Olson, photography, acrylic

Garden: Gunner and Lorna Berg, 1410 Oakwood Drive, Albert Lea

Artist: Carine Rofshus, paint, illustration

Garden: Daniel and Kim Otten, 80612 200th St., Hayward

Artist: Ann Oliphant, oil paint and colored pencil

Garden: Hill’s Gardens, 2512 West Main St., Albert Lea

Artist: Tony Hill, container art


Tickets, please

Who: Albert Lea Art Center

What: Art and Garden Tour

When: 4 to 8 p.m. July 13, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 14

Where: Four gardens across Albert Lea, one garden in Hayward

How much: Tickets are $10, available at the Convention and Visitors Bureau, Addie’s Floral & Gifts, the Albert Lea Art Center and available at each site

About Sarah Kocher

Sarah covers education and arts and culture for the Tribune.

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