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Steve Ahlquist and Pamela Kramer offer an ever-changing inventory of natural medium art at The Gallery, located on the corner of Main and Bunyan Trails Road in Nevis. (Jean Ruzicka / Enterprise)

The Gallery exhibits 'natural medium' art

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news Park Rapids, 56470
Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

Artwork created via eclectic natural media - wood, gourds and mushrooms - has sprouted in Nevis.

The Gallery opened on the corner of Main and Bunyan Trails Road this summer, featuring artists from across the continent - California and New York - and across the street - wood craftsman Ray Melander.

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Business partners Steve Ahlquist and Pamela Kramer use mushrooms as their medium to create "artistic fungi."

The two left the metro behind, where Ahlquist had worked as a paint contractor since 1986, completing faux and traditional painting. When the economy turned sour, they headed north.

"We saw it as an opportunity," Ahlquist said. "We want to show art people may not have seen."

They invite kids to explore their abilities in the studio where they supply mushrooms and paint.

Southwest inspired decorative gourd art is on display as are pottery and watercolors. Artists are invited to demonstrate their work.

The Gallery showcases limited edition works on consignment, including artists Robert Bateman, Rick Kelley, Carl Brenders and others.

"In true artist fashion," hours do not follow those of a traditional business. The Gallery is open through mid-September from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday. The enterprise is closed Tuesday and Wednesday - "but come by and check, we're often there after hours," Ahlquist said.

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