The Rumriver Art Gallery was initiated to support and show local artists’ work. One issue many artists experience is where to show their work as gallery space can be limited, especially to those who are just starting. Our mission with the gallery is to support and show the artwork of local artists. The shows are changed every month, providing many opportunities throughout the year for artists to display their work. The Art Gallery brings the community together and creates a greater appreciation for art. Selected artwork may be available for sale.

Virtual Gallery Show

Rumriver Art Center presents a new virtual gallery show, Julia Jaakola Watercolors en Plein Air.

The virtual gallery show features the artwork of Julia Jaakola. Julia is a watercolor artist who was formally trained from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, CA. She earned a B.F.A. degree in Illustration in 1989. After completing her degree, she returned to Minnesota as a freelance artist.

Click the link to view Julia’s work:

Julia’s love for Minnesota’s natural environments called her to work for Clean Water Action in 1994. As the need for the Clean Water Act grew, so did Julia’s dedication to help make the world a healthier place for all life. Julia felt a calling to teach and to inspire children to protect the earth. She earned a B.S. degree, Summa Cum Laude, in Education, grades 1-8, from Bemidji State University in 2003, and brought her love for nature into the classrooms. Soon, the blessing of art became clear – To truly meet the needs of all students and the needs of our planet, creativity is part of the process. Julia bridged her two degrees to retain an Art Education license, grades 1-12 in 2008.

Julia discovered plein air painting in 2014, and eventually transitioned out of the public classroom, and into “God’s studio” – our natural environment.

“I like to stand in a spot where an historic event has occurred, to hear echoes of the human plight and then to allow that power to tell its story through me, and on to the paper.”

“I love the tangle of past decades emerging out of the earth, contrasting the past with the present. The layering of time embodies a fascinating tapestry, to cause pause and to question, what happened, what is happening, how is this place cherished?”

“My responses to the natural environment, through watercolors, create a style that is expressive, and relates the spirit of a place to the viewer with eloquence and accuracy.”

All the works were painted en plein air (which is French for “in the open air”) from MN, WI, and SD. You can find Julia at

All the frames around Julia’s work were hand crafted by Richard Aasness, a local wood crafts expert from Ham Lake. Richard is retired after over 40 years of cabinet making. He continues to reveal the splendor of wood grains in a variety of turned bowls, furniture, and other items. You can find his work at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska and The Makers Studio in Excelsior. The joinery is made by the tongue and groove method. Julia sands and puts tung oil on the frames herself.

Julia is a member of the Outdoor Painters of Minnesota and the Minnesota Watercolor Society. She has received numerous awards for her art.
2019: Honorable Mention, Minnesota Watercolor Society, Spring Juried Exhibition – Chaska, MN
2018: People’s Choice Award, Port Wing Plein Air – Port Wing, WI
2017: Honorable Mention, Plein Air Duluth, Paint du Nord – Duluth, MN
2013: Best in Show, “Winter in Minnesota,”Blaine Arts Council – Blaine City Hall, MN
2001: Second Place, Visual Art Award, “Gift from the Gods,” Mixed Media, Haute Dish Magazine, Metropolitan State University – St. Paul, Minnesota
1984: First Place, Visual Art Scholarship, Portfolio, College of the Redwoods – Eureka, California

If you would like to purchase Julia’s artwork, please click on the link to Julia’s online store: If you have any questions, please contact Julia Jaakola at

Current Show

Sunshine Artists: March 14, 2020 – April 30, 2020

Take a virtual tour of the Sunshine Artists gallery show!

The gallery show features the artwork of the Sunshine Artists. Sunshine Artists is a group of local Minnesota Artists who have been meeting once a month for about six years at various locations.
They love sharing their passion for creating art with other visual artists. The group enjoys capturing and expressing their vision of the world around them. Members provide mutual inspiration, support, skill-sharing, fun and friendship when they meet.
The group works in diverse media, including watercolor, acrylic, oils, pastels, zentangle, and drawing.
New artists are welcome at any time and at any level.
The Sunshine Artists’ exhibit will be open in the Rumriver Art Center Gallery through April 30.

Upcoming Shows

  • The Art of Julia Jaakola: June 6, 2020 – July 1, 2020
  • Mentorship Program Show: July 11, 2020 – August 7, 2020
  • Rum River Handweavers Guild: November 2020

Past Shows

  • Rum River Handweavers Guild 2018 Exhibition: November 3, 2018 – December 1, 2018
  • Rumriver Art Center Holiday Show and Shop: December 12, 2018 – January 5, 2019
  • A Sense of Place – The Art of Paul T. Boecher: January 12, 2019 – February 16, 2019
  • Student Art Show – The Art of Rumriver Art Center Students: February 23, 2019 – March 23, 2019
  • Artists Del Norte Spring Show: March 30, 2019 – April 27, 2019
  • Vitality Arts Students Show: June 8, 2019 – July 13, 2019
  • A Creativity of Muses – The Art of Delayne Hostetler: July 20, 2019 – August 17, 2019
  • Rusty Fork – The Art of Kevin Eldstrom: August 24, 2019 – September 28, 2019
  • Spread The Undead: October 12, 2019 – October 31, 2019
  • Handweavers Guild – Weaving From The Heart: November 2, 2019 – November 30, 2019
  • Vitality Arts Students Show: December 7, 2019 – December 13, 2019
  • Rumriver Art Center Holiday Show and Shop: December 14, 2019 – January 5, 2020
  • Acrylic Painting & Plein Air Painting Club: January 11, 2020 – February 12, 2020
  • Thru the Years – The Art of Pam Devine: February 15, 2020 – March 11, 2020

Want to show your artwork in our gallery? CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION