Owatonna watercolor artist opens exhibit

Published 5:49 pm Friday, August 25, 2023

A new untitled exhibit is now on display at the Albert Lea Art Center from Owatonna-based watercolor artist Pamela Mikeworth, a late-arriving artist.

She described the exhibit as a collection encompassing years of work, with some being eight years old and others created in July.

This is her first solo show in Albert Lea, though she did participate in a member exhibit a few months ago.

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The exhibit started after she received a call from Charlene Marley, arts administrator at the Albert Lea Art Center, in July asking if she’d want to do a show after their original artist had to cancel.

And she was happy to do it, adding she experienced a busy month putting everything together.

“I’ve always loved watercolor,” she said. “I took my first class in 2002, my very first time watercoloring. I loved it.”

It started with Owatonna’s Arts in the Park, where she fell in love with the watercolor work of Dee Leonard.

“She was going to do a demonstration and a talk at the Owatonna Arts Center,” she said. “I went there to listen to her.”

During her lecture, Leonard recommended taking a class from Karyln Holman.

She had also always wanted to paint, though between raising children and working full-time she’d never had time.

As fate would have it, Holman was coming to the Art Center one year later, so Mikeworth signed up for her watercolor workshop scheduled for one year later.

“Bought my paints, brought the watercolor paper, bought all of the supplies not knowing if I would like it or not,” she said, noting she even took a week off from work for the five-day workshop.

She was hooked from the first day, adding that Holman made the class fun. During that workshop, she returned home with three finished paintings.

From there, she’s taken classes from Holman, Bonnie Broitzman, June Young, Karen Knutson and Fred Dingler.

“[Young and Dingler] have probably influenced my painting the most by teaching me to go darker, and therefore it just makes the paintings sing,” she said. “I used to be very pastel-y when I started painting.”

Most of her works depict flowers, which she described as a passion.

She’s also done landscapes and has traveled abroad with Broitzman and Holman, where she’s been to Italy, Greece, France, Spain and New Zealand with other artists., which she said helped to improve her painting and expand her styles.

The exhibit features 42 finished, framed paintings, with another 20 matted and ready for people to purchase and frame.

“[Mikeworth] has become a very mature artist who has a really wide variety of paintings, a great deal of skill — they’re very professional, and she has a lot of them, so we knew she could fill up this whole gallery and make it sparkle,” Broitzman, a board member for the Art Center, said.

Mikeworth echoed a similar sentiment.

“I’m hoping when [people] come to see it they’re going to see a variety first of all, the variety of different styles,” she said, describing her work as “more realistic,” and where viewers could identify items in pieces.

She also wants people to enjoy the exhibit, get joy and be wowed by the colors, depth and stories.

Besides the exhibit, Mikeworth served as superintendent for Fine Arts at the Steele County Fair.

The exhibit opened Aug. 13 and will run through Sept. 30. There will be a reception for Mikeworth from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday at the center, located at 101 S. Broadway Ave.

Some pieces are available for sale, and anyone interested in purchasing should contact Marley at 507-373-5665. Mikeworth was also happy to try commissioned work.

“Come and enjoy,” Mikeworth said.