Austin artists show off work in Winona

Published 8:00 pm Saturday, June 18, 2011

Austin artists Keith Cich and James Wegner will be showcasing their art at the third annual Southeast Minnesota Regional Juried Art Exhibition this coming Friday at the Paul Watkins and Weber Galleries in Watkins Hall at Winona State University.

Both artists draw upon inspirations from nature.

Keith Cich presents a panoramic photograph of a field anchored by a monolithic tree, while James Wegner’s etching is an abstraction of bovine bones.

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The show again coincides with Winona’s Great River Shakespeare Festival and the Minnesota Beethoven Festival. The exhibition is meant to add a visual component to the theatrical and musical events of the festivals, making for a kind of “total” art experience. The exhibition runs through July 28.

This year’s exhibition consists of 42 works by 39 artists living within a 150 mile radius of Winona.

One-hundred and one artists submitted 286 works, and from those Christopher Atkins, chose pieces reflecting a diverse range of styles and subjects. Atkins, of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, coordinates the museum’s Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program.

An opening reception will be held Friday night in the Watkins Hall lobby from 6 to 8 pm.

Many of the exhibiting artists will be in attendance, and prize winners will be acknowledged. The exhibition Juror, Christopher Atkins, will make brief comments. Refreshments are being served and everyone is cordially invited to come.

Prize winners include: Emily Temte for Concretion I, $1500 first prize; Ryan Kitchen, second prize of $800 for Stick; and Steven Lang, Minneapolis third prize of $400 for Smoking Datsun. Both Temte and Kitchen live in Decorah, Iowa, while Lang is from Minneapolis.

Regular gallery hours are: 3 to 7:30 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday; 3 to 8 p.m, Friday and Saturday; and 4 to 6 p.m. Sundays The hours are timed to allow audiences for the Shakespeare plays and the Beethoven concerts to view the exhibition before performance times.

Most of the exhibited works of art are for sale, with not only their artists benefiting, but FASEM as well, with a percentage of sales going toward next year’s show.

Funding for this year’s FASEM exhibition has been provided by grants from the Winona Fine Arts Commission, the Winona Foundation, and by contributions from Winona National Bank and individual donors. FASEM needs help from the community to support these annual shows: for information on how to contribute go to