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Art in our park

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Onlookers stopped and questioned the artist who, at Woodbury’s Central Park, displayed a 16-inch-by-20-inch and 18-by-24 paintings of a shaggy-haired sheep from New Zealand. Of course she admits she was trying to pique people’s interest.

“It makes people laugh,” said Charlotte Neely, who got the idea to do a series of sheep paintings from a friend who “just Googles up everything.”

Neely’s usual inspiration comes from nature, leaves, fall and warm, bright colors. On Saturday, Nov. 21, she was painting in public, creating art on canvas from thoughts of light trickling through trees in the woods. 

“But now the sheep are calling,” Neely said. “My yoga teacher calls me the sheep whisperer.”

She brings her art to yoga class. 

Neely was one of nine local artists featured during the six-hour-long Central Park Art Fair at Woodbury’s indoor park last month. It was the second annual art fair sponsored by the city and supported by Artists of Woodbury.

“I think it went well,” said Becky Amble, whose art includes fused glass jewelry and functional fused glass art, as well as watercolor, acrylic and oil paintings and photography. “It’s fun to do something in Woodbury where we know people!”

Some of the artists’ usual customers came, and the artists gained valuable exposure to passersby, as well.

Luiza Vizoli’s vibrant, modern paintings allowed visitors a glimpse into her imagination. 

She is inspired by the people around her, the subjects of her dreams, and “if the weather is bad, my painting is going to be very colorful,” Vizoli said. Likewise, good weather inspires dark, cold paintings — “always the opposite of the weather,” she said.

With every purchase from Vizoli, buyers received a large postcard-sized print.

Margaret Savard sold felted handbags that once were garments. The 100 percent wool purses used to be blazers and sweaters. They are needle felted and repurposed. She sews the garment tags and labels into most of the bags. 

“There’s no two alike,” Savard said. 

Evelyn Klein was peddling her books, as well as colored pencil and graphite drawings and illustrations. 

For her, art started with poetry. Her father illustrated her first book, but after his death, she illustrated her next three books, the fourth of which is yet to be published.

“I’m branching out,” Klein said. 

She reserves each morning for writing — preferably in a half-conscious state, often in the study or the sunroom, and including short stories, essays and her interpretation of scientific research.

Her books are titled “Affinities” (unpublished), “Seasons of Desire,” “Once Upon a Neighborhood,” and “From Here Across the Bridge.” At the art fair, enlarged illustrations surrounded copies of books for sale.

“Central Park is such a great location and wonderful atmosphere for showing art!” said Sue Swanson, a bead and fiber arts artist who also participated in last year’s art fair at Central Park.

“This has become one of my favorite art fairs,” Grey Cloud Island Township potter Joan Miller said. “I get a great reception here and it is fun to talk with people about art who live in the area.”

Central Park is a lively place that encourages people to be outgoing, Neely said, and interactions with kids were invigorating. 

Still, a sense of peace and quiet, despite any foot traffic, helped Neely make art. Central Park’s waterfall hummed in the background — her favorite part of the event. “Just being here and being able to paint,” Neely said.

Contact the artists

Here’s how to contact the artists who showed at the art fair:

  • Becky Amble, fused glass jewelry, functional fused glass art, paintings in watercolors, acrylic and oil, photography, greeting cards, 612-327-6318, beckyamble@yahoo.com, beckyamble.wordpress.com, ambleart.com
  • Vicki Beebe and Tammy Joslin, Serenity Sisters, handcrafted jewelry in classic styles, 651-329-6187, vabeebe@msn.com, 715-401-1712, tljoslin@live.com
  • Evelyn D. Klein, author, educator, speaker and artist, evelynkleinauthor.com, 651-739-3216, eklein@q.com
  • Joan Miller, Grey Cloud Art Studio, pottery, oils, acrylic, stained glass and other media, 651-458-0384
  • Charlotte Neely, oil on canvas, 651-366-0532, 651-458-3069, designsbyneely@yahoo.com
  • Judy Norberg, Judy Norberg Originals, jewelry design and crafting, 651-337-1678, jnorberg17@gmail.com
  • Margaret Savard, Sew Unique by Midge, felted wool handbags, 651-413-5154, margsavard@aol.com
  • Sue Swanson, Purple Apple Arts, piano lessons for children and Prayercraft retreats, classes and bead and fiber arts products, purpleapplearts.com, 651-738-7441, swansonmn@comcast.net
  • Luiza Vizoli, original modern abstract paintings, contemporary art, ARTbyLuizaVizoli.com, vizoliart@gmail.com

Artists of Woodbury

Five of the artists attending the art fair are members of the growing Artists of Woodbury organization.

Artists of Woodbury invites artists and art supporters to join the group, which seeks to provide opportunities for artists to network, exhibit, and sell art, as well as learn from one another and share their art with Woodbury and the surrounding communities. Those interested in becoming members of the Artists of Woodbury can visit the group’s website at ArtistsofWoodburyMN.org or search Facebook for Artists of Woodbury. 

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