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Paintings, pottery and mixed media pieces were all over the art center, waiting to be looked over by Doherty. Photo by LaReesa Sandretsky.

Spring has sprung at Waterfront Gallery

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Along with snowmelt, bird songs and the warmer temps of spring comes the annual Voyageur Spring Artists’ Show at Waterfront Gallery in Two Harbors.

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This year, the artists and gallery owner Val Doherty chose “Spring Has Sprung” as the theme. John Anderson, a member of the 50-year-old art club, is showing some pieces in the exhibit but said it was hard to find spring inspiration this year.

“We were trying to do spring images and winter wouldn’t end,” he said.

Still, a handful of artists from the 30-member club produced about two dozen spring-themed pieces for the exhibit, which runs through June 7. It will also serve as an impromptu artists’ memorial for Joyce Gow, a founding member of the club who died in January.

Anderson said she was a pillar of the club, working on her renowned watercolor paintings right up to the last few weeks of her life.

“She was an inspiration to a lot of local artists,” Anderson said.

Gow studied fashion design in New York City and had exhibited her work widely – from a showing at the National Arts Club in New York City to an exhibit at the Tweed Gallery at the University of Minnesota Duluth. She taught classes for club members and was a fountain of art knowledge for those around her.

Some of her recent pieces will hang on the gallery walls for the duration of the exhibit.

“It was a tough year for us,” president Syble Pennings said of the Voyaguer Art Club. She cited Gow’s passing, other family deaths and the never-ending winter.

“It was such a tough winter for people that they were just surviving,” she said.

The pieces are a dozen artists’ interpretations of getting through a long, hard season and starting anew on the other side.

Last Friday, Doherty and Anderson were at Waterfront Gallery with manager Sue Anderson, hanging the new pieces on the walls in preparation for the exhibit opening that took place on Saturday. Doherty’s gallery has hosted the Voyageur Artist’s spring show for five or six years.

“Each year, the work gets better and better,” Doherty said.

Pennings said she was walking home the other day and noticed some purple flowers peeking out from beneath the snow next to her home. It was an inspiring reminder, she said.

“We need that,” she said. “Spring is coming.”

It has already arrived at Waterfront Gallery. The exhibit features watercolor, jewelry, pottery and mixed media pieces and the gallery, at 632 First Avenue in Two Harbors, is open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Voyageur Art Club meets the third Monday of every month at the art center, 516 South Ave. next to the depot. Call Pennings at (218) 834-1111 for more information or to join.

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