Art enthusiasts admired local and regional talent during Art Leap, an annual open studio driving tour.

Twenty sites and more than 65 artists and musicians throughout Hubbard, Becker and Wadena counties entertained over the weekend.

Glass artist Sandy Fynboh Andress returned to Art Leap after a two-year hiatus. She was busy working full-time jobs, but now plans to focus on creating Minnesota orchids and native flowers in glass at her Akeley studio, Blue Sky Beads.

Joined by her sisters, Mary Follett opened her studio at Bad Medicine Lake for Art Leap visitors. A retired art teacher, she uses meaningful objects in her artwork, some of which have been influenced from winter trips to Mexico. Her mediums are found object and paper mȃche assemblages, cleverly using pill bottles and plastic Easter eggs along with colorful paints.

Mary Follett utilizes found objects, like a plastic Easter egg, and paper mache and paper clay to assemble beautiful birds.
Mary Follett utilizes found objects, like a plastic Easter egg, and paper mache and paper clay to assemble beautiful birds.

Her younger sister, Barb Christiansen, does fiber arts and metal works, weaving and knitting. She brought her spinning wheel to demonstrate. She spins and dyes her own wool, then creates wall hangings, shawls, blankets and more.

Sara Dupree makes needle felted figures, like this white-tailed deer and other whimsical creatures.
Sara Dupree makes needle felted figures, like this white-tailed deer and other whimsical creatures.

Cindy Horbach began painting rocks last winter, accidentally stumbling onto the tiny dot technique during her internet research. Her designs and color choices are mostly through experimentation, she said. Sometimes they are inspired by nature’s creations. She demonstrated her skills at Smoky Hills Art during Art Leap.

Bernie Cunningham polished agates, jasper, barite crystal and others, readying them for wife Robin’s jewelry creations.

With a few twists of wire and the addition of polished stones, Robin Cunningham creates a necklace at Smoky Hills Art.
With a few twists of wire and the addition of polished stones, Robin Cunningham creates a necklace at Smoky Hills Art.

“The trick is to keep rotating it so you get that dome into it,” he explained. Bernie said “rock hounding” is his favorite part of the process. He travels cross-country to collect particular stones.

At the Nemeth Art Center, executive director Nicolle LaFleur led guests through Luisa Fernanda Garcia-Gomez’s exhibit and unveiled the tapestry made by master hand weaver Bruce Engebreson.