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Photo provided Kayleen Horsma has been selected as this year's Master Artist by the Five Wings Art Council.

Five Wings Arts Council names first Master Artist

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The Five Wings Arts Council announced that Kayleen Horsma has been selected as this year's Master Artist. Horsma lives with her husband and six children in Menahga. Horsma paints in oil and watercolor. Over the last 20 years, her work has been displayed at local venues, the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center, the Hubbard County Museum, the Vertin Gallery and Artprize (both in Michigan), online at Fine Art America and Ugallery and most recently at the Affordable Art Fair in New York.

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The newly inaugurated Master Artist Program, made possible with funding from the McKnight Foundation, honors artists who live in the five-county area (Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison, Todd and Wadena) and have shown dedication to and skill in their artistic pursuits, given back to their communities and have defined goals for their future. The Master Artist is chosen from a list of candidates compiled by nomination. The selection is made by the board (representatives from each of the counties) and the staff of the arts council after viewing nominee profiles, work samples and video presentations. In addition to Horsma, nominees for 2011 include: Jim Daly, Royalton; Karen Knierim, Breezy Point; Jeff Kreitz, Breezy Point; Scott Lykins, Lake Shore; Laura Paycer, Nisswa; and Wayne Renn, Staples.

"I choose colors for visual impact," Horsma said of the play of earth tones against dark values producing chiaroscuro effects on her canvases. The stylized people in her work express emotion and tell a story which is Horsma's goal with each painting. She is a member of the Menahga Arts Guild and the Menahga Chamber of Commerce. She wants to continue to learn and grow as an artist.

Jim Daly attended the Columbus College of Art and Design. He paints in pastels, watercolors and oils; small portraits to large scale murals. He also carves stool seats and canoe paddles and is a frequent participant in historical reenactment rendezvous along with his wife Catie. They live on what Daly describes as "Old McDonald's farm" near Royalton with a menagerie of farm stock and pets. His goal, after 40 years of being an artist, is still to make art his life's work.

Karen Knierim is a designer of clothing made from organic cotton. She creates the patterns, dyes the fabric, and sews the garments, even making the clay button closures. She weaves leftover scraps into handsome rugs. Her minimal contribution to the waste stream through re-use of scraps as well as environmental responsibility in using earth-friendly dyes has earned her recognition and awards from two different Minnesota governors. In 30 years of making a livelihood through her creativity, Knierim has mentored other like-minded women and volunteered in her community. She and husband Chuck have lived in rural Breezy Point for 36 years.

Jeff Kreitz learned the complexity of metal work as a factory welder but turned to the production of fine art nearly 20 years ago. From small sculptures to large corporate commissions, Kreitz manipulates and combines stainless steel, copper, bronze and other metals to create one of a kind pieces. "I want to keep growing and do the work as long as I can," says Kreitz. He would also like to do more corporate commissions. Kreitz was influenced by his father's metal work and his mother's paintings. He works in his studio workshop near Breezy Point and is pleased that his two children show an interest in becoming artists.

Scott Lykins is undeniably the youngest of the nominees. A graduate of Brainerd High School, he earned his Master's Degree in cello performance from Eastman School of Music this spring. He was the principal cellist of the Minnesota All-state Orchestra, The Minnesota Youth Symphony, the Classical Symphony of Chicago, the National Orchestral Institute, the National Repertory Orchestra and the Eastman Philharmonia. Lykins is also the founder of the Lakes Area Chamber Music Festival. His dream is to join a professional symphony orchestra. He will continue as a freelance performer and work as the ongoing administrator of the Music Festival.

Laura Paycer has always been fascinated with glass. Ten years ago, she discovered a new passion in working with stained glass and more recently in fusing glass to create her own material. She frequently displays her work in Brainerd area venues and shares her skills by teaching community education classes assisted by her husband Al. She has a fully stocked supply store in her garage and a studio overlooking a Nisswa area lake. She is a member of the Jacques Art Center and the Crossing Arts Alliance. She hopes to always continue to learn and experiment. She is a past recipient of Five Wings grants to produce a large scale public stained glass piece and to purchase a kiln for glass fusing.

Wayne Renn is a country musician and songwriter. His recording studio is in the lower level of the old Lincoln Model School in Staples. The building is a large scale undertaking which Renn is gradually transforming into a facility for artistic pursuits. Renn's band travels the country though he admits the economic downturn has resulted in less traveling; not all bad since it allows more time for songwriting. Renn's life has always revolved around music. His long term goal is to use the school building as an arts center which would incorporate songwriting, performing, recording music, televising music, as well as graphics production and community theatre.

As the FWAC Master Artist for 2011, Horsma will receive a $5,000 cash honorarium, the Gilded Feather Award, a professional digital portfolio and recognition throughout the year. She will also be the charter member of the FWAC Master Artist Guild.

To see videos of the Master Artist nominees, go to www.youtube.com and type "Five Wings Arts Council." To learn more about nominating an artist for the program, go to www.fwac.org and click on "grants."

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