Tour opens artist studios to public

The Art of the Lakes 2018 Studio Tour, which bills itself as "the largest art crawl in the rural Midwest," takes place next weekend, opening artist's studios to the public across a wide swath of Douglas, Grant and Otter Tail counties.

Painting by Jean Ranstrom (Contributed)
Painting by Jean Ranstrom (Contributed)

The Art of the Lakes 2018 Studio Tour, which bills itself as "the largest art crawl in the rural Midwest," takes place next weekend, opening artist's studios to the public across a wide swath of Douglas, Grant and Otter Tail counties.

"Many of us do not have galleries or places to put our art for sale so this is a chance to see it in person to get a sense of what we do," said artist Becky Albright, who uses a Japanese technique to make prints of real fish.

The route winds past hills, lakes and farms, and features 56 artists in 24 studios.

"We really encourage people to do a circle tour," Albright said. "They don't have to stop at every place and there's no admission charge. Every community has places to eat and grab a beverage."

The event runs Friday-Sunday, July 20-22, although not all studios are open Sunday. Most are in Otter Tail County, and some Douglas County artists, such as Albright, set up their work in studios there. However, four studios will be open in Alexandria this year and a fifth in Evansville.


Naomi Bjorklund, of "Handcrafted by Noni," will be in Alexandria for the tour for the first time. She has been in Otter Tail County for seven years, but this year she opened a studio on Nokomis Street for her paintings and jewelry work.

Her experience in Otter Tail County was "fabulous," with many repeat customers, she said, and she's not sure what to expect from her new location.

"I'm just hoping people are curious enough they'll come by," she said.

She will host a grand opening for her studio on the Wednesday and Thursday before the tour.

The following artists are from Douglas County and are participating in the tour.

Becky Albright - 415 Douglas Ave., Henning

Albright will be at the Henning Landmark Center. She uses the Japanese Gyotaku fish rubbing technique to make detailed one-of-a-kind fish art for any decor. She uses them in original work, reproductions, T-shirts, mugs and note cards, as well as fiber art and hand-dyed fabrics. Commissions are welcome. Open Friday-Sunday.

Linda Gaugert - 101 Three Havens Drive NE, Alexandria


Gaugert has been owner/artist at Three Havens Artworks for 14 years, and has been painting more than 40 years. She paints with oil and watercolor and accepts commissions. Open Friday-Sunday.

Calvin deRuyter - 18541 Co. Road 1 NW, Evansville

DeRuyter paints colorful expressionistic landscapes in watercolor, primarily of the fields, hills and water features of Minnesota. He also has been working on mixed watermedia abstracts which focus on organic forms, shapes, and lines. He will offer a bin of life drawings, and a large line of note cards featuring his paintings. The studio will be open Friday-Sunday.

Kathy Grundei - 101 Three Havens Drive, Studio No. 3, Alexandria

Grundei runs Artscape Studio and works with watercolor, mixed media and collage. She will show lots of new work and remain open Friday-Sunday.

Naomi (Noni) Bjorklund - 316 Nokomis St., Alexandria

Bjorklund paints soft expressive portraits and landscapes in oil. She also expresses her love of vibrant colors through her enameled copper jewelry. Each medium will be offered for sale at her new studio, Handcrafted by Noni. She will be open Friday-Saturday, and closed Sunday.

Donna Dean - 101 Three Havens Drive NE, Alexandria


Dean will exhibit at Three Havens Artworks Gallery. She paints in watercolor, acrylic and mixed media collage. She also hand paints and embellishes silk scarves and T-shirts. Open Friday-Sunday.

Jean Ranstrom - 3404 N. Nokomis St. NE, Alexandria

At the Jean Ranstrom Studio & Gallery, Ranstrom will show her oil and pastel paintings of landscapes, still life, florals and note cards. She will be working on an ongoing painting. Open Friday-Sunday.

If you go

WHAT: Art of the Lakes 2018 Studio Tour

WHERE: Douglas, Otter Tail and Grant counties. Maps are available, and yellow signs will be posted to help guide drivers.

WHEN: Friday, July 20-Sunday July 22. Friday and Saturday hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday hours are 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Not all studios are open on Sunday.

INFO: Artist studios open to the public for three days. In Alexandria, brochures with maps are available at Handcrafted by Noni, 316 Nokomis St., at Northington Gallery, 107 Fifth Ave. W., or by downloading at The tour is sponsored by Art of the Lakes Gallery in Battle Lake.

COST: Free

Related Topics: ART
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