September brings the changing of leaves. Bright reds, yellows and oranges create breathtaking scenery throughout the Northern Wilds and both tourists and locals alike can be found gawking and taking pictures. And if you’re lucky, you might spot an artist participating in the Plein Air competition throughout Cook County from Sept. 11-18. Spectators can quietly witness the magic of a blank canvas being transformed into a beautiful piece of art, inspired by the artists’ surroundings. The Plein Air exhibit will be holding the opening reception on Sept. 18 from 5-7 p.m. and the exhibit will be open until Nov. 15 at the Grand Marais Art Colony.
Also this month is the Crossing Borders Studio Tour and the Lake Superior 2020. Both events are free self-guided tours along the North Shore. Numerous mediums will be featured, such as Ojibwe art, pottery, jewelry, metal, wood, ceramics, photography, weaving, leather, glass, print-making and watercolors to name a few. Guests will have the unique opportunity to visit the artists’ studios, learn about the artistic process and aesthetics of each artist, and purchase artwork. They’ll learn how the local environment plays an active role in inspiring each artist. More info on the tours can be found in the events section, starting on page 25.—Breana Roy
Crossing Borders Studio Tour
Crossing Borders first began as a conversation between Fritz Lehmberg and Dick Cooter, with the idea of building community among local artists, while letting buyers experience the artistic process. After some detailed planning, Lehmberg and Cooter invited local artists and a few friends from out of town, and hosted the first Crossing Borders in the fall of 1996. Throughout the years, many of the original artists continue to participate, as well as new artists. To join, you must be a full-time working artist and receive the approval of all the core members.
This year, nine host artists and 16 guest artists will be featured among various studios. Host artists include Jody Freij-Tonder, Michael Tonder, Dick Cooter, Debbie Cooter, Tom Christiansen, Betsy Bowen, Lee Ross, Dan Ross and Marcie McIntire.
The tour will take place along the shore between Two Harbors and Grand Portage, from Sept. 25-Oct 4. For more info on individual artists and locations, visit www.crossingbordersstudiotour.com.
Lake Superior 2020 Studio Tour
This year marks the fourth anniversary of the Lake Superior 2020 tour and will include 19 artists, 11 of which have been with the tour from the start, including curators Cynthia Lovold, Rose Kadera Vastila and Sandi Pillsbury Gredzens.
Credit for the tour idea goes to the curators and fused glass artist Ron Benson. Lovold, Kadera Vastila and Benson met at the French River Lutheran Church annual fall arts and crafts fair in Nov. 2009, and started brainstorming. The trio came up with a list of 20 artist names within a 20 mile area and an idea was born. Pillsbury Gredzens also became involved in the process and between all four artists, the Lake Superior 2020 has remained a huge success. The artist application is a juried process, giving returning artists priority, but new artists are always welcomed. And after every tour, the three curators review feedback from the artists and tour visitors.
“We want to keep the tour fresh and exciting,” said Pillsbury Gredzens.
This year’s newest participants are: Phil Hartley, photography; Nikki Johnson, watercolor; Kris Trembley, watercolor; and April Hall, jewelry.
The Lake Superior 2020 tour will take place over the course of two weekends, Sept. 18-20 and 25-27 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Visit www.lakesuperior2020.com for a downloadable map and more info.