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10th Annual Meander Upper Minnesota River Art Crawl is just days away!

by Dawn Hegland on September 25th, 2013

2013 Meander Art Crawl Celebrates 10 years of Connecting Creativity with Sense of Place


It was Ortonville Artist Don Sherman’s vision more than a decade ago that led to the development of Meander Art Crawl. Sherman sought to create a regional community that encouraged artists to fully embrace where they live and to invite others to share in the experience. He wanted local municipalities, regional government and businesses to embrace the promotion of local, place based art as an economic development strategy. By working with others over the past 10 years, Sherman’s vision is well on its way to becoming a reality.


The 10th annual Meander Art Crawl event will be held on October 4, 5 & 6th, 2013. The award winning Meander is a free self-guided tour of artist studios featuring 45 local artists from the Upper Minnesota River Valley. The Meander has become a tradition for friends and relatives to experience the “hidden gem “art studios, small towns and family farms to be found along the tributaries of the Minnesota River.

Sherman created the artwork for this year’s Meander brochure and poster that features the ancient granite rock outcrops, wildlife and rare ball cactus to be found near Sherman’s home in the Upper Minnesota River Valley. As the featured Meander Artist for 2013, Sherman is known for his lush, dreamy landscape photographs and thought provoking “combined media” pieces that often include drawing, paintings and photographs in one image. For the 2013 Meander artwork, Sherman chose to portray hidden images of wildlife in amidst the rock outcrops and pink flowers of the ball cactus.


According to Sherman: “The focus of this drawing is the earth’s beauty, bounty and ever-bearing bedrock found near Ortonville. It is a setting and a foundation for us and for the wildlife, living things blending in and yet sometimes plain to see. Some, like the cactus, love it dry while others prefer it lush, all wishing to be left undisturbed.”

  • A free brochure detailing the locations of the art shows will be sent to anyone who calls 1-866-866-5432.
  • The brochure can also be downloaded from the web at:
  • More information can also be found on the Meander Facebook page at


“This deep love of place, combined with original art and promotion of eco-tourism has proven to be a winning combination for the Meander Region,” according to regional planner Kristi Fernholz of the Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Commission (UMVRDC).


The Meander has become an economic engine for this rural part of the state, generating thousands of dollars in art sales and economic activity over the past decade for area hotels, restaurants and retail locations – all based on the authentic culture of the rural region. “We attract visitors from eight states throughout the Upper Midwest — you can’t buy the kind of word-of-mouth name recognition that comes with a high quality event like this,” Fernholz added.


Meander Celebrates Sense of Place Based Economic Development


This year the Meander features several new artists including John George Larson exhibiting at the Milan Village Arts School, Kris Ninneman who will be featured at the Red Barn north of Ortonville, and Valerie Berg who will exhibit her work from her home studio near Odessa. Clara City artist Nancy Altain will be displaying her work at the Heritage Hill on Hwy. 7 site near Montevideo.


Artist Liz Rackl will be returning to the Meander after a several year hiatus to exhibit at Helping Hands Massage in Ortonville. Several long-standing Meander artists will be relocating their traditional exhibit areas. Katia Andreeva, Celeste Suter and Kristi Link Fernholz will be moving their exhibit areas and studios to the Milan Community Center.


The weekend will begin with studios opening at noon Friday, October 4th, and an Opening Night Celebration from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. featuring music, food, street theater, historic tours and entertainment centered around the charming downtown shops in downtown Granite Falls.


Art studios throughout the region will reopen at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 5th, and culminate with a bluegrass, folk, old-time and acoustic country music concert with Robin & Linda Williams at 7:30 p.m. at Memorial Auditorium at 601 9th Street, Dawson, Minnesota.  Tickets are available at the door and sell for $12 for Adults and $5 for Students.

On Sunday, October 6th, art studios will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

“I’m strongly bonded to this sweet and wild place,” says Meander founding artist Don Sherman.  “The land along the Minnesota River is unlike anywhere else.  There’s a momentum now in our community artists clusters, because of the teamwork and creativity in forming the Meander.  We are celebrating our assets, exchanging diverse ideas, and welcoming our neighbors and guests who come from near and distant places.”

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