Over 30 members of the Lake Superior Watercolor Society will exhibit about 60 paintings at the Johnson Heritage Post. The opening is set for this Friday, Sept. 24. Long-time watercolor society member Wendy Rouse has organized the show. She says the group has been meeting since the 1980s.
Rouse: It was put together by some artists that wanted to get together and critique their work and then also to promote watercolor in the area. There was only maybe 10 artists. Through the years, then, they asked other people to join the group. It was started in 1982.
Rouse said the group meets to discuss and critique works in progress as a method of helping an individual artist solve a problem or get support for their work.
Rouse: We pretty much follow the original idea of the group to get together to support each other, to critique our paintings, to network and then also to promote watercolor art. Right now we have 50 members. We have a mix of people. There are some of us who make their living as artists, but there are a lot who have day jobs. Most are from Duluth-Superior, there are a few from in Wisconsin and a few from the Iron Range.
Rouse said there are many styles in the exhibit and will be a big show.
Rouse: It’s a real variety. One thing about the group is it’s not one style, there’s all different kinds of watercolor styles and techniques. It would be a really fun show for anybody with the least little bit of interest in watercolor to come, because they’d be able to see experimental techniques all the way to very traditional watercolor.
She says her own work has evolved over time, but she stays centered in nature and connected to the northland.
Rouse: Right now I’ve been focused on northland plants and things I find in the woods. I graduated in 2005 from a school in New York, I went back and got my Masters’. But, one thing I realized when I was there was how much Minnesota is in me. The city just doesn’t have much green space. When I got back here, I thought maybe I would focus my art on that aspect, kind of nature and calm and how rejuvenating the woods can be, and people in big cities really miss out on that.
The Lake Superior Watercolor Society exhibit opens with a reception at 4 p.m., Friday, Sept. 24 at the Johnson Heritage Post.