Introducing the People’s Choice Award Winners. Discover the ‘Homes’ that Inspired Their Artwork.

‘Home is Where Your Heart Is’ gallery show hosted captivating artwork that evokes the essence of home and the emotions it holds for each of us. Our gallery audience voted for the artwork and representation of ‘Home’ that most resonated with them. Here are the people’s choice award winners, and their inspiring stories of what ‘Home’ represents to them.

Congratulations to Tess Peters and Alan Furst, tied for 3rd place!

“Walking the Fence”  by Alan Furst.

What is it about kids wanting to balance themselves walking on railroad rails, wooden fences, logs over streams, or the monkey bars on the playground? It’s like we have this internal gyroscope that begs to be tried out. Before you know it it turns into a competition of sorts to see who can do it the longest and the farthest.

It was remembering my cousin Sharon—a true tomboy—and I balancing on an old wood fence on her dad’s farm in Pennsylvania that inspired this painting. While painting it I could remember my arms moving up and down and that feeling when you start to lose your balance and try to regain it. 

My painting journey began with the start of the pandemic. I had been offering support services to individuals engaged in international humanitarian work. But countries shut their borders and airlines curtailed their flights and I was left without work. I realized I needed something to help me make sense of all the emotions and experiences I was feeling or I’d end up needing some serious help. So I picked up and brush and dove into my soul to express what my mind was trying to make sense of.

It’s been a couple of years now and I’ve evolved. There was a season I focused on skills. A season I expanded my mind to consider a wider range of human experiences. A time when I tried different mediums (graphite, color pencil, acrylic). When I look back at the bulk of my work I can see certain themes rising to the top. 

The biggest eye opener for me was when I had the opportunities to showcase my work in art fairs or galleries. Watching people interact with my art was very fulfilling. In conversations people found a way to express what the painting evoked. A memory. An experience. An emotion. Sharing those things together created space for connection.

“Illusion of Intrusion” by Tess Peters

Originally this piece was just a black pen perspective drawing for school, but I always meant to add a bit more color. After the semester ended, I came back to it a few times and it developed its own meaning. Personally, this painting is about the complexity of human perspective; however, I encourage everyone to find their own meaning in my work as there are no wrong answers in art.

Most of my art education has been self-taught or tutorials on the Internet. Though I have occasionally taken an art class, it’s just not the same when you’re surrounded by people taking it for the credits. Over the past year or so, I have been pushing myself to get as much practice and experience as possible. In a couple of weeks, I am going to be starting college as a graphic design student.

Congratulations to the 2nd place winner: Lynne Forbragd!

“October Sunrise”

This painting reveals my view out the back door of the farm I grew up on in Northern Minnesota. I remember the maple tree and sunrise coming up in the mornings. My late Father’s birthday was in the beginning of October, so that time of year has special meaning and reminds me of him.

My background is as an interior designer. About seven years ago, my sister invited me to join her in a watercolor painting class. Since then, I’ve been hooked. While watercolor is my primary artform, I’m delving into mixed-media now as well. Summers are typically busy to squeeze in much art, but for me, creating art is a great winter hobby.

Congratulations to the 1st place winner: Amy Rieschl!

I created the piece “Heart’s Refuge” as an homage to my favorite place in the entire world, the shore of Lake Superior, near Two Harbors, MN. The cabin my husband’s family owned when we first met is a precious place in my memory and has a lot of significance in our relationship.

Standing on the big rocks and looking out over the water, in that spot, was the first time I ever knew what people meant when they said their soul was at peace in a certain place. Over the years, it became necessary to sell the cabin, and I definitely left a piece of my heart there. There is something so beautiful and sacred about Lake Superior, and it is a part of me forever.

A life long crafter and dabbler of all things arts, I found my passion for stained glass after taking a class on how to make a suncatcher in the Tiffany style of stained glass (copper foil and solder). I immediately knew I had found my “thing” – I was dreaming about glass after that class! I’ve done mostly stained glass over the last few years, and recently decided that glass mosaic is the perfect complement to my stained glass work, and a way to keep creating work sustainably using the cuts of glass I have collected.

My favorite pieces I’ve made include upcycled/recycled elements, making art from things other people think are trash! I also enjoy making miniatures using polymer clay, and upcycled things I find in that work as well.

Thank you to all ‘Home is Where Your Heart Is’ gallery artists and attendees. Your conversations, insights, and reflections have enriched this community gallery space.

Here’s a glance at some inspiring upcoming gallery shows. Admission is free, bring a friend and join us.

Jan Johansen Gallery

Elizabeth Coleman: Saturday, August 5, 2023 – Saturday, August 26, 2023
Rumriver Art Center Teaching Artists: Saturday, September 9, 2023 – Saturday, September 30, 2023 Frankenstein: Saturday, October 7, 2023 – Saturday, November 4, 2023
Holiday Show and Shop: Saturday, November 18, 2023 – Saturday, December 30, 2023

21 Step Gallery

Juanita Tatum: Saturday, August 5, 2023 – Saturday, September 30, 2023
Britt Maki: Saturday, October 7, 2023 – Saturday, November 4, 2023
Holiday Show and Shop: Saturday, November 18, 2023 – Saturday, December 30, 2023

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *