December's Featured Artists: Barbara Keith and Chuck Solberg

Barbara Keith is a glass mosaic artist based in Lanesboro, MN. We've loved her landscapes and animal studies for years - her latest charming series of small (8" x 8") cat portraits captures a range of feline moods.

"During the time I was working on these cats," Barb explains, "a kitten showed up at our very rural home, probably dumped with it's litter mates on the road. So now Ollie has become part our our family! It was so much fun to be working on these cats while the new kitten and I discovered happiness with our new situation. Cats have such a universal appeal, and I decided to give them universal names, translating 'cat' into a number of languages." (Gato is pictured above.)

The artist also crafts fun bird ornaments that have flown into the gallery this season!

Click HERE for more on Barbara's work.

St. Paul’s Chuck Solberg is a nationally recognized clay artist and, with his keyboard, serves as The Grand Hand’s always popular “house band.” Chuck’s work in wood fired stoneware and porcelain is included in the permanent collections of the Weisman Art Museum, The Minnesota Historical Society, the University of Wisconsin and numerous private collections. He was awarded a prestigious Jerome Grant for his work with sagger firing. As a musician, Chuck has toured with Luther Allison and played with BB King, Muddy Waters and Chuck Berry.

See an expanded array of Chuck's work at the gallery through December and hear the artist in action with his keyboard midday on Saturday, December 11 and during Guys' Night, Thursday, December 16 from 5-9 PM.

Click HERE for more on Chuck's work.


Your Grand Hand Staff

Susan Clayton is the Grand Hand gallery manager and has been on staff since October 2004. She is a former curator of art at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, where she earned an MA in Art History and Art Exhibition. Susan’s academic research focuses on Minnesota artists and arts institutions.

Linda LaNasa came to The Grand Hand as a longtime collector of Minnesota craft. Linda is especially knowledgeable about our local artists and their work, and has a knack for finding the perfect hand crafted piece to enhance your home, your wardrobe or to give as a gift.

Joanna Scavone (left) recently launched and now coordinates the gallery’s online shopping services. She is a painter and a graduate student specializing in arts and cultural management at St. Mary’s University in Minneapolis.

Brad Homan brings his gifts for organization and “getting it done” to our gallery space. He is a packaging specialist at General Mills and is also a patent-holding inventor!

Rachel Nusbaum (right) is a print artist and a recent graduate of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. She coordinates the gallery’s offerings in woodblock, linocut and etching and our great selection of greeting cards. For more on Rachel’s work, visit www.rachelnusbaum.com.

Jan Painter, a photographer, art collector and neighborhood resident, has been a helpful friend to the gallery since it began and pitches in behind the sales desk when we need her most. (Jan is wearing pieces by her friend – and gallery artist – Lori Bacigalupi.)

Tessa Somermeyer is a life-long lover of craft who, since childhood, has been visiting exhibitions and artist studios with her mother, Jan Painter. She is currently a graduate student at the University of Minnesota. (Tess’s scarf is by gallery artist Randy Darwall.)

Click here for a profile of gallery owner Ann Ruhr Pifer.


Handcrafted Holidays 2010

Our annual Handmade Holiday bazaar is now open! We’ve stocked up on fresh finds and perennial favorites and have a wide selection of ornaments, jewelry, prints, and pottery as well as work in fiber, glass, metal and wood. We’ll be adding new goods throughout the season, with plenty of options under $60. Find the perfect handcrafted treasure for everyone on your list as well as treats for your holiday home and wardrobe. The Grand Hand offers gift-wrapping, shipping and corporate gift services.

Holiday Events at The Grand Hand:

Jewelry Trunk Show: Loeber + Look
Friday, December 3 - Sunday, December 5
Husband and wife artists Ken Loeber and Dona Look, whose studio is located in Algoma, WI, have collaborated to create their contemporary, clean-lined, 18 karat gold and sterling silver jewelry for almost 30 years. Ken - trained as a sculptor - brings his knowledge of metal techniques to the work while Dona, a birch bark basket maker, contributes her skill with fabrication. In 2008, the artists were featured in the PBS documentary series Craft in America.

