Art cornucopia at Lake Elmo Library

Mike Kramer hangs a painting that will be displayed at Lake Elmo Library. The new art will be celebrated with a small reception from 6-8 p.m. Friday night.  (Gazette staff photo by Avery Cropp)

Mike Kramer hangs a painting that will be displayed at Lake Elmo Library. The new art will be celebrated with a small reception from 6-8 p.m. Friday night. (Gazette staff photo by Avery Cropp)

Eleven friends who have painted together for more than 15 years will open a display of their work with a reception at Lake Elmo Library on Friday, Nov. 15.

The group grew out of a painting class the friends had taken together at Century College for a while before the teacher went on sabbatical.

“After the teacher decided to take a sabbatical I told them that I volunteered at Lake Elmo Regional Art Center,” group member Mike Kramer said. “I thought we could paint there until the teacher got back. So we started doing that, and we’ve just stayed there since then.”

They’ve grown together as a group working with each other, and some took a trip to Paris together. A couple of the works on display will be from that Paris trip.

“When we work together, it’s not really a workshop or instructional gathering,” Kramer said. “It’s just for artists of like mind who just want to paint. We usually meet on Mondays from 6-8 p.m. every week. We paint for two hours, and at the end of that time we usually self-critique and talk with each other. It’s more along the lines of a social experience.”

“It’s just a great way to live life,” group member Bev Marx said. “To do things you enjoy and be with people who inspire you and to have places like this that are so wonderful to host your work is great. Everyone enjoys seeing new art.”

The display that will hang at the Lake Elmo Library features pieces the group members have worked on for the last six months to a year. The works are acrylic, oils, watercolors and even some woodwork by Dave Prochniak.

Subjects include animals, plants, landscapes, people and more.

Other artists included in the show are Dagny Bilkadi, Lou Cunico, Laurel Gregorian, Bor-Jin Mao, Jill Marudas, David Swanson, Mark Weersma and Al Weber.

“We’re all different,” Marx said. “Two acrylic people and two watercolor people — when you compare it everyone is different. Everyone has their own style, and I could walk through and tell you who did what.”

Marx added that members of the group also have other pieces in various galleries in the St. Croix Valley area, but the group is grateful for the opportunity to display its work at the library.

“This is kind of exciting for us because it’s a new library,” Marx said. “It’s great that they let us put up our work and have another reception. We’re kind of like a permanent collection that rotates. And it’s great that they’re inviting us to have a reception and invite people to that too.”

The reception for the Art Cornucopia event is 6-8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15, at Lake Elmo Library, 3537 Lake Elmo Ave. Appetizers and beverages will be served.

Contact Avery Cropp at avery.cropp@ecm-inc.com

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