1313 Stoney Point Drive, Duluth, MN 55804

E. J. Klepinger, Host

Growing up in the mountains of Colorado, I developed an artistic and spiritual love for nature at a very young age; most of my early works celebrated nature in some way as I spent hours in the forest. As a fledgling artist, I was honored with several awards over the years, which encouraged me to continue on a creative path. 

I attended the University of Denver’s School of Art, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design. My love of fine arts through college allowed me to do commission pieces for fellow students, as well as selling original pieces that I had done through class.

After college, I was hired by the Denver Museum of Natural History’s Exhibits Department, which eventually led to co-owning two separate multimedia businesses. This collective career spanned over 26 years.

However, I knew it was time to ‘come home’, to defy the beliefs that I had been raised under regarding the challenges of creating a career as an artist. After much spiritual growth, I embraced my divine purpose and created my artist identity as E.J. Klepinger, through which I pursue my artistic endeavors.

I now live in Minnesota along the North Shore of Lake Superior. Living in nature offers a daily guide to my art, featuring wildlife and the world it lives in. I also illustrate for various authors, do commission pieces, and teach art through a variety of venues, including  the Duluth Art Institute.

My continued goal is to inspire others as I am inspired, celebrating the natural spirit that is within all things. I believe the best way to inspire others is to live an inspired life, and nature gives me the greatest inspiration of all.

Burdock Ceramics, Guest

Rita Morris and Barry Sands collaborate to make wheelthrown, functional pottery that is handpainted with imagery from the natural world. They live and work in Duluth and their pieces showcase the native flora and fauna of the Northwoods. Rita received a BFA in Painting and Drawing from the University of Minnesota and a Certificate in Natural Science Illustration from the University of Washington, but her connection to ceramics runs deep having grown up as a child of potters and she eventually she discovered that the perfect canvas for her images was clay. Barry has learned from and worked with many potters over the years, including Mike Lalone, Paul Morris, Phil Echert, Craig Edwards and Chuck Deckas. The subtle, elegant ceramic forms and simple designs that they create together attempt to continue the tradition of handmade pottery while bringing into focus the stillness and wonder of the woods, the fluttering of wings through the trees, the interweaving branches reflecting against the sky and the interconnectedness of all living things.