Guest Column: Exhibit features excellent artists and dear friends

Published 9:00 am Saturday, July 28, 2018

The Stairwell News by Susanne Crane

Susanne Crane is an artist/educator working on a local restoration project in the historic district.

This month’s column is about a joyful collaboration.

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Let me tell you about some friends of mine. It is a great honor to introduce you, and the entire Albert Lea community, to a group of amazing art professionals who have been getting together for over 20 years to create art and inspire each other.

Dee Teller, Marsha VanBuskirk and Theresa Harsma have been taking turns organizing art retreats for a diverse group of artists throughout the Midwest for decades. All the while, they have raised families, taught and exhibited their artwork as well.

Susanne Crane

Dee lives near Faribault on the lakeshore. She has a lofted studio facing the lake and a beautiful home designed and built by her husband, Tom. She is a super-extroverted person who can charm just about anyone. She works in the Asian tradition of Sumi-e brush and is internationally famous for her work.

Marsha lives in the northwoods of Wisconsin near Trego. Her life is quiet and secluded and her studio looks out onto a beautiful shade garden also next to a lake. Marsha is a mixed-media artist who uses painted, drawn and collaged elements to create amazing abstract pieces in many artistic styles.

Theresa lives in Owatonna and creates handmade books and fabulous abstract pieces out of recycled materials. She is very playful in her techniques and always allows for happy accidents. She is a gentle person with a soft voice, who is also persistent and outspoken on important matters.

I’m writing this column today, about these particular people, because you have the opportunity to see their work right here in Albert Lea. This is the most prestigious exhibition to visit our community ever. The show will be at the Freeborn County Arts Initiative gallery until Sept. 1. This exhibition is both entertaining and family friendly. It is also free.

If you want more details about this fabulous collaborative exhibition, refer to Sarah Kocher’s comprehensive article in the Tribune on July 14. The artist reception was a huge success, with over 60 people attending. “The Escape Artists,” which was released during the event, quickly sold out. We are ordering more. Thank you to everyone who came to see the show and welcomed the artists to our town. They had a great time.

For those who proclaim that there’s nothing exciting going on in Albert Lea, watch out! This show may change your mind. For those who love Albert Lea, here’s something new to brag about.