Edina residents recognize the Edina Art Center as the house on the edge of Lake Cornelia, sandwiched between a trail and an interstate, on the west side of the lake. Though, inside this house-turned-art-center, artists find a home for their creativity and place to showcase their work.
Each October, the Edina Art Center holds its annual Members’ Juried Art Exhibition featuring work by Art Center members. Many of these artists also take classes at the Center even if they don’t live in the city.
“What makes this show unique is that the work is submitted by people who have a relationship with the Edina Art Center,” says exhibition coordinator Sandra Shaughnessy. “We have people that are working on all different levels in their art.”
Typically, the Center chooses two judges known in the Twin Cities art community and who focus in two- and three-dimensional work, respectively. Last year’s judge Jim Clark worked in both.
To enter the show, one must be a member of the Art Center. Apart from that, artists come with skills ranging from students to full-time artists, from kids to retirees and creating in varying mediums.
Painter Keith Dixon received an award of excellence from the exhibition for his oil painting The Fortune Teller. After retiring from years in the health care industry, a physician noticed he was experiencing a lot of stress and asked him what he could do for a hobby. Shortly afterward, Dixon decided to fully immerse himself in oil painting.
“I like going to museums and I like the old masters. Rembrandt, Titian … Not many people paint like that,” says Dixon. “He said, ‘Why not you?’”
In the summer of 2016, Dixon became a 66-year-old apprentice to Norwegian artist Odd Nerdrum, doing work stretching canvases and painting on the master’s estate on the coast of Norway.
“It’s about skill, narrative and trying to create something beautiful,” says Dixon of oil painting, his exclusive medium.
Artist Michael Haeg’s pit-fired ceramic piece 0-#1 was also chosen for an award of excellence following a lifetime exploring creativity.
Haeg says he got hooked on the meditative process of working with clay after taking a ceramics class at the Center on a whim.
“It’s an art form in which nature plays a role,” says Haeg, referencing everything from the minerals in the clay and glazes to the heating and cooling.
Artist, and recipient of an award of merit from the show, John Lee is now retired and works almost full-time on his artwork. A graduate of the University of Minnesota’s studio arts program, Lee works in graphite and spends time taking classes at the Center.
“You grow by participating with others,” says Lee, who spent his career in finance. “The money doesn’t matter, the ribbons don’t matter … You have to get out and mix with people.”
Entries for the next show will be due October 8th, with the opening on October 18th, but art programs are open year-round at the Edina Art Center.
Haeg says, “I drive in from out of town, and it’s changed my life.”