Neighborhood Artists Celebrate at Reception!

     “The Susan Martin Memorial Members Show”


Circling the full sized moose sculpture while balancing refreshments, guests examined displays in the classroom and up and down the isles of the front gallery at Northwoods Friends of the Arts.  They traveled from as far away as Ely, Virginia, Eveleth, Chisholm and Hibbing and stayed awhile in Cook Friday evening, Oct. 4th.  Neighbors visited and met new neighbors.  Some of the exhibiting  artists were there to answer questions.  “The Susan Martin Memorial Members Show” continues until Saturday, Oct. 26th at 210 S. River St., Wed., Thurs., Fri. and Sat.


Year round NWFA exhibits for 40 artists , but October is the members show, now called “The Susan Martin Memorial Members Show”.  Previously it was called “October Festival of the Arts”.  All members are invited to exhibit and sell art and craft without rental fees for the month of October annually.  For the second year NWFA presents this exhibit in honor of the joyous spirit of Susan Martin.  


Quite suddenly in January of 2018, Sue Martin passed away.  Sue and husband, Ron, owned and operated “Moose Birds General Store” on Lake Vermilion.  She was an amazing business woman, artist and one of the founding members of NWFA ten years ago.  Sue was an inspiration to many and a teacher. 


So, in the Susan Martin spirit…here are…your neighbors and friends-

NWFA Members, the stars of the show, exhibiting in October:


Andrea Alto

JoAnn Anderson

Jennifer Barr

Carol Bowman

Gwili Brunner

Ian Carlson

Tom Chapman

Kurt Conaway

Jim DeVries

Jeanine Emmons

Leslie Escobedo

Helen Fayerweather

Jody Feist

Linda Freeman

Lois Garbisch

Clark Garry

Ron Geshick

Peggy Hejda

Priscilla Hiipakka

Howard Hilshorst

Cat Holm

Rebecca Koepke

Jane Kujala

Chris Lange

Ron Lanska

Lois Larson

Ron Maki

Susan Martin

Keith Miesel

Sue Minter

Kris Musto

Lauren Nelson

Marianne Niemiste

Jeanne O’Melia

Donna Ongalo

Todd Merten

Wanda Parks

Cathryn Peters

Lyn Reed

Mark Reed

Pam Roederer

Cecilia Rolando

Larry Rude

Barb Schroeder

Pamella Schultz

Javid Spaulding

Karen Spotts

Jane Wertanen

Alberta Whitenack

Shawn Wipf

Sue Wolfe

Harris Youngquist

Rhonda Zuponcic

NWFA, a non-profit organization managed completely by volunteers.  NWFA  provides support for artists and art events in the area of Cook and beyond. NWFA, inspiring, nurturing and celebrating the arts with free and at cost classes, concerts, contests, writing and carving groups and exhibiting space.  The membership fee is $25.  The Gallery is open Summer hours in October, 4 days a week:  Wed., Thurs. and Fri. from 10 A.M. to 4 P.M. and on Sat. from 9 A.M. to 1 P.M..  It’s  located on the main street near Hwy 53 next to Dream Weaver Spa and Salon.


FiberArt....This is one example of the very fine Fiber Art by Cook resident, Shawn Wipf.  She uses a very complex technique with dies and fibers to create art that evokes emotion.

Clark Garry's this ink and watercolor drawing to accompany an essay called "In the Kinnickinnic, Stories of a River and Its Insect Life"  The Kinnickinnic R. is in west-central Wisconsin.  Clark is a member of NWFA's Writers Group in Cook.

Moose...A Metal Sculpture of fine chicken wire by Kurt Conaway from Eveleth

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Art, Antiques and Antiquities Sale In Cook


Enjoy shopping for new “Art, Antiques and Antiquities” at Northwoods Friends of the Arts Gallery, 210 S. River Street in Cook, MN next to Dream Weaver Salon.  Enjoy a snack from the Cook Lions traveling grill shack on the main street.  The word has gone out to members for art donations for a huge end of Summer art fundraiser on Saturday morning, August 31st from 9:00 a.m. to Saturday afternoon, 4:00 p.m..  Come on in and see all the beautiful art objects for sale in the back room!


NWFA, inspiring, nurturing and celebrating the arts for members and the community in the region of Cook.  The NWFA Gallery has been open for almost ten years and exhibits about forty artists year round, open 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  Saturdays are open and there is "Open Studio Art" where artists gather to work together from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m

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Local Artist Teaches in Cook


As a gift to the community, well known artist, Thomas Chapman, presented a free class in Cook at Northwoods Friends of the Arts  Gallery on Saturday, February 16th. 


The students participating came from towns throughout The Range. 

“A Study in Light and Color” was a two hour talk with participation by the students, who had the opportunity to create a color spectrum and a value scale study.  Mr. Chapman discussed the history of light and color, why it works and how to use light and color in art projects.


Thomas S. Chapman, known for his stunning watercolor paintings, studied at the Toledo Museum of Art and received a BFA at Cleveland Institute of Art, receiving awards for his art from Alcoa Aluminum, Chrysler Corp and many others. 

