Banfill-Locke’s new show is a ‘first’

By Elyse Kaner
Staff Writer

Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts’ new exhibit titled “First Show” is a double entendre.

Mary Jo Truchon of Blaine is a featured artist in Banfill-Locke’s newest exhibit “First Show.” This is her painting of orchids.

Not only is it the first show of the year, but it showcases six artists who were named first-place winners in the art center’s 2010 annual Member Show. Juror for the show was Coon Rapids artist Jeannine Spooner Kitzhaber.

“Visitors to the exhibit will see a variety of work not only in traditional media, but they will see the diversity and variety of the best work of our members,” said Lia Rivamonte, executive director of Banfill-Locke.

Media includes acrylic and oil painting, pastel and charcoal, ceramic and glass, photography, watercolor and collage.

Blaine resident Mary Jo Truchon has been creating art for as long as she can remember. She works with watercolors, oils and pastels. She draws and paints murals. Her subjects are people, trees, birds, flowers – nature themes.

“I can’t not do art,” she said when asked what would happen if she were unable to paint. “Everything about my life has always had something to do with art.”

Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts presents
“First Show,” featuring first-place winners of 2010 BLCA Members Show
Jan. 6-Feb. 4
Opening reception Jan. 7, 5 to 7 p.m.
Gallery hours: Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., free
6666 East River Road, Fridley
For more information visit
or call 763-574-1850
Truchon, chairwoman of the board of supervisors for the Anoka Conservation District, paints and draws nearly every day. She devotes time to exploring watercolor and the native habitats of Minnesota. For the last 20 years, she has produced educational materials as an interpretive naturalist at Wargo Nature Center in Lino Lakes.

Truchon will display about 10 pieces in “First Show.”

Other prize-winning artists featured in the show are Susan Boeckmann, Deborah Splain, Carolyn McLeod, Jes Lee Shimek and Erick Wiger.

Ceramics and glass artist Wiger, who is studio manager for Anoka-Ramsey Community College Visual Arts Department, has been working in glass for about 15 years. His work draws heavily on geological imagery.

“What I like most about creating art is the act of exploration,” Wiger said. “I love to puzzle out new techniques and to do problem solving so I am always trying new things and pushing the edge of what I have done before.”

A free opening reception of “First Show” will take place tomorrow (Saturday, Jan. 7) from 5 to 7 p.m. at the art center.

BLCA is located at 6666 East River Road in Fridley.

Elyse Kaner is at [email protected]

Comments Closed