Artists demonstrate skills at 'leap'


Resplendent autumn weather drew people from across the state for the 4th annual Art Leap, the weekend event featuring area artists and musicians.

"Numbers were up," said Dawn Kast, event coordinator. Some artists reported a 50 percent increase over last year's "leapers."

First-time participant Brian Skinness said the event "helped us establish Terrapin Station." The Nevis music, art and wellness center welcomed about 115 people Saturday. "It solidified us in the art world."

The center hosted Helen Dickson, silversmith Jim Kropp, photographer Joel Maxwell and painter Boyd Sharp - "with jammin' going on."

The Twisted Stitchers, exhibiting and demonstrating a variety of fiber skills at the North Country Museum of Arts, found an audience "wanting to learn more" about the crafts.

Terri Young, whose studio is located just north of Park Rapids, said most arriving were out-of-towners, Rochester, Twin Cities and Fargo, and paintings, pottery and carved fish were heading out the door.

Kast said the event was marketed within the region via press releases, as well as spots on Minnesota Public Radio, targeting Brainerd, Bemidji and Walker audiences. It was billed as a "experience the fall colors" event.

Bruce Bolton, whose Long Lake Theater hosted musicians and writers, said the audience showed a strong interest, the performers pleased with the reception. "It's growing every year."