Cold and windy weather couldn’t stop art connoisseurs from across the region from making their way to the Rice County area for the 18th annual ArTour.
With more than 40 artists in 18 locations throughout the area, this year’s ArTour is one of the largest yet. At each stop, tour guests had the chance to grab a cup of coffee and peruse art of nearly every type imaginable, all produced by local artists.
In order to give art lovers a better chance at getting to more stops, half were open on Friday evening. All stops were open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.
Many of the artists, including ArTour co-chair Lyn Rein, were new to this year’s ArTour. Rein was one of two artists hosting guests in downtown Faribault, with Jess Prill stationed across the street at the Fleur de Lis Art Shop.
Rein said that although she’s been on the ArTour before, this is the first time she’s actively participated. A potter, Rein was joined by her mother Donna Johnson, who has had the chance to learn the traditional Norwegian folk art of rosemaling in her retirement.
One of the largest ArTour studios was is west of Faribault, at Dee Teller’s home near Warsaw. Teller returned to the ArTour after several years off. A fixture of the local art scene, Teller has been an ArTour regular in the past, hosting as many as 12 artists.
Since her “retirement” after nearly 30 years as an art teacher in the public schools, Teller has continued to produce new art, teach art lessons and study eastern and western art techniques.
She was eager to share her love of Asian brush painting with guests, while her husband, a woodworker, displayed an extensive collection of pieces crafted from more than a dozen types of wood.
This time, Teller and her husband Tom hosted three guest artists at their home: Susanne Crane, Theresa Harsma and Sue Peoples, who specialize in acrylic painting, mixed media art and jewelry, respectively. The five artists have long known each other and relish the opportunity to share their unique art forms with each other.
Stationed at ArTour co-chair Tami Resler’s studio on the north side of Faribault was another new face on the ArTour. Pat Jarrett might be new to the ArTour, her love of art is hardly new — she’s had a passion for decorative painting since 1985.
“I was lucky to find one thing that really gives me great joy,” she said.
Even with the chilly weather, dozens of art connoisseurs had stopped by Resler’s studio within the first few hours of the tour. Jarrett was excited to meet all of them and made sure to bring art for every taste.
With every piece of art stuffed in the cramped garage for sale by one artist or another, Jarret and her fellow artists Resler and Bonnie Gunelius hoped that that people might find just the right item for a birthday or Christmas gift.
“If you limit it, people could come and say, ‘I want something else,’” said Jarret. “This way, we’re prepared for everybody.”
As a tour host, Tami Resler made sure to provide a variety of snacks and a pottery demonstration. She said the ArTour is a unique chance to connect community members with a robust local art community that largely exists out of the public eye.
“I think a lot of people don’t realize what a vibrant art community we have in Northfield and Faribault,” she said. “A lot of artists just work in their studios, so people don’t see the work that they do. This is an opportunity for people to see the artists who work in their communities.”