For Audrey Arner, featured Meander Artist for 2012, the Upper Minnesota River Valley is “a wonderful place to live an artful life.” Her design for this year’s hand printed Meander poster features a meandering river framed by an artist’s hands, a burr oak leaf and a rising full moon. According to Arner, the Meander is a “celebration of beauty in all directions – up and down the river. It is a time of year when local artists invite the public to share our homes and our worldview. It is a time to reconnect with roots and soak in a golden Western Minnesota Fall weekend with family, friends, neighbors and visitors to the Prairie Waters region.”
The 9th annual Meander Arts Crawl event will be held on October 5, 6 and 7. 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 is a great "trip on a tank full" to experience the diverse art studios, big skies, classic small towns and family farms to be found along the tributaries of the Minnesota River. 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: www.artsmeander.com. More information can also be found on the Meander facebook page at www.facebook.com/MeanderArtCrawl.
The Meander has become an economic engine for this rural part of the state, generating hundreds of thousands of dollars in art sales and economic activity over the past few years for area hotels, restaurants and retail locations – all based on the authentic culture of the rural region. “The Meander Arts Crawl combines art with economic and cultural development in a region seeking residents who are attracted to a place based on quality of life,” according to regional planner Kristi Fernholz of the Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Commission. “It is a unique event that grows and changes every year. We attract visitors from eight states throughout the Upper Midwest,” Fernholz added.
This year the Meander features two new artists: Kathleen Marihart and Edie Barrett of the Big Stone Arts Gallery in Ortonville and several returning artists from years past, including Sandra Thompson, Doug & Brook Pederson, Karen Jenson and Dale Streblow.
The weekend will begin with studios opening at noon Friday, October 5, and an opening night ceremony and theatrical performance along the Minnesota River in downtown Granite Falls. The unique “walking theater” production will be based on local river stories and performed by local actors beginning at 6:30 p.m. For more information on Friday’s opening night celebration and free theater performance, contact the Granite Falls Chamber at 320-564-4039.
Page 2 of 2 - Art studios throughout the region will reopen at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 6th, and culminate with a special Salsa and Latin music and dance concert at 7:30 p.m. at the Memorial Auditorium in Dawson. For more information and to reserve tickets for the Salsabrosa Concert, contact 320-769-2955 x246.
On Sunday, October 7, art studios will again be open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
“The Meander is a truly community based effort,” says Audrey Arner, who creates her art on a century farm near Montevideo. “Business owners, entrepreneurs, government agencies, creative citizens and non-profit organizations all come together in this cultural harvest that sustains and inspires hope for our future.”