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Studio Tour Heaven

Over the next three weeks, Duluthians will have an unprecedented opportunity to explore, and support, creativity in the Northland as artists from the Twin Ports to Thunder Bay, Ontario, open their studios to the public.

Over the next three weeks, Duluthians will have an unprecedented opportunity to explore, and support, creativity in the Northland as artists from the Twin Ports to Thunder Bay, Ontario, open their studios to the public.
Called studio tours and sales, the events bring together artists, their work and the public on the artists' creative ground -- their studios.
Anyone who has participated in any of these tours and sales in the last few years will testify to having a great time as well as having a wonderful choice of artwork to add to their collections.
"People don't think that neat things are happening in Duluth, but there's a wonderful arts community here," said Karin Kraemer, a potter who will be showing her work during the City Limits Studio Tour and Sale Oct. 7-8. "People need to check out what they're doing and see what wonderful things are happening in our community right next door."
This year, there are 30 different artists participating in three separate tours. In all, 20 studios from the Twin Ports to Thunder Bay will welcome art lovers with exhibits, demonstrations and refreshments as well as a special camaraderie that only happens when one is sharing one's life and work.
The tours can take a whole weekend where the beauty of fall colors and views of Lake Superior accompany the voyager. Or they can be a simple matter of walking down the street to visit a neighbor artist or driving a few miles to visit another.
In all cases, the visitor will be welcomed with food, good talk and a chance to experience the source of the artists' creativity.
"I've had people here for two or three hours," said Michael Tonder, a fused-glass artist who lives on Thomas Lake just outside Two Harbors. "They look at our studio and what we've been doing, then they might walk around the lake for a while, absorbing the environment we live in. They can get a more clear idea of what speaks to us that way."
Tonder and his wife, Jody Freij-Tonder, who makes recycled glass earrings, are part of the 10-day Crossing Borders Tour that runs until Sunday. "That's our job for these 10 days," Tonder said. "We talk to the people, share our inspiration. And hopefully, they go away with a new understanding, and if they're so moved, they can leave with a bit of artwork."
That's the key here, offering the art work for sale, although that's only part of what's happening.
"It's nice for people to see your studio and see where you work," said Dave Yungner, whose studio is on North Shore Drive on the shores of Lake Superior and is part of the Crossing Borders tour.
It's also great to be at home for a show, instead of waking up in a motel room, he said. As a potter, he spends considerable effort loading up his van and driving to shows all over the Midwest, where he sets up a booth and hopes it doesn't rain, he said.
The Crossing Borders tour is in its fourth year, and every year it seems to improve, said Dick Cooter, a potter who has a studio with his wife, Debbie, a weaver, just outside Two Harbors.
Cooter said he welcomes people to his studio because not only do they have a chance to see his Korean-inspired wood-fired kiln, but they also can sample his own inspirations.
The studio is nestled in the woods with an open field beyond, and he has quotes taped to the walls of the studio he built himself.
"Mind is shapely, art is shapely." -- Jack Kerouac.
"First thought, best thought." -- Trungpa Rinpoche.
"Let true affection and friendly discourse abide in this hall." Cheng Man-Ching. These speak for him well, he said.
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Closer to home, three potters who met at the Duluth Art Institute will have a studio tour and sale a few miles from Brighton Beach at Nodding Trillium Pottery.
Called Women in Clay, the exhibit features the work of Anne Sterbenz-Duus, Sharon Moen and Sara Haugen.
Sterbenz-Duus creates wonderful slip-trailed stoneware pots for home and garden, while Moen is known for her eclectic collection that includes sculptural pottery featuring frogs and lizards and moose. Haugen specializes in earthy wood-fired pots as well as other styles. She specializes in large pieces as well.
This is the second year for Women in Clay, Sterbenz-Duus said. Although the women frequently work together, it's still nice to see how their work has evolved over the year, she said. The sale this weekend will include pottery demonstrations on the kick wheel at Nodding Trillium Pottery, Sterbenz-Duus' studio.
City Limits really made a splash a year ago when local artists got together and decided to have a Twin Ports open studio show.
This year, five studios will be featured, and a number of new artists have been added to the mix, including the work of Mark Wedin, a blacksmith.
"We've been looking to expand what we offer and to have a blacksmith, that was unusual," said printmaker Cecilia Leider, who will open her studio for the tour. Husband Stephen's pottery will also be exhibited.
One of the nice features of the City Limits tour is that it brings several artists together in each studio.
At Pat Joyelle's studio on Park Point, for example, fused glass artist Penny Clark, contemporary folk artist Diane Daniels, and silver and gold jeweler Carmen Olejniczak will join Joyelle, who creates polymer clay jewelry and handcrafted apparel.
Lee Englund's studio in West Duluth will feature potter Viki Day and fused-glass jeweler Ron Benson. Englund is a virtuoso painter.
The tour also includes the Superior studio of weaver Karen Monson-Thompson. Artists there will be weaver Bev Lahti, watercolorist Teresa Cox Kolar, leather artist Gayle Casselton and glass bead artist Casey Teppo.
And Karin Kraemer joins Bob and Cheryl Husby at their studio overlooking Lake Superior.
One of the features of the City Limits tour is giving people an opportunity to see the work of local artists, like the Husbys, who do not exhibit in Duluth.
It's also a way to understand more of how an artist works, said Viki Day. She joked that the tour and sale "was a way to get to see the 'wildlife' in its native habitat -- that is, artists in their studios."
"But mostly, it's just a healthy, community get-together," Cheryl Husby said.
Maps for the City Limits tour will be available at each studio site.
NEWS TO USE
Maps for the Crossing Borders Studio Tour and Art Sale, can be picked up at each location.The studios are open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Oct. 1. For more information, call (800) 388-8698.
Women in Clay is at Nodding Trillium Pottery, three miles north of Brighton Beach at 215 McDonnell Rd., from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday rain or shine. For more information, call 525-5482.
City Limits Studio Tour and Art Sale is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 7 and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 8. Studios include Husby Pottery, 18th Avenue East and South Street; Pottery/Print Studio, 318 N. 14th Ave. E.; Joyelle Art Studio, 2136 Minnesota Ave; Lee Englund Studio, 616 N. 56th Ave. W. and Summer/Winter Studio, 2608 E. 6th St. in Superior. Maps are available at all locations. For more information, call 727-4356.

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