Driving tour of artisans’ studios begins Saturday

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Art Leap, an open studio event featuring artists’ studios and culturally rich destinations in the Park Rapids area, will celebrate its 10th anniversary this year. Studios will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. both Saturday, Sept. 26 and Sunday, Sept 27. Highlights of Art Leap include live music and other performances and seeing fall colors at their peak while driving from studio to studio. Sandra Fynboh Andress’s studio, Boho Junction (formerly Blue Sky Beads) will be on the tour again this year and two new sites have been added: Lauralee Photography Studio in Park Rapids and Dale Cook’s residence next door to David Norstad’s Ragged Edge Art Studio on Island Lake in Becker County.

Several artists have invited others to join them for the weekend. Bickey Bender will show her painting and mixed media work and host the following: Gayla McElroy Orr, painting; Gina Singer, pottery; Kathy Luther, mosaics; Nediha Kolakovic, jewelry; Lowell Wolff, photography; and Karen Sharbo, oils and glass. At Smoky Hills Art, visitors will find artists demonstrating their craft: Robin Cunningham, wire wrapping; Bernie Cunningham, lapidary; Don Wattenhofer, woodturning; Pat Pope, bead weaving; Katie Sandberg, oils and acrylics; and 2 Eyes Weaver, fiber weaving on a loom. Theresa and Don Paul, Prairie Paul’s Studio, will return as guests of Judy and Jerry Wegenast, Touch of Art Studio. Kennedy Borton will also show her photography there. Elisa Schaum, Glass by Elisa, will host potter Cyrus Swann at her studio and Earl and Jeanette Wohlman will have a display of Bruce Ostern’s clay and copper wind chimes. Smoky Hills Art, Bickey Bender, Paul Albright Sculpture Studio and Terrapin Station will host live performances both days.

A 10th anniversary celebration of Art Leap, Noon Hour Concerts and the Park Rapids Lakes Area Arts Council is planned at 7 p.m. Saturday at Armory Square. Freewill offerings will be accepted. Brochures with maps, performance times and more information are available at the Park Rapids Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center, Park Rapids Area Library and other locations and on PRLAAC’s website at www.prlaac.org. Art Leap 2015 is sponsored by PRLAAC with funding provided, in part, by Itasca-Mantrap’s Operation Round Up, West Acres Development LLP, the Park Rapids Downtown Business Association and a Region 2 Arts Council Grant through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature and the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund passed by Minnesota voters on Nov. 4, 2008.