2019 Artist Highlight

Meet Helen Hartley, Host Artist

Helen Hartley is a longtime participant of the Lake Superior 20/20 Studio & Art Tour. She hosts the group of artists at the stop along the Scenic Highway at the Larsmont Schoolhouse. Helen is an active member of the Two Harbors art scene. Her work carries a distinct charm and expressiveness, no matter which medium she pursues.

Helen Hartley and just a small sampling of her art

“I’ve always loved doing art—it was my voice when I was young.  My subject matter still “draws” from my soul. I helped others create art as a therapy in my medical profession for 30 years.  Personally, I have continually learned new techniques by taking classes and workshops. I have seen variety in my style; my favorite might be the more whimsical, but I am challenged with portraits as well.  So here I am with pieces of my work; pieces of me—putting watercolor to paper, alkyd to canvas, and releasing expression from a hunk of clay. All of this makes me smile.”

~Helen Griffin Hartley

For more information about Helen Hartley’s stop on the tour, click the button below!

2019 Artist Highlight

Meet Host Artist Paul Zoldahn

Paul Zoldahn is one of our hosts for the Lake Superior 20/20 Studio & Art Tour. Paul has many years of ceramic experience, and loves to share his knowledge and enthusiasm with artists and art admirers alike. We asked him to describe his work and what it is like to work from his studio tucked in the woods of the North Shore.

What do you like the most about living and working on the North Shore?

Working in clay, I realized the need to keep creative by slowing the pace- foot powered wheel for forming work- eliminate breakage in glazing and once firing dry clay work. The North Shore lends itself to a slower pace, living far enough from Lake Superior seems to temper the high and low lake effected temperatures at our studio. Most days studio work begins with a trail walk in the Red Pine woods at our pottery.

As an artist in the tour, what are you most excited about?

 What excites me the most about sharing a host site on the 20/20 Studio & Art Tour is the returning and new customers that will visit our site. Also the addition of new artists and new energy added to the well established tour.

Paul Zoldahn at work.

What is it that you enjoy about working in your medium?

I mix the clay used in my functional work. Clay really has a life of its own. At first the claybody seems a bit short and needs some finesse to ease that living pot out of the lump of clay. After 2 to 3 weeks of aging the clay becomes more workable and easier to move and create forms. Many clay work sessions are a series of forms sometimes very similar yet never identical, dictated by the consistency of the clay lump. An idea can be brought to life in clay through that series of work; usually it starts as a sketch on paper.

My pottery is carried by two galleries in Duluth Mn. -The Duluth Pottery in the west end arts district and Lizzards Gallery downtown and in Grand Marais Mn. at The Big Lake shop.

For more information about Paul’s studio stop on the tour, click the button below:

2019 Artist Highlight

Meet Host Artist Gail Rosenquist!

Gail Rosenquist is one of the Lake Superior 20/20 Studio Tour’s Hosts, located at studio GR/PZ. Gail’s ceramics are known for their swirling organic forms. She works in a country studio tucked away on the outskirts of Two Harbors, MN. She described what it is like to live and work in such a unique and beautiful place.

What do you like most about living and working on the north shore?

I love the quiet distance from city street noise where I can listen to nature’s calming chatter. I can work in silence and look out the studio window, or take a break and watch the pond and garden life. In winter I can look out at the gorgeous forms that fallen snow makes on spent summer forms. The quiet nature of snow is an amazing meditation. I am able to lose myself in art work at our home in the woods.

Ceramics by Gail Rosenquist

What are you most excited about for participating in the tour?

I of course love when visitors enjoy my artwork, and maybe take it home with them, but for me the best part  is visiting with new and old friends at our studio and showing them around the place.

What is it that you enjoy most about working in your medium?

I love the earthy tactile nature of clay and the opportunity to create on the fly.

For more information about Host artist Gail Rosenquist and studio stop GR/PZ, click the button below:

2019 Artist Highlight

Jennifer Murphy, Sculptor and Studio Tour Host

Meet Lake Superior 20/20 Studio & Art Tour host artist Jennifer Murphy! Jennifer’s studio will be open for visitors during the tour, where you can meet her and see her beautiful work in person. We asked her a few questions about being a working artist on the North Shore.

What do you like the most about living and working on the North Shore?

I love that any direction I go there are places to explore with amazing wildlife, plant life, and geology that give a never-ending supply of inspiration. The natural spaces energize and comfort me, and my work has been evolving to reflect that since moving to the area almost 3 years ago.  

The studio of Jennifer Murphy

As an artist in the tour, what are you most excited about?  If you have not participated before what are you looking forward to?

This is my second year as a host on the tour.  What excites me most about the tour is meeting the people who support and appreciate the arts.  I also love to give people a look into my studio space.  I feel it helps people to be more connected with the artwork if they can see where it is made.

I’m also excited because I was awarded a technology and equipment grant from the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council this year, and I cannot wait to reveal the new work I’ve made with the equipment I purchased with the help of this grant.

What is it that you enjoy about working in your medium?

I love working with clay because it is tactile, malleable, and always challenging.  The successes are always something I celebrate, and the failures are always a learning experience.  Clay gives me the freedom to continually evolve my work and try new things, there is never a shortage of techniques to discover.  I also get to play with fire, which is awesome!

Jennifer’s work at the Park Point Art Fair 2019

Find out more about Jennifer and her studio stop on the tour, STUDIO JM, by clicking the button below.