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North Shore scene wins Best in Show in "Extremely Minnesota" Exhibit

Nov 08, 2017 10:54AM ● Published by Editor

Robbin Gallery announced the winners of the 2017 “Extremely Minnesota” exhibit during a Nov. 2 reception at the gallery. The annual exhibit, which is open to artists based in Minnesota, is in its 22nd year.

The show was judged by artist and Metropolitan State University assistant professor Amy Sands, whose work is displayed nationally and internationally in both solo and group shows. She is represented by the Muriel Guepin Gallery in New York City.

The award for Best in Show went to Doug Garder for his pen and ink drawing, titled “Pastoral Anthem.” Garder is an instructor at Minnetonka Center for the Arts as well as White Bear Center for the Arts. Although this is his first time exhibiting at Robbin Gallery, Garder has been involved in around 75 juried shows across the U.S. His winning piece is based on a photograph he took in 2013 on Maple Avenue, a scenic fall route along Minnesota’s North Shore just north of Grand Marais.

“It took me two months to do,” he said. “I did a painting of it first in acrylic, then did the drawing after that.”

Garder has taught art for nearly four decades. He said he has been drawing since the mid-1970s, with influences ranging from Robert Crumb to Rembrandt, whose etchings he is especially fond of. His artistic background is in etching, pen and ink drawings, acrylics, and printmaking.

Merit winner Heidi Nelson said her piece, a watercolor titled “Walking the Mall,” is a depiction of a photo she captured at Mall of America several years ago.

“It fascinated me, so I had to paint it!” she explained.

Nelson said many people think of her as strictly a portrait painter working in watercolors, but that she has a degree in oil painting. She said she volleys between the two mediums, and has painted street scenes in recent times.

The full list of winners from the Robbin Gallery 2017 “Extremely Minnesota” exhibit:

Best in Show: Doug Garder, “Pastoral Anthem”

Award of Excellence: Dorothy Childers, “Jensen’s Holiday Visit,” and Douglas Trego, “Preparatory Drawing for: A Ride in Serenity”

Merit Award: Chris Childers, “Prairiescape #2,” Wayne Sisel, “Volleyball @ the Lake,” and Heidi Nelson, “Walking the Mall”

Honorable Mention: Dave Yell, “Anna,” Nancy S. Bundy, “Instruments of Change,” and Karen Stombaugh, “Awakening of the Marsh Marigolds”

Robbin Gallery is located at 4915 42nd Ave. N., Robbinsdale, MN.

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