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.