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Art Lover Day Trip

Let’s start our morning energized and fueled for a day of inspiration, creativity, and carefree creations. Start your morning with a cup of coffee, tea or a muffin from the Reed River Coffee Company located in the historic Reed River Trading Company Building, the former Land O Lakes Creamer. This building is also home of the Polaris Experience Center, a free museum dedicated to the history of Polaris and the Brickhouse Restaurant & Bar. After a tour and a snack, get back in the car and head downtown. 

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Circa 1940

Most shops and businesses open by 10 AM. If you are early, consider spending some time taking a stroll along the Roseau River and enjoy the art on a two-block loop. Park in the City Center lot at the north Roseau River Bridge off of Hwy 11. Here you will see the blacksmith sculpture created by Roseau residents Sue Suess and Joel Miller. They designed and created the metal sculpture outside the Roseau City Center just along the Roseau River. They looked for ways to draw attention to Roseau’s French history. The moose sculpture’s intricate details encompass the rich history of Roseau. They also added an element of mystery. A game of hide and seek if you will. They included a hidden bigfoot in their art. Can you find it?  It’s trickier to find than you might think.  

If you continue south along the paved path, it leads to the riverfront door of the Roseau Public Library. Stop inside for a quick view of the Maggie Adams Exhibit.

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Maggie Adams was a well-known Roseau writer and artist. Her artwork is mostly watercolor or textured pieces of art.  Fourteen of her pieces are hanging in the Roseau Public Library Gallery and are free for viewing. While admiring their vibrant colors and detail, you might notice they look like they came straight from a children’s picture book, and they did. When Maggi Adams died in 2002, Roseau Friends of the Library gathered pieces of the author and artists work “Iggam’s Dreams”. They published the book in 2003. From cats and dogs to lazy farmers, to famous figures such as Cleopatra, Adams brought her varied subjects to life.  Stop to see the works and purchase some replica cards to take home.

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Head back out the door and cross the bridge of the Roseau River. Notice the tall grass along the river’s edge. This is Roseau Grass, and the reason the river was named Roseau River by French settlers. Roseau means reed or grass in French.  

Turn left on this block to see the Veterans Memorial Park and its humbling admiration of Roseau county’s veterans of war. You will notice the eternal flame lamp. Admire this on your way to the Roseau Gazebo. This beautifully crafted structure using Scandinavian design was built without nails holding it together. A traditional element of many Scandinavian architectural designs. On Thursdays all summer long, you will find a live band playing here free for the community to enjoy.  It’s time to circle back and jump in the car and hit Main Street for some shopping.

En Liten and The Bead Gypsy
En Liten and The Bead Gypsy

Rebecca Rosenkrans, known as the Bead Gypsy, has been designing original beaded jewelry for 29 years.  As a bead artist, her work expresses traditional, contemporary, and innovative beadwork. Rebecca’s beadwork includes; handcrafted jewelry using Greek & Italian leather, beads, crafted chain mail, glass, stone, silver, crystal, & vintage materials. Her Scandinavian heritage is also reflected in her work and her shop. It’s rare that you stop in the store and not see the artist working on her latest creation. She loves to talk about jewelry and can tell you about each piece, what inspired it, and where the material was sourced. Before you leave, pick out a special piece of jewelry to treat yourself; her work is a great souvenir of your trip to Roseau.

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The Scandinavian Shop is a destination retail store, offering unique Scandinavian gifts, home goods, and decor. Opened originally by Rebecca and her daughter, this business believes in cultivating community through sharing and celebrating their beloved heritage and traditions.  Here you will find Scandinavian food, décor, and also local artwork in the shop. Pottery, quilted bags, hand-carved cutting boards, and fused glass are just a few of the treasures you can discover at the shop. Becky appreciates art and likes to talk about the craftsmanship of local artists in the area. Join her for Fika, which means coffee, and treats with friends. They Fika all day and are always ready to enjoy a Scandinavian story… or a good ol’ fashioned Ole and Lena joke.”

Modern Materials Quilt Shop

At Modern Materials, there is always an emphasis on fun, camaraderie, and teaching. The walls are lined with the most “modern materials” and the patterns and prints on the bolts can inspire even a non-sewer to become one. On the first Friday of every month, laughter resonates from the sewing floor where quilters sew and share stores until almost midnight. There is no charge for this fun, they only ask that you call to reserve a table, as this is a very popular event.  Partake in classes that cover everything from Beginning Quilt Making, to T-shirt classes, to quilt block of the month clubs and embroidery projects.  Quilts of Valor, missions, homeschoolers and 4-H groups also find quilting purposes here. The owners have a dream of creating a quilters retreat, so they may be offering overnight courses as well. Stop in for a visit, get inspired, and start creating. 

Are you ready to get your hands dirty and start creating? Roseau has a handful of professional potters whose style is as unique as they are. While visiting Roseau you can take a tour of a studio, meet the artist or sign up for your own hand-building and pