Northwoods Friends of the Arts–

Welcome to our Art World!










Time again to grab an 8x10 canvas from the NWFA Gallery and create a piece of art… any medium of your choice…. any technique you choose.



THURSDAY, JUNE 3 – SATURDAY, JUNE 26, 2021       

Spring greetings Northwoods Friends of the Arts members and friends. Time is fast approaching for the 2021 Spring Art Expo (SAE) and what a grand opportunity it is to exhibit your arts or crafts in Cook Minnesota.

From June 3 – 26, art will be exhibited at the NWFA Gallery. All proceeds from art sold will go directly to the artist.

Hello on June 15, 2021

From Northwoods Friends of the Arts!


Happening right now……Annual meeting today at 5 p.m. to 6 p.m....


Spring Art Expo sale proceeds go to the artists

Sale & Exhibit Dates: June 3rd-26th 

          Open (10-4) Wed., Thurs. Fri. and (9-1)Sat. (Sat., June 12th 9-4)

          All exhibits only at NWFA Gallery this year—all proceeds go to artists



June 11-August…begins at Timber Days in Cook—drawing August 19that the “Monroe Crossing” concert…50/50 $5  

winners  get Half the proceeds of tickets sales or a Rauschenfels painting (see the painting at “Activities and Classes” this website)


COOK TIMBER DAYS was a very successful weekend in Cook.

June 11, 12 & 13th, Fri., Sat. and Sun.


Music in the Park


June 16 thru August, 6-8 pm. Wednesdays

“Music in the Park”, 13 performances ….



16 - Beefeater Brothers

23 - Sugar On the Roof

30 - The Three Amigos



  7 - Rowbottom & Boyer

14 - The Dionysian Dithyrambs

21 - The Divas

28 - The Hutter Bunch



 4 - The Three Amigos

11 - Beefeater Brothers

18 - The Divas

25 - The Blenders



 1 - Jaggedease Band

 8 - Beefeater Brothers




A CANVAS & YOU—TWO exhibit July 1-22

Small art project fundraiser for NWFA.  Buy a $10 canvas at NWFA Gallery.  This year's “canvas and you” fundraiser expanded to include all forms of art.....  one may choose which form to submit for $10.  You may grab an 8x10 canvas from the gallery to paint or draw upon..... or use one that you already have.....  you may also submit a sculpture, weaving, photo, fiber art, quilt.....  endless opportunities.  All entries whether using a canvas from NWFA or not have a ten dollar entry fee.  The only rule..... the art needs to be small.......  no larger than 12 inches high.... or wide....  

All art will be priced at 50 dollars.  The artist receives 50% of sales.  Entries due at the gallery by June 30....  Contact Alberta Whitenack, 218 666-2153 



SUMMER WRITERS  —218 666-2153


6/22/21-Tuesday, 1-3 p.m.

“A Gathering for Writers with Ellie Larmouth: A time to share writings”


July 13, 2021 Tuesday 1-4:00 p.m.

Writer’s Workshop. Sheila Packa, Instructor.  $40.00 members, $55.00 nonmembers. Registration required at the gallery or 218 666-2153 .


October 2, Saturday, 10-2:00 p.m.

Writer’s Workshop. DyAnne Korda, Instructor. $40.00 members, $55.00 nonmembers

Registration required at the gallery or 218 666-2153. 


Curious & Creative Summer Classes


SUMMER: C&C KIDS  (NO CHARGE for kids classes)

Contact 218 666-2153

6/17/21 – Thursday, 11-1

         Kris On Color:  Exploring color with Kris Musto 


6/24/21 – Thursday, 11-1

         Check out those Elements of Art: With Kris Musto


7/8/21 – Thursday, 10-noon

          Try Notan: Positive and Negative Art with Alberta Whitenack


7/22/21 – Thursday, 10-Noon

          “Single point perspective”



Fee- $10 NWFA Members; $20 non-Members (NWFA membership is $25)

CONTACT: 218 666-2153


7/10/21 – Saturday, 9-1:00

Drawing for Beginners: Introduction to contour drawing, shading and composition using a pencil. Supplies provided. Bring your own lace up shoe.  Must be 12 or older.  Lyn Reed, Instructor


7/14/21 – Wednesday, 1-3:30

Six Greeting Cards – Using stamped images, messages, colored papers and embellishments, design 6 greeting cards. Envelopes provided. Five dollar material fee.  Cecilia Rolando, Instructor.  Dee Rolando’s “July Solo Trunk Show” at Ely’s Art and Soul Gallery…427 E. Sheridan St…


7/15/21 – Thursday, 1-3

Twig Weaving: A weaving created using a sturdy forked branch, string and yarn.  Jennifer Barr, Instructor.