Grand Meander
Saturday, December 4; 10 am - 6 pm
Enjoy a day on Grand Avenue during this leisurely, family-friendly holiday event featuring carolers and trolley rides while Santa and his reindeer spread holiday cheer along the avenue. At The Grand Hand, we’ll have holiday treats and live music from potter and one-man “house band,” Chuck Solberg. For further information, see www.grandave.com

Needle-felting Demonstration: Karen Engelbretson
Sunday, December 5; 2 - 4 pm
Gallery artist Karen Engelbretson will answer that burning question "How do they DO that?" about needle-felting. Karen will talk about the needle-felting process, and do a short demonstration. Karen is the creator of KJE Felties, our beautiful felted bird holiday ornaments, which will also be available for sale.

Guys’ Shopping Nights
Thursdays, December 9 and December 16; 5 - 9 PM
We’ll have salty snacks, brew and plenty of staff on hand to help you choose your gifts, wrap them on the spot and ship if needed – you’ll be done with your list and avoid the last minute rush!

NEW! Online Grand Hand shopping: check it out HERE


From the Fire

From the Fire will be on view at The Grand Hand from October 16 - November 14
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 16, 5-8 PM

To commemorate the 30th anniversary of Saint John's Pottery in Collegeville, MN, we'll present work in clay from Richard Bresnahan, artist-in-residence, and former apprentices Stephen Earp, Kevin Flicker, Sam Johnson and Anne Meyer. Saint John's University alumnus, designer and artist Willie Willette, has crafted a tea table from local elm as a companion to the clay that will be in service at a tea ceremony with Patricia Katagiri, Saturday, October 30 from 2-4 PM.
(Pictured above, Richard tends the Johanna Kiln at Saint John's.)

See our events page for more information.

Autumn ...

In St. Paul, we're enjoying a beautiful Minnesota fall with summer-like weather and gorgeous new work from our artists. The Grand Hand started September by featuring graphite drawings from Bly & Rowan Pope, twin brothers and fellow artists who create highly detailed, labor intensive work. "Media Mike" Hazard stopped in to photograph the pair, above.

On and On (September 11 - October 10) featured influence, iteration and innovation in clay and painting from artists Ta-coumba Aiken, Robert Briscoe, Butch Holden, Jim Grittner and Jason Trebs .

October brought the inaugural national celebration of American Craft Week (October 1-10.) Grand Hand customers had a chance to participate in a Ceramics Makeover, trading up from imported mass-produced pieces to artisan work.

October's Featured Artist is Kathleen Clair, an El Paso oil painter who formerly lived in St. Paul and recalls local scenes in her work.

For more information on Grand Hand events, see www.thegrandhand.com


SUMMER SALE through August 31

Great prices on beautiful art. 20-70% off works by Lisa Elias, Tom Homan, Todd Reed, Sarah Graham, Patrick Meyer, Jemerick Art Pottery, Kerry Vesper, Vernon Leibrant, Jerry Kermode, Hippo Handcrafted, Steven Levine and more. Hurry in, items are one of a kind!

Francene Christianson Portrait Event this Saturday and Sunday

Join us this weekend, August 14 and 15 from 2-4 pm for an artist talk from painter Francene Christianson.

Christianson has developed her own brand of portraiture immortalizing vignettes based on photos, primarily focused on the period from mid-20th century through the 1970s. Reflecting on her family collection of slides and black and white photographs, she began using these childhood memories as inspirations for her painting practice. "I started these paintings for me," she recounts, "and found that other people connected to them just as strongly."

'Landscape' now through September 5

'Renewal Stone' by Jeremy Newman and Allison Ciancibelli

Don't miss the Landscape Show! Ten Minnesota painters look to topography for their subjects while glass artists from the West Coast incorporate landscape references into their pieces. This exhibition celebrates the American terrain and beyond with work in paint and glass. Click here for more on the show and upcoming exhibitions.


