2017: STUDIO 1 (two artists)
Monica Vilars – Mixed Media
Artist Bio: I am a multi media/mixed media artist. I am a contemporary quilt maker, I work with western papermaking & sculpture, surface design & fibers, beading & jewelry, silkscreen & collage. I love the use of COLOR, texture, and layering and found objects in my work.
Processing, the use of detail & craftsmanship are skills I practice doing each work of art. I am a teacher at the Willmar area Learning Center, the co-founder of DEMO inc, demo-inc.org, a 501c3 whose mission is to work with at risk teens while expanding ARTS opportunities in Greater Minnesota.
Della Conroy –Painting, Pastel
Artist Bio: A musician by training, Della Conroy has also found a place in the visual art world. In building a collection of work that reflects her interest in the beauty found in Western Minnesota, she paints scenes depicting the grasses, trees, rivers and lakes found in that area. She has a strong feeling for the prairie landscape which she enjoys exploring with different mediums. Her soft but colorful landscapes exude peace, serenity, and calm.
Della often works in series, and is always interested in doing commission work for any project; home or business. The works that she specializes in are watercolor and pastel landscapes, acrylic and oil abstracts, and watercolor on yupo paper which is a fairly new and very interesting technique.
If you are interested in seeing more of Della Conroy’s artworks, they can be viewed on her website at dellaconroy.com.
Studio address: State Highway 71 & Kandiyohi County 3
Directions: South of Willmar
Ron Adams – Painting
Artist Bio: I am a freelance artist who works from his home studio in Willmar who graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in art from St. Cloud State University in 1976. Through the years I have created art which now hangs locally in permanent collections at the Kandiyohi County Historical Society, Robbins Island Park, Rice Hospital, Ridgewater College, North American State Bank,and the Willmar Public Library. I retired from my 20 career as a photographer for the West Central Tribune in June of 2014. In December of 2015 I completed work on a 36 foot county history themed mural which now hangs at the Kandiyohi County Health and Human Services Building. This 18 month mural project was made possible through a Legacy Grant from the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council.
My work is mainly photography-based realism which often contains semi-surreal images of local people and places. I prefer to paint on over-sized canvases in either oil or acrylic paint. My drawings are made using a technique of layering colored pencil and art markers to create images that appear more like paintings than drawings.
Studio Address: 900 Park Ave NW
Directions: On north side of Willmar, near the fairgrounds. Follow Ella Ave to 9th St NE, turn north on 9th and proceed to Park Ave. Studio is on Park Avenue at the end of 9th Street
Studio phone: 320- 235-7773
Studio is not handicapped accessible.
Restroom is available.
STUDIO 3 (eight artists)
Grace Johnson – Pottery
Artist Bio: Born and raised in St. Paul, MN, Grace Johnson studied ceramics at Bethel University where she received a BA degree in fine arts. Once a full time potter in San Diego, CA, Grace now lives just south of Willmar where her husband raises turkeys. After homeschooling their six children she is pursuing pottery again. The potter’s wheel has become for Grace, a means to share God’s work in her life. She speaks nationally, presenting God as the Potter and us as the clay in His hands.
Gayle Martens – Precious Metal Clay
Artist Bio: I create jewelry pieces that are simple in design yet contemporary. My designs say “less is more.”
While having no formal training in jewelry making when I began in 2008, my life experiences, travels, reading and research all led to evolving into the artist I am today. In 2013, I received my Metal Clay Level I Certification from Art Clay World USA. 2014 brought the completion of the Art Clay Senior Certification course work. 2015, I completed my Mokume Gane certification through Art Clay World of Japan.
For me, jewelry making is yoga for my mind. I find great relaxation and focus from being in my studio. My goal is to bring this joy and feeling of accomplishment to others through metal clay class instruction.
Janet Olney – Embellished Gourds
Artist Bio: Janet Olney is an award-winning fibre artist who is taking a new direction with her work. She was a basket maker for over 30 years but has been working with gourds the last few years. She finds the work exciting and challenging. When she was making baskets, she started with a pile of reed and created a shape. When working with gourds, she starts with a shape and has to decide what to do with it.
Jean Opitz – Watercolor, Acrylic, Collage
Artist Bio: Jean has been painting since she was a small child, coached by her artist father. She minored in art, graduating from Mt. Mary’s College in Milwaukee, WI.
During her 17 years of teaching, she taught art in both junior and senior high
In graduate school she worked mainly with acrylic and oils. She presently uses
the mediums of watercolor and oil pastel to capture the spirit of our natural world.
She has also developed a paper color collage-mosaic technique to create a desired
mood or landscape. She calls it painting with paper.
Jean is retired and living in Willmar. She can be reached at 320-231-2742
Shalese Sands – Oil paints, pencil
Artist Bio: Ever since I could hold a pencil, I have had a love of drawing and animals. So it was only natural that I combine my two loves. My passion for art has only grown throughout the years and my love of animals has kept up with it. I graduated in the spring of 2011 from Northwestern College in St. Paul, MN with a B.A. in Studio Art and hope to make wildlife/equine art my full time profession.
Phil Scheevel – Woodcarving
Artist Bio: Phil does a wide variety of styles of carving from traditional to stylized to whimsical. He also does woodburning and other mediums.
Sandra Schlagel – Fibre Arts/Mixed Media
Artist Bio – In visual arts my primary focus is making art quilts, although I also create hand bound books and mixed media collages. My original art quilts express emotion, experience, memory and observation. I use cotton and other textiles, thread, paper, found objects, beads and photographs to tell the story.My fiber art style often includes saturated colors, raw-edge applique and photographs arranged in a grid-like or geometric composition. The cloth and/or paper layers and 3D elements, such as beading and found objects, are held together by dense, free-form stitching with embroidery floss and other threads. When I use photographs they are usually altered and faded like memory. My work is sometimes biographical, yet appeals to the universal themes of environment, love, memory, family, similarity and difference, lifestyle and home. Hopefully the viewer will see their story in a piece as well.
My mixed media pieces have appeared in Stampington & Company magazines during the past ten years, and a fiber art piece, “Kitchen Garden,” recently appeared in Quilting Arts magazine. One fiber art piece received a People’s Choice Award from a Willmar Area Arts Council challenge exhibit. I won the 2015 Best of Show award at the Bremness Art Gallery for my fiber art piece, “Seasons of my life: portrait of a young-at-heart woman.” I was honored to be chosen as the poster artist for the 2016 Celebrate Art! Celebrate Coffee! Festival.
John White – Photography
Artist Bio – Photographic artist John G. White has focused on remnants of the few patches the former prairie pothole biome in Western Minnesota, combining skilled camera techniques from more than 40 years of magazine and newspaper experience with minimal post processing computer technology. He is deeply influenced by the Impressionist Masters, and in particular, Monet, in his use of subject matter, light and composition. His goal is to capture the beauty of the last one percent of this native prairie life which before Euro-American set tlement stretched from Canada to Texas, and from the Mississippi to the High Plains. Yes, 99 percent of the prairie, including the prairie pothole (wetland) region of Western Minnesota and Eastern South Dakota has been destroyed. White is one of the 45 regional artists on the annual Upper Minnesota River Art Meander, and exhibits his work year round at his home studio at Listening Stones Farm north of Ortonville. Several of his images have been showcased in juried art shows, including Artscape in New Ulm, the Horizontal Grandeur in Morris, theStudio address: Barn Theatre, 316 Becker Ave.SW
Directions: Please enter at 316 Becker Ave.SW, take steps or elevator to 3rd floor, follow signs to end of hall
Studio phone: 320-235-8560