featured artist: art, wine, and consignment

When we first moved to Grand Forks, I forced myself out of my comfort zone, and applied to any community art event/exhibition if my art was suitable. I donated several pieces to charity auctions. I was also elated to take part in Grand Fork’s annual The Art of Giving charity art sale. Any exposure is worthwhile, right? And if I’m able to use my art to help contribute to a good cause–even better.

2014 Art & Wine Walk Display at Blue Moose
2014 Art & Wine Walk Display at Blue Moose

As a result, I am delighted to have had some art opportunities throughout 2014. During the beautiful summer months, I took part in the North Valley Arts Council’s (NoVAC) Annual Art and Wine Walks.  We arrived in Grand Forks with just enough time to be settled (and have received our shipment of household goods) for me to apply and be accepted into this fantastic community event.  Running from June-Oct, I took part in the walks for the months of July {Blue Moose}, August {Brick & Barley}, September {Living Sage} and October {Bonzers}.

The third Saturday of each month, artists are paired with participating local businesses throughout downtown Grand Forks & East Grand Forks. People purchase wristbands (you know, to prove they are of legal drinking age) and follow a map, supplied by NoVAC, to taste various wines and enjoy the work of local artists.  I was surprised by the overwhelmingly positive response I received for my work.  I didn’t sell a lot, but I loved chatting, meeting new people, and sharing my love of art–and each new person to stop by, was one more person who now knew I existed.

My September slot at the gorgeous home boutique, Living Sage, also resulted in their taking several of my works on consignment.

This month I’ve also been included in a group art exhibition featuring a variety of local artists at the Urban Stampede coffee shop. This charming coffee shop quickly became one of my favorite places when we first arrived in Grand Forks.  I’m excited to be included with other talented local artists, including Dyan Rey, Adam Kemp, Sue Burke, Pirjo Berg, Charlie Confer, Sue Fine, Brittany Molmen, Phyllis Kalliokoski and others. While the designated gallery space at Urban Stampede is small (the world’s smallest?), the coffee shop itself is striking, and creates a wonderful atmosphere for appreciating art.

I have found being married to the military and through our four moves and three different countries–as an artist, the main difficulty associated with moving (other than, of course, literally moving and unpacking all of my earthly belongings) is that I have to re-establish myself locally with each new location. While I’ve had works in group and solo exhibitions throughout the US and abroad, getting people to take notice of artwork (or any artistic endeavor for that matter) is always a struggle–and filled with rejection.

However, my love (or compulsion?) to create art means that I’ll continue working despite countless rejections, because, well, I can’t imagine not making art. That being said, I’m pleased to mention, I do have several exhibition opportunities coming up in the next couple of months—

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