Pioneer photos by Sean Miner
By Sean Miner
For the sixth year running, artists from Long Lake and surrounding cities gathered to showcase and sell their art at the Long Lake Area Art Show on Oct. 24 and 25. Held in the Orono High School cafeteria, the show gave the community a taste of the art being produced by the artists living amongst them, 38 of which participated in the event.
“It’s a different way to bring the community together,” said Shakun Maheshwari, one of the show’s organizers. “I wanted to show off all the artists that are living here, so that they come to know the community.”
These artists hail mostly from Long Lake and Orono, as well as the Lake Minnetonka area and a few other west metro communities. They work in a wide variety of forms, from paintings and drawings to various items made from glass, granite and clay.
The criteria for artists are inclusive, but Maheshwari did say that she and the other organizers looked for a certain artistic quality when considering candidates.
“It’s mostly hand-made items,” said Maheshwari, drawing a distinction between artists producing unique pieces rather than mass-produced, homogenous items.
“It’s higher-end stuff,” said Anita Lang, another organizer, of the art. “We’ve tried to run it as an arts show, not an arts-and-crafts show.”
Maheshwari said that around 10 of the artists were new this year, joining the plethora of media and perspectives at the event.
“That’s kind of why we added the student art show – to bring another perspective,” said Lang.
New this year, the art show featured several pieces from Orono High School’s art program. First, second and third place cash prizes were awarded to youth entrants by the organizers as well.
“Most people were really impressed with the quality of the work,” said Lang of the students’ art. “I think, for them, it was a very positive experience.”
“We wanted the younger generation to be involved,” said Maheshwari. “We plan on doing so again.”
The event also featured two demonstrations, showing different techniques for weaving and creating jewelry respectively. Maheshwari indicated that more demonstrations might be on the books for next year if public interest can be found.
Though this was Lang’s first year serving as an organizer, she said that she had been participating as a vendor for years.
“I’ve kept coming back because I’ve found it to be a very positive environment,” said Lang. “The artists that are there, they’re all very friendly to each other.”
Though pleased with the number and variety of artists in attendance, Maheshwari and Lang both said that they hoped more people would turn out for next year’s show.
“We’ve had some years where we’re very busy, and some where we’re not – everybody that’s there, the quality of the work is great,” said Lang. “I think our biggest struggle is getting the word out.”
In any case, the organizers were grateful for everyone who made the event possible.
“It’s the artists putting on the art show, with help from local sponsors,” said Lang. “Without all of them together, we wouldn’t be able to hold the show.”
“Thanks to the sponsors, and whoever helped to organize,” said Maheshwari. “Whoever helped in any way to spread the word, we’d like to thank them too.”
Contact Sean Miner at [email protected]