Montevideo artists on display at this weekend's Meander

Jessica Stölen-Jacobson
Montevideo American-News

After having to go virtual for last year's Upper Minnesota River Art Crawl Meander, this year’s event returns to in-person with a line-up of artisans in the Montevideo and surrounding area. The local artists are offering a variety of mediums to purchase, view and in some instances, even check out their studio spaces. The Montevideo-American News has rounded up information on the Montevideo and surrounding area artists taking part in this year's Meander event on October 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. 

Doug Peterson will be exhibiting his acrylic paintings of trout, salmon, and Western Minnesota landscapes at Java River Coffee Shop. This is Peterson’s 4th year participating in the Meander, displaying at Java River each year. “Becky does a wonderful job of promoting local talent - be they artist or musicians,” says Peterson. Peterson began taking art classes as a Junior and Senior in High School in Madison. After high school, he pursued an art teaching degree at Augustana College with an emphasis on painting and drawing. Peterson then went on to teach High School Art and coach Football and Gymnastics at Glencoe High School from 1970 to 1981. After his father passed away in 1981, Peterson decided to return to Montevideo and take over the family farm. He was also elected State Representative for the local area from 1990 to 2002. 

About his creations, Peterson says, “My interest in trout and salmon as abstract subjects is shown throughout my work. I also have Nordic images of fjord horses and Viking ships done in batik reliefs. My paintings are done in acrylic.”

Just a few steps from Java River, A to Z Letterpress Printing will be open for exhibiting letterpress creations by Andy Kahmann with some help this year from family and friends. A to Z will be staffed this year by grandchildren while Bad Andy undergoes cancer treatment.

Montevideo artist and author M E Fuller will be exhibiting at Hollywood on Main. Fuller’s mediums are acrylic and watercolor. Her most recent works are mixed media abstracts. Additionally, Fuller is an author and has two books ready to sign and send home with avid readers. On hand will be Saving the Ghost, Fuller describes the book as a literary drama about a woman healing from childhood abuse. On hand additionally will be Blood on the Bridal Wreath, which Fuller describes as a chaotic romp through murder, mystery, and misguided romance, the first in a four-book cozy mystery series under the title Filthy Dirty Garden Gloves

This year's Meander will be Fuller’s first time exhibiting in person. She moved to Montevideo in November of 2019 and was accepted as a Meander artist before the pandemic led to the event being held virtually. “In past years I have Meandered from granite Falls to Ortonville, visiting each remarkable artisan and artist along the way. I’m proud to be included among them and can’t wait to have the Meander experience as a participating artist,” she says.

“I can be found at The Hollywood on Main, next door to Java River (great coffee and food). I’ll be wearing my mask and ask that visitors do the same. If visitors want to chat about my art or books, we’ll step outside to talk,” Fuller adds.  

At the Montevideo Community Center, the Flying Geese Quilt Club will be exhibiting original quilted items made by a variety of artists that make up the group. The club was organized in 1989 and members donate their works to those in need during the holidays as well as providing education during the Heritage Week at Historic Chippewa City. At the Chippewa County Historical Society, Montevideo fiber artist Celeste Suter will be displaying her hands-on yarns, fibers art, hand knits, hand-dyed accessories, and mixed fiber art. On the edge of town, Doug Pederson will be exhibiting his rustic furniture, scrimshaw, wood vases, painting, and carving at Doug’s Trimming. 

In rural Montevideo, Richard Handeen and Audrey Arner will be exhibiting in their carriage houses at Moonstone Farm. The couple has been making art since before they moved to the Handeen homestead in 1973. “We were among the initial Meander artists and have participated every year since 2004,” says Arner. Besides their hand-thrown pottery, Moonstone Farm will have a variety of other artwork and artisan foods from the couple’s farm located throughout the location. “We display in and around our farm store here at Moonstone, where Richard’s pottery and my barnstars (art for the outdoors) can be found. We love the excitement of art and culture lovers back in-person in our rural setting,” says Arner. “The Upper Minnesota River Valley is rich with artisans and the Meander is an exquisite way to showcase many of us.” The couple also notes that they will be masking and ask that visitors do as well.

Another rural stop outside of Montevideo sits closer to Milan at Loose Tooth Saloon of Art, a homestead studio owned by Malena Handeen. The former granary was turned into a studio/gallery that rests on the land at Easy Bean Farm and will be home to a variety of works by Handeen including block prints, figures, and landscape paintings. Handeen will also be performing live music on site.

Tokheim Stoneware, located between Montevideo and Dawson is another rural stop on the Meander this fall. To help mitigate COVID risks, the Tokheims plan to move much of their inventory outdoors under canopies. Additionally, they ask guests to wear masks. 

The Meander trail spans from Granite Falls to Clinton featuring artists in communities along the route. The event is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. For more information, visit the Meander website at artsmeander.com.