7/17/21 – Saturday, 9-1:00

Gyotaku, Fish Print: Using a fish and oil based printing ink, print a fish.  Enhance a fish print with mixed media.  Must be 12 or older. Five dollar material fee. Lyn Reed, Instructor


7/20/21 – Tuesday,10-1:00

Fabric Bowl: Using bits of fabric and glue, create a fabric bowl. Alberta Whitenack and JoAnn Anderson, Instructors 


7/30/21 – Friday, 1-3:30

Photo Collage Creation: Using magazines, colored paper, fabric markers & pencils to make a photo collage.  Examples provided for inspiration.  Five dollar material fee. Cecilia Rolando, Instructor


7/31/21 – Saturday, 9-1:00

Three Styles of Art: Create a composition incorporating realism, abstract and nonrepresentational styles.  Explore different mediums including pencil, colored pencil, oil and chalk pastels, watercolor and markers.  Must be 12 or older.  Lyn Reed, Instructor.


8/5/21 – Thursday, 6-9 and 8/12/21 – Thursday, 6-9

Ceramic Bowl I and II: Make a ceramic bowl in week one, glaze it in week two. Or join in on week two and choose a bowl already made by Lyn Reed to glaze.  Designs for bowls will be created with an underglaze.  $15.00 material fee per bowl.  Lyn Reed, Instructor


8/13/21 -  Friday, 1-3:30

Cartoon Family Characters:  Some drawing fun!  With paper and pencils and markers draw family and friends.  Cecilia Rolando, Instructor


8/14/21 – Saturday, 9-1:00

Making Your Mark: In this mixed media project, have fun exploring multiple methods of making a mark to create a thoughtful composition. Lyn Reed, Instructor


9/17/21 – Friday, 1-3:30

Jewelry:  Make creative jewelry using beads, bangles and many other interesting items.  Five dollar material fee.  Cecilia Rolando, Instructor


10/9/21 & 10/16/21 – Saturday, 9-1:00

Etching, I & II:  Design and print a simple etching.  Print the first week; Color the etching the second week.  Five dollar material fee. Lyn Reed, Instructor.




August 19, 2021  6 p.m.

CONCERT “Monroe Crossing”  Advanced Ticket Sale $20 - Door Sales $25.  Bag raffles, 7:00 p.m Music; Cook Community Center.


July 24, Saturday 9-3 p.m.

Garage Sale…Arts NWFA Gallery


September at NWFA Gallery Wed., Thurs., Fri. and Sat.

Ancient Cedars  Traveling Exhibit (now in Virginia at Lyric First Stage Gallery) to bring light to the Ancient Cedar Grove in Tower, MN


September 9 & 10, Thursday and Friday, 9-4:00

Watercolor Workshop -  Fracturing: Formulating a Design Strategy. MaryBeth Downs, Instructor. $60.00 members, $75.00 nonmembers.   218 666-2153


Hope to see you all at events!  A BIG THANK YOU!!!



Curious&Creative Summer Classes


SUMMER: C&C KIDS  (Free kids classes)

Contact 218 666-2153



Four classes offered free of charge to children of all ages with instructors Alberta Whitenack and Kris Musto.  Check out the descriptions, dates and times the classes will take place at NWFA Gallery at 210 S. River St. in the Dream Weaver Salon complex.  Contact Alberta at 218 666-2153 for information or to register for a class.


