Group exhibit opens at Great River Arts Center

Pictured is Bonnie Wedge’s “Exuberance” doll, one of the many pieces of art on display at the Great River Arts Association in Little Falls.

The Great River Arts Association (GRAA) welcomes textile artists Janet Olney, Carolina Warner and Bonnie Wedge for a group exhibit of “The Art of Being Stranded.” The show will be a collection of baskets, quilts, dyed fabrics and recycled figures representing the wide scope of textile art.

“The use of bright colors, organic materials and whimsical pieces will sure to appeal to just about everyone,” said Michelle Miller, assistant director of the GRAA.

Olney is a self-employed artist, owner of Baskets, Ltd. and coordinator of the Willmar Area Arts Council. She earned her bachelor of arts degree from Alma College in Alma, Mich. In 1984, she was introduced to basket making by her sister-in-law. After having dabbled in various art and craft forms, she immediately fell in love with this age old craft.

“I work intentionally, deliberately, yet I want my work to have a feel of freedom, randomness, and honesty, while always showing that I have control over the materials. The process is almost magical,” she said.

Olney’s artwork is displayed throughout Minnesota, Iowa, North and South Dakota. She currently lives in Willmar.

Warner has been producing art as long as she can remember, most of her work has been fiber related. She had the opportunity to study in Pasadena, Calif. and “took full advantage of exploring the mountains, desert and ocean. Nature has always been inspirational to me,” she said.

Warner works at a quilt shop in Brainerd and lives at Franklin Arts Center. She said she loves the vivid colors of hand dyed fabric and takes pleasure in free motion quilting and embellishment of her textiles.

Wedge is a mixed media artist and retired art teacher living in Southern Minnesota. Born in Minneapolis, she graduated from St. Cloud State University with a major in art. In 2004, she began making art dolls.

Her female figures are constructed of recycled paper, aluminum and metal cans, wire, fabric and found objects. She enjoys the challenge of working with unusual materials in traditional ways. Her work has been juried into a number of art shows, exhibitions and appears in several publications.

“The Art of Being Stranded” will be on exhibit at the Great River Art Center Main Gallery now through the end of May. The opening reception is Saturday, April 21, from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. The exhibit and reception are both free and open to the public. The gallery is opened Tuesday through Friday, from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturday, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Great River Arts Center is located at 122 S.E. First St., downtown Little Falls. For more information, visit www.greatart.org or call (320) 632-0960.

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