Gallery Artist Jean Matzke

Fiber artist Jean Matzke passed away on Friday morning. She was struck and killed by a garbage truck while walking her dog near her home in Lowertown St. Paul. All of us in the "Grand Hand family" will miss her so much, and we are all struggling to comprehend what has happened.

Jean's friends and family let us know this morning that memorial services will be held this Tuesday at St. John's Abbey, St. John's University, Collegeville, MN. Visitation 1PM, Mass 2PM, reception to follow. Please note that this info may be subject to change - we will post any changes or corrections here on the blog.


Sunday (6.28) Pioneer Press features Warren MacKenzie

Be sure to check out tomorrow's St. Paul Pioneer Press for a front page article on favorite potter Warren MacKenzie.


Visual Jazz Sneak Preview

The curtains are up and we've started to set up Visual Jazz. Here's a sneak preview of what is to come. Don't forget to join us for the opening reception, this Wednesday, June 17 from 6-9 pm.


Coming Soon: Visual Jazz

A juried exhibition of visual art inspired by music. In cooperation with the Twin Cities Jazz Festival (June 18-20, 2009) and KBEM Jazz88FM. Guest curator Seitu Jones.

Join us Wednesday, June 17th from 6 - 9pm for the Visual Jazz opening reception. There will be live music by Minnesota jazz legend Irv Williams on sax, and Peter Schimke on piano!

Celebrating 'Thirty-six Views of the St. Paul Cathedral' a New Book by Peter Kramer

The Grand Hand is pleased to welcome Minneapolis architect Peter Kramer for a celebration of his new book 'Thirty-six Views of the Cathedral', Saturday June 20th from 2 - 6 pm. Books will be available for sale and signing by the author. There will be refreshments and live music by Chuck Solberg.

The Neo-Fuctionalist Press is a side-project of longtime Twin Cities architect Peter Kramer. Through the Press, Peter complies and distributes his illustration work and especially likes the coloring book format "because it's good for you!". "Color yourself to mental heath," is his motto. The book 'Thirty-six Views of the Cathedral' is rooted in the artist's childhood visits to the landmark.

Fun for Summer

In celebration of summer Michael Schmidt's painting 'Soft Serve' is back out on the gallery floor.

New Arrival: Tom Ashworth

New Arrival: S.C. Rolf pottery

New Arrival: Andy Farkas Prints

Grand Hand favorite Andy Farkas has sent some beautiful new wood engraving prints. Pictured is a detail of "Float".


New stuff coming from recent trade show!

Everyone asks me, "So what great new stuff did you find at the trade show?"  Well, I am still sitting here on the show floor in Las Vegas at the American Craft Retailers Expo (ACRE), and here is one of the new things that I picked.... coming later this summer... Suzanne Williams from Fargo, N.D. makes these funky-elegant-gorgeous leather handbags that I fell in love with:


Visit to Richard Bresnahan's Studio 5/09

Last week, gallery staff member Linda LaNasa and I drove to St. John's University, north of St. Cloud, MN, to visit gallery artist Richard Bresnahan at his studio.  Our purpose was two-fold:  to meet to discuss planning for a new show of Richard's work and that of several of his apprentices, and to have Richard give Linda the full tour of the studio, explaining all aspects of studio operations, and the philosophies behind all that they do.  Ecological conservation is very important to Richard, and it underlies all aspects of studio operations:  equipment is reclaimed/recycled, water from the University power plant is re-used over and over in the studio for washing ash and clay; and the ash for the glazes that they formulate there all comes from burning that was already happening for other reasons - straw from farmer's fields, fallen trees etc.

No visit to Richard's studio is complete without tea and treats at the beautiful Japanese-style tea table that is the centerpiece of the studio.  We outlined plans for the new show around the table, then went down to the kiln where Richard told us about all aspects of the firing process, as well as the extensive cleaning and maintenance work that goes on in between firings.  The Johanna kiln is the largest wood-fired kiln in North America - at 84 ft. long, it consists of four separate firing chambers.  The next firing of the kiln is planned for the Fall of 2011, just prior to the opening of the new show at The Grand Hand in early October.

I will have more info on our visit, and more photos of the studio and the Johanna kiln in a separate post.  I see that while I have been away, colleague Rachel Nusbaum had already gotten photos of the new work that we brought back from Richard's up in a blog post below!  How's that for teamwork?!  

That's all for now, from Ann in Las Vegas - still one more day of trade shows to go.  Have found some wonderful new artists, and new work for existing gallery artists for the Fall.

New Arrival: Richard Bresnahan Pottery

Just last week Ann and Linda had the pleasure of visiting Richard Bresnahan's kiln at St. John's University. Now on display are the new pieces they brought back.