6/17/21 – Thursday, 11-1

         “Kris On Color”:  Exploring color with Kris Musto 


6/24/21 – Thursday, 11-1

         Check out those “Elements of Art with Kris Musto”


7/8/21 – Thursday, 10-noon

          Try “Notan: Positive and Negative Art “ with Alberta Whitenack


7/22/21 – Thursday, 10-Noon

          Single point perspective with Alberta Whitenack

More classes to come with more events.....



To access the contest information and registration form please select the "Classes and Events" section of this website or click the photo above.

Ten Years After Art in a Small Jim DeVries

Click here to watch video


Hand made masks in adult and children's sizes are on sale at NWFA gallery



NWFA closed on Holidays.

210 S. River St., next to Dream Weaver Salon


Welcome and thanks for visiting the Northwoods Friends of the Arts (NWFA) website, we’re the Heart of Art in the Northwoods!

Since our inception in late 2010, we’ve established a vibrant, contemporary, regional arts center providing arts education, exhibition, performances and community outreach, through our mission to…



The NWFA board of directors has had to meet via internet.  Planning is focusing around virtual classes and exhibits.  Directors are seeking experienced  advisors at this point.

The membership drive for 2020/21 begins in June and memberships and donations may be mailed to NWFA, PO Box 44, Cook MN  55723.


Call 218 780-7130


Winter Gallery Hours

Thurs. & Fri. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Sat. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

closed on Holidays.

210 S. River St., next to Dream Weaver Salon





Weekly Summer Concerts On Wednesday Evenings In Cook



Welcome and thanks for visiting the Northwoods Friends of the Arts (NWFA) website, we’re the Heart of Art in the Northwoods!


Since our inception in late 2010, we’ve established a vibrant, contemporary, regional arts center providing arts education, exhibition, performances and community outreach, through our mission to…



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The photo contest, Take Your Best Shot" was in progress but now, sadly, is canceled for 2020. 


The board of directors of Northwoods Friends of the Arts have discussed at length what to do about the agenda of events planned for the next few months.  Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, some events must be canceled but we want to tell you, first, what will continue in the next few months…we hope….

Spring Art Expo…and..The registration deadline right now is April 18th..check the website for schedule changes and registration forms...NWFAMN.ORG



“A Canvas and You”, a small works project, is in the future when we get the go ahead to gather together to distribute the canvases….

In the meantime, if you have a canvas, go ahead and start since you may have time while you are practicing social distancing ….


Grab a canvas (or two).   Paint it, draw on it,  weave on it, glue on it, slash or “felt”  on that canvas. ! The art work is your choice, your medium and your subject. 


The show requirements are:  

  • The subject is your own and the medium (glue, paint, fabric, objects, etc.) is your choice.  

  • All artwork must be completed on each 8 x 10 inch canvas at $10 per.,

  • Each Canvas must be signed and dated by the artist on the back.  

  • The canvas must not be altered in size or shape and must be wired for hanging.  

  • All edges of the canvas must be “finished” but not framed.  

  • All art will be for sale for $50 each during the exhibit time.  NWFA will collect taxes and retain 50%, with 50% going to the artist.  

  • Mailing or shipping canvases will be at the expense of the artist.  

  • Art left after two weeks of the exhibit conclusion will become the property of NWFA and may be used for future fundraisers.  

  • Artwork deemed inappropriate will not be accepted.  

  • NWFA may use an image of the art to promote NWFA at its discretion. 


The 8 X 10 canvases will be available for purchase at NWFA Gallery as soon as the gallery is safe to be open.  You will be notified in advance when that is possible. The timeline to be announced via radio, newspapers, bulletins and website ( or



The canvas sale and exhibit is tentative for July 8 until August 28th with a grand reception at the gallery honoring artists on July 10th from 5 to 7 p.m. at 210 S. River St. next to Dream Weaver Spa and Salon.  It is a fundraiser.

Register and take your canvas(es) home from Northwoods Friends of the Arts Gallery in Cook, MN at a time depending on the global pandemic guidelines for social gatherings. 



when this is over….”show us what you’ve been creating during your radical sabbatical….

Don’t quarantine creative genius”…Lisa Simensen

Programs Canceled for March 25 thru April 

  • The NWFA Gallery in Cook is closed now and for the month of April unless notified..

