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Art Along the Lake studio tour on now through October 3

Sep 15, 2021 08:52AM ● By Editor

Submitted photos

From Visit Cook County - September 15, 2021

Art enthusiasts will soon be able to get a rare peek into the studio of some of Cook County’s most well-known artists who are inspired by Minnesota’s North Shore.

A year after the full Fall Studio Tour took a hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, visitors are once again invited to take a tour of more than 20 studios and galleries while enjoying the fall colors of the North Shore during the annual Art Along the Lake: Fall Studio Tour from Sept. 24-Oct.3, 2021.

During the 10-day event, artists’ workspaces are open to the public, giving visitors a unique opportunity to speak directly with the artists in the environments where they create works featured in national and local galleries and shows.



Visitors will find a two-for-one experience on this year’s tour when they visit Otlak Felt Studio and J. Sannerud Studios, both located 5 miles away from downtown Grand Marais at 306 County Road 48.  

Otlak is the studio of professional feltmaker Mary Reichert. She makes felt to warm the home and body, specializing in rugs but also creating table runners, wall pieces, vests and more. 

Reichert’s passion for feltmaking has led her on multiple trips to Kyrgyzstan, where she learned the art of making large felted rugs as well as more modern techniques with silk and wool from her Krygyz mentors. 

Reichert has taught workshops throughout the country, sharing her love of feltmaking. The most satisfying work of her career, she says, has been leading community felt rug projects.

J. Sannerud Studios is the artistic home for Jim Sannerud, a designer and maker of chairs, furniture, and sculpture inspired by the woodworking traditions of Scandinavia. 

Sannerud was exposed to craft at a young age growing up on his grandfather’s Minnesota farm where things were handmade. His passion for craft has taken him to Sweden and Northern Europe where he has extensively studied the vibrant and organic folk art that is so important to the history and culture of those areas.

Sannerud is also an experienced instructor, teaching students here and abroad the ways of the wood, the knife and the lathe. He has upcoming courses at North House Folk School in December and January.

“Our work and home life are deeply intertwined so it's a real gift to have an opportunity where people can come see our work in the place where it all comes together," Reichert said.

Mary Reichert felt vest
Sannerud Artist Image for Fall Studio Tour Brochure 2020

New Gallery in The North Country
New to the list of galleries on this year’s Fall Studio Tour is The North Country, a gallery and gift shop that opened in May located along Highway 61 in Lutsen at 4210 Cascade Beach Road. The North Country has mindfully curated art and craft goods with a focus on locally and regionally made items. 

“We believe in supporting products with a purpose, local and regional makers, earth consciousness and women-owned businesses, so we seek out new items with these values in mind,” Owner Danni Fortin said. “We are thrilled to participate in this year’s Art Along the Lake: Fall Studio Tour.”

The North Country will be hosting demos from some of the shop’s featured artists, including woodworking demos with Rebbecca Barrett of Wilder Woodshop, Arashi dyeing and fiber art with Kim Knutson of Jezibel Blue and loom weaving by Laura Nelson.

Artists’ studios and businesses in Cook County are operating in accordance with Minnesota Department of Health guidelines. It is strongly encouraged that everyone continue the practices of social distancing, frequent handwashing, use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers and wearing of masks indoors and whenever a business has a posted preference. Please adhere to our Visitor Pledge and mask when asked!

Kjersti Vick
Marketing & PR Director
Visit Cook County
(218) 387-2788 ext. 103
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