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Come on down to the ArtWorks Center, meet new people

Hello, I’m the Austin ArtWorks Center. It’s nice to meet you. I hope you come visit me on 300 North Main Street in downtown Austin. If you do, you’ll meet some of my friends. My place is full of 110 friends and they are all artists.

Get to know some of my most popular friends!

Nicole Fierce is an emerging glass artist based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  She has been blowing glass for almost six years. She first fell in love with glass art at FOCI – Minnesota Center for Glass Arts.

She is now blowing glass exclusively at a new facility in St. Paul, Vandalia Glassworks. She tells people that, “blowing glass changed my life.”

Her work is primarily made of bright, high contrast color combinations and is designed to remind you of childhood. Nicole is known for paperweights which are the best selling item at my place.

Gary Blom is a silversmith and lapidary artist. His interest started while wintering in Arizona after retirement from IBM. Having lived in southern Minnesota his entire life, he found it exciting to spend time in a state known for minerals and gemstones.

Gary uses gemstones from literally all over the world.

Some of his favorite stones are turquoise, which he purchases directly from the mine owners in Arizona or Nevada, lapis from Afghanistan, fire agates from Arizona and Mexico, druzy from Indonesia, amber from Poland, charoite from Russia, larimar from the Dominican Republic, opal from Australia, and many others.

When you are my place, look for the black metal and glass case near the check out desk — that’s where you’ll find Gary’s work. His necklaces, rings and earrings really make my place sparkle.

Dirk Nelson grew up in Austin and graduated from Winona State University with a BA in Fine Art. Jobs took him to Texas and Colorado and finally back to Minnesota. He settled in Winona and became a volunteer at the Winona Arts Center. In the summer of 2014 he helped to establish RiverBed Press when the Arts Center purchased a 24 by 48-inch Conrad etching press. There he started exploring the process of making monoprints.

The method Nelson has been exploring lately employs the use of stencils. The stencils can be used multiple times on the same plate. Applying a different color each time the stencil is used can produce a layered effect and add depth and atmosphere to the image. The stencils can also be reversed to make the images similar yet curiously different.

Nelson discusses this process saying, “My work encourages a dialog between the image and the viewer and if the accidents and mistakes that I cultivate in my process can suggest different meanings to different viewers, well I enjoy it when the conversation takes a surprising turn.”

You’ll find Dirk’s work, prints and sculptures, at my place both on the main floor and upstairs in a gallery show which is on display until July 7. When his gallery show opened in May, all the items he sold that day made him the top-selling artist for the month.

Paramount Theatre

Paul McCartney Tribute by Let Em In with D.C. Drifters, June 22  at 7 p.m.

Femina – World Music Series, July 12 at 7:30 p.m.

ArtWorks Center

Kids Studio: Everything Nature Art Camp, June 27-30 at 10:30 a.m.

Buttons, Beads & Tiles with Layl McDill, July 7 at 2:30 p.m.

Family Art Studio, July 8 at 1 to 3 p.m.