  • Thursdays’ woodcarvers group canceled for now.

  • Saturdays' Open Studio Art canceled until May. 

  • The last Winter Writers Group meeting scheduled for April 11 canceled.  Look toward the “Summer Writers Group” due to begin June 9th, Tues., 6:30-8:30. Fingers crossed!

  • A slate of "Curious and Creative" classes planned by Alberta Whitenack and her volunteer instructors is canceled.  New classes will be rescheduled at a later date.


Until then, NWFA encourages artists who might own an 8 X 10 canvas to work on their entry project or any other project during this time…

Let's start a "tell us your art ‘Stay In Place’ story”. 

Send to….Lois Garbisch

see Face Book and website: ..we “try” to keep uptodate !!




It  stARTS on River Street

Creative Place making Workshop for Artists

Visit:  Cook Public Library or Northwoods Friends of the Arts

Call:  218-666-2210 (Cook Public Library)

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March Artists of the Month, Pajari and Musto


“Sunlight and Shadows” by Laura Pajari and Kris Musto is the newest exhibit in Cook, MN at Northwoods Friends of the Arts opening on Thursday, March 5th until the 28th. The exhibit consists of three-dimensional art using mixed media. The reception will be held on March 20, 5:00 – 7:00 pm at our Gallery in Cook. Come meet the artists, see the work, and enjoy food and friends.


Both of these artists are long time members and volunteers at NWFA. Pulling from both extraordinary and mundane experiences, Laura and Kris explore the duality and metaphor of the moments of sunlight and shadow we all encounter moving through life. By creating three dimensionally with jewelry, beads, found objects, stitches, quilts, dyes and fabric they are also creating tangible connections with the viewer through objects infused with magic that can be taken home.


Laura Pajari grew up in Cook on a farm acquired 120 years ago by her maternal great grandparents (the Homestead Act 1862) and has lived in Cook all her life. Making art, in Laura Pajari’s words….

“My art is an important tool. I use (creating art) to battle my demons of depression and PTSD.

From sun catchers to silverware art, bird feeders to blogging, candle making to canning and tarot to talismans, I’m always searching for new tools to balance the darkness and the light.

I strive to create sacred spaces in which to meditate and create. I’m inspired by these great North woods, the moon, Halloween and sunshine. I hope you find hope, humor, and honesty in my work. “


Kris makes art about what she is thinking and feeling. “It’s a tricky thing to translate into visual images”…Kris Musto.


Musto has extensive experience working with paint, drawing, sculpture, installation, photography, collage, fiber, fabric, printmaking, text and anything else within reach. She holds a BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. As a volunteer for NWFA she has contributed, over years, teaching classes in (Collage, acrylic painting, handmade books) and co-created exhibits “Aprons In April” (Lyn Reed) and “The Adventures of Jeanne & Kris” (Jeanne O’Melia).


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The Northwoods Friends of the Arts Writers' groups are open to all who enjoy the writing process.


 These writing experiences are led by Ellie Larmouth.


Summer Wriers Group: Meets every 2nd and 4th Tues each month" at 6:30Located at NWFA Gallery



There’s an ART for everyone here at NWFA!


You’ll find listings for painting classes, pottery, weaving and special youth painting and crafts classes offered on a regular basis in our classroom area. We also feature a summer writing class, concerts throughout the year, dance and drama performances and literary readings, too.

Classes and workshops are taught by our members as well as from instructors out of the immediate area.


Look around our site to discover all we offer and learn how we can make your art blossom! We hope you will consider membership in our organization.

Literary readings and book signings are held here too. So there’s always something of interest taking place in the gallery along with the lovely display of “Up North” artwork, prefect for your enjoyment and gift ideas.

Volunteers are the backbone of this organization and are needed to staff the gallery, can you lend a hand?

And of course, donations are always appreciated to support NWFA and the quality programs we present for the residents and visitors in Cook and the surrounding area!

Ten Years After Art in a Small Jim DeVries

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Certain activities by NWFA are made possible in part by a grant provided by the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council (ARAC) and is funded, in part, by the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.

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