‘Artists in the Far East’ coming to Banfill-Locke art center

Viewers of Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts’ upcoming art show can expect to see a lush display of white herons, peonies, dragons and much more in the Artists del Norte annual spring juried show.

Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts newest exhibit is Artist del Norte's annual spring juried show titled "Artists in the Far East." Photo submitted

Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts newest exhibit is Artist del Norte’s annual spring juried show titled “Artists in the Far East.” Photo submitted

This year’s theme is “Artists in the Far East.”

The show opens May 25 and runs through June 22. A reception and awards ceremony will be held Saturday, June 1, 4 to 6 p.m. at the center located at 6666 East River Road in Fridley. Admission is free.

Nineteen artists will display a variety of photography, watercolors, colored pencil, pastels encaustic wax, mixed media and acrylic paintings.

“To me, it’s an excuse to stretch yourself a little,” said exhibit coordinator Sharyn Erickson about presenting themed art shows.

Among the 45 pieces on display will be Erickson’s wool felt and needle “A Sumo Mouse,” a portly mouse dressed in a sumo loincloth (belt).

Erickson, a resident of Ham Lake, volunteered to be the show’s coordinator for the fun factor.

“I said I’ll take care of it. It’s a big job, but I love doing it,” she said.

Erickson started painting with water colors as an eight-year-old. She lived on a farm in Clara City, near Willmar, at the time. As a child, she painted on the backside of leftover wallpaper.

After water colors, she took up painting with oils, then colored pencil, ink and more. She likes a huge variety, she said.

What does her artwork mean to her?

“I would just be lost without it,” she said. “I just have to be doing art all the time.”

Erickson’s work has been exhibited at Blaine City Hall, Sherburne County Government Center and the Anoka County Courthouse. Her art has found its way into private collections throughout the United States.

Artists del Norte has a long history in the north metro area, said Bethany Whitehead, executive director of Banfill-Locke. “It’s a chance for those who live in the area to see what their neighbors are up to,” she said about the new exhibit. “I like that it’s a spring show. People can come for a walk in the adjacent park, bring a picnic (lunch) and make a day out of it.”

Jan Johansen is juror for Banfill’s art show. A charter member and past president of Artists del Norte, Johansen paints oils and acrylics. She’s a signature member of Transparent Watercolor Society of America and Pastel Society of America.

“There’s some wonderful artwork,” Erickson said about Banfill’s newest show. “It’s inspiring.”

Artists del Norte was started in 1976. A group of emerging and professional artists, the organization’s focus is on artists, creating events and activities for sharing talent, friendship, information, shows and workshops.

The group meets the last Tuesday of the month, 7 p.m., spring through autumn at Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts. Dues are $22 a year. For more information, send an email to info@banfill-locke.org or call 763-574-1850.

Elyse Kaner is at elyse.kaner@ecm-inc.com

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