He  taught painting and drawing in Cook, Virginia and Hibbing for three years. Thomas and his family now live and work in Angora at their own company, Art Unlimited, celebrating 34 years of business.  Chapman is one of the founding members of Northwoods Friends of the Arts.

NWFA is a nonprofit membership organization providing support and encouragement to all forms of art and artists in the region of Cook, MN.  The NWFA Gallery exhibits the works of about forty artists, promotes music concerts and art education.  NWFAMN.ORG:  Inspiring, nurturing and celebrating the arts!

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In Cook a Celebration of “Rocks, Trees and Water”


Photos 1....Page from Sue Martin's journal

            2..."Feeding Frenzy" acrylic painting by Jim DeVries

            3..."Time For Lunch" colored pencil drawing by Wanda Parks (Pileated Woodpecker)

            4...Ron Martin holding print of his wife's watercolor painting.  

There is a complex exhibit of art and craft in Cook this month at the Northwoods Friends of the Arts (NWFA) Gallery. It’s the annual members show, October Festival of the Arts. Featured also is “Rocks, Trees and Water”, a tribute and memorial exhibit honoring Sue Martin, first president of NWFA. See the exhibits on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays or Saturday morning.


Sixty people attended the exhibit opening reception on Friday, Oct. 5th . Sue Martin's husband, Ron, and other family members were there to speak to attendees.



The gallery manager, Alberta Whitenack, has arranged the memorial art and members craft and art with great skill, using every bit of space to benefit . There was a splendid table of finger foods and beverages donated by NWFA members.


NWFA president, Shawna Kishel, was the key speaker talking about the NWFA organization and Sue Martin's vision for NWFA. Another original board member, Cathryn Peters, spoke warmly with details of Sue's spirited influence. Dr. Ellie Larmouth, leader of NWFA’s Writers Group, read a poem she wrote and also read the poem and tribute memorial created by Linda Freeman.


The exhibit of memorial art is striking....poems, photos, fiber art and paintings. Many of the pieces were donated to NWFA for fundraising. Even pages of Sue's diary were photo copied and placed on the tables for folks to read. Inspirational words of positive vision.


There were several donated paintings and photos donated to NWFA in honor of Sue and those are displayed at the gallery with some to be bid on during October by silent auction. Two of Martin’s watercolor paintings have been reproduced for sale and one print will be raffled off at the end of October. Tickets may be purchased at NWFA Gallery on Wed., Thurs.. Fri. and Sat. morning.


The Gallery will be open Wed., Thurs. and Friday from 10 to 4 and Saturday from 9 to 1 during Oct. at 210 S. River St. in Cook. Woodcarvers meet every Tuesday evening from 6 to 8 p.m.. Every Saturday artists meet at the gallery to work together in “Open Art” from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Writers Group meets Saturday, October 13 from 1 to 3 p.m. at NWFA Gallery

This photo is a Sue Martin painting "Birches", donated to NWFA by Martin's family...

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Five Spring Art Expo Awards Presented at NWFA Gallery


The results of the Northwoods Friends of the Arts Photo Contest and the Spring Art Expo 2018 50/50 raffle were announced at the reception held Friday, June 29th.


The annual photo contest, “ Your Best Shot” awarded the “Student Award” to 5 year old, Vera Bryson, for her photo “Featherly Friend In the Sun”. Vera received a $25 award.


The Adult Award was given to Carol Bowman for her photo, “Tulips” and the award is $75.


These award winning photographers were chosen anonamously by a panel of three non-participating judges: Alan Wiermaa, Pam Wettering and Bailey Conger. The photo entries are displayed for the judges in numbered order only and selected considering 1) originality 2) technical merit 3) artistic value.


The third photo award was the “Peoples Choice Award” chosen by the people who visited NWFA Gallery in Cook at 210 S. River St. during the month of June. The winner was “Bird On A Stick”, by Lauren Nelson, a photo of a Northern Saw-whet Owl. The award is $50 plus framing for the award winning photo.


Adult participants in the contest pay a fee of $10 per photo entry. All winners receive a family membership to NWFA and are invited to display up to three photos in the gallery for a whole month. Student photographers do not have to pay an entrance fee to participate.


Spring Art Expo 2018 drew to a close at the Finale Reception when Carol Bowman drew the winning tickets for the 50/50 raffle. The first name drawn chooses the cash (50% of the ticket sales proceeds) or a beautifully framed portrait photo of an Eagle donated by photographer, Carol Bowman. The names drawn for 2018 were H.D. Johnston and Donna Peterson.


The Spring Art Expo began exhibiting the work of forty-six (46) local artists on June 8th at NWFA Gallery and thirty-seven (37) local businesses in Cook, Tower, Orr, Highway 24 and Highway 53 (North). The NWFA Gallery (next to Dream Weaver Salon) in Cook is open Wed., Thurs., and Fri. from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Sat. from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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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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