Jewelry Sale 6/29-7/11!

At The Grand Hand Gallery we only have a couple sales a year. Hurry in for the best selection, quantities are limited and many items are one-of-a-kind.

Save 25 to 50% on jewelry by Cheryl Rydmark, Ford and Forlano, Terri Logan, Karin Jacobson, Baharal + Gnida, JL Walsh, Cynthia Jones, Sharon Schafner, Erika Sturm, MIO Studio, M.A.D.E, JacQueline Sanchez, Wiwat Kamolpornwijit, and Bee Design.


Father's Day Gift Ideas

Show dad you care with a handmade gifts this Father's Day! Art for every dad in all price ranges. Pictured are gifts from $30 to $825. Stop in for help picking the perfect gift and complimentary gift wrapping.


Now on view ...

So Much Soul at The Grand Hand - the latest work in clay from Dick Cooter's new kiln, David Ekdahl's

one-of-a-kind hand carved totems and exhilarating canvases from painter John Olympio.

Come in, enjoy the exhibition, and find your "soul mate" work of art through July 18th!

At the opening reception: potters Warren MacKenzie, Dick Cooter, and Peter Jadoonath

David Ekdahl with his Bellhop totem

John Olympio and Grand Hand associate Linda Lanasa


As winter turned to spring ...

we celebrated Mardi Gras! with special guests Chuck & Margaret Solberg

Minnesota Women Potters and Two Minnesota Painters opened in March; pictured - Sandra Shaughnessy clay and Michael Schmidt painting

Steven Nesheim taught drawing one Sunday in April; pictured - Marion Angelica and Margaret Bohls clay and Ruth Oseid Johnson painting

Liz Plambeck brought her Universal Pants line of fun, funky clothing for a trunk show -

Looking forward to a Minnesota summer with Chuck Solberg clay, Mike Tonder and Peter Zelle glass and Bryan Young painting


Valentine's Day Gifts

Stop in and let us help you pick the perfect gift for your sweetie.

Heart Pendants by local artists, top- Baby Juice Heart by Heinz Brummel, bottom- Anatomical Heart by Emily Johnson.


New Artist: Kelly Jean Ohl

Intrigued by sensory awareness this ceramic artist uses texture and sound to invite the viewer to engage their senses. "This is my way of acknowledging that the work was meant to be touched. It's part of the experience". Kelly Jean's pieces remind people of the things they have found on the forest floor, touched in a tide pool or a single cell viewed under a microscope. Each piece is hand carved, burnished and sanded. Then they go through multiple firings and layers if hand painted oxides.


Last Chance January Sale!

There are just a few days left of the January sale!

Stop in this weekend for ...

20% off
  • Sarah Wieben Paintings
  • Michal Tonder Glass
  • Tom Homann Ceramics
  • Jemerick Art Pottery

25% off
  • Jennifer Green Beeswax Candles

30% off

  • Jim Romberg Raku Ceramics

50% off
  • Judaica
  • Select Scarves
  • Maple Syrup
  • Mark Orr Scavenger Art Birds
  • Alison Palmer Whimsical Ceramics
75% off
  • Select Jewelry and other items


Jewelry Trunk Show: Laura Stamper & Mitra Vahhaji

Join us Saturday, February 6th and Sunday February 7th for a trunk show just in time for Valentine's day!

Minnesota artists Laura and Mitra bring their unique jewelry collections to The Grand Hand. Laura's joyous work in mixed materials is new to the gallery - Mitra's irresistible designs in silver, pearls and stones are perennial favorites. Join us the first weekend in February and let the artists and gallery staff help you make your selections.


Coming Soon

A Sale Like You've Never Seen Before

Clearing out to bring in new art for the new year! Though January 31st, save 20% on Sarah Wieben paintings, Michael Tonder glass, Tom Homann pottery, and Jemerick pottery. Hurry in for the best selection!