The 2011 Meander, the Upper Minnesota River Art Crawl, will take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The 2011 Meander, the Upper Minnesota River Art Crawl, will take place Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

For thousands of years art and culture have had their beginnings along the great river valleys. Some things never change.

On the first weekend of October follow the Minnesota River Valley from Granite Falls all the way to beautiful Big Stone Lake north of Ortonville and see remarkable art and artists.

It’s a long weekend full of art, music, entertainment and food. It’s a chance to take to the road to enjoy the quiet, lovely, fall scenery and revel in the exuberance of the talented artists and artisans who make this such a special place to live and visit.

This is the eighth annual art Meander, a free self-guided tour of artists’ studios featuring 45 local artists from the Upper Minnesota River Valley. The studios will be open starting Friday from 2 to 6 p.m., Saturday from 9 to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 9 to 4 p.m. A brochure detailing the locations of the studios can be downloaded from the web at

New artists this year include Martha Roisen Alvarado, a fiber artist showing on her home farm place, the Lac qui Parle Valley Vineyards near Dawson, Corey Speh, wood artist showing at Hinterlands Vineyard near Clara City, and Tom and Delite Ludvigson, furniture artists showing at their home south of Madison.

This year the Meander Kickoff Event will be in downtown Granite Falls Friday, from 4 to 8 p.m. featuring music, food and entertainment. A full listing of kickoff activities appears on page 3A of this edition.

On Saturday night, “A Night of Jazz with Nancy Harms” will be playing in Dawson at 7:30 p.m. Harms is a native of Clara City and is coming from her current home in New York City to perform in Dawson. More information is available from the Dawson-Boyd Arts Association at (320) 769-2955 ext. 246 or at

The Meander featured artist for 2011 is Kerry Kolke-Bonk, a painter who lives near Appleton. She does watercolor, acrylic, and collage work. She’s lived in or near Appleton for nearly 35 years and her Meander brochure painting exhibits that history and insight by its portrayal of an old windmill, white coneflowers, and modern wind turbines, “What goes around comes around.”