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Art … Like an Insider

September 20-22

Major art fairs are always a highlight of Take Me to the River. But many insiders prefer the visiting the smaller, more intimate open studios that give TMttR that local flavor that brings them back each year.

This year, three events clustered in Stillwater not only provide that quiet art experience, but they make it easy to see high quality art in an afternoon.

Just off Hwy. 36 and Greeley Street is what can be seen as a nondescript office building. But inside, a true treasure awaits. Sharon Weiser Art Studio Sale takes place in a light-filled suite of offices that have converted in to the working and teaching studios of award-winning oil and acrylic painter Sharon Weiser.

Winter Play, oil on canvas by Sharon Weiser depicts two swans taking flight from a partially frozen river.
Winter Play, oil on canvas by Sharon Weiser

Weiser, a native of Wisconsin, is known in Arizona and the southwest for her dramatic, larger-than-life oil paintings of cactus and other desert flora and fauna. Since moving back to the Midwest, her work has focused more on still life images and flora and fauna of the St. Croix Valley. Weiser will be joined at her studio by Nadine Jentzsch, an abstract painter, and Jon Kamrath, who creates architecturally inspired sculptures.

“School Daze” will feature work by Sue Cranston, Jennifer Davenport and Wendy Fernstrum.

At ArtReach St. Croix, stop by to see an exhibition about childhood nostalgia. “School Daze,” will feature work by Sue Cranston, Jennifer Davenport and Wendy Fernstrum, three artists with strong ties to the St. Croix Valley.

The galleries, housed in a historic home built in 1858, serve as a backdrop for a series of eight art exhibitions each year that showcase work created by St. Croix Valley artists. ArtReach is also a great place to stop to learn more about other Take Me to the River events.

On the north side of Stillwater, on a hill overlooking Schulenburg Park, is a modern home designed by architect John Larson and known affectionately as Big Pink. For Take Me to the River, it will play host to Three Artists at Big Pink, a must attend event for lovers of art and architecture.

The Three Artists are:

  • Joseph Samuelson specializes in pottery and textural paintings that often include slip, extra pieces of linen and earth-tone paints.
  • Paul Randall, a Stillwater artist known for his sculptural ceramics and photography.
  • Kristen Kaas, a Duluth-based artist who creates contemporary weavings.


  • “School Daze,” Gallery Exhibition at ArtReach St. Croix, 224 N. 4th Street, Stillwater (On view: August 29-October 5, Wednesdays-Fridays 10am-4pm and Saturdays 12-4pm; free admission)
  • Sharon Weiser Art Studio Sale, 1940 S. Greeley St., Stillwater (September 20, 4-8pm and September 21-22, 10am-5pm; free admission)
  • Three Artists at Big Pink, 1900 N. 3rd Street, Stillwater (September 20-22, 10am-5pm each day; free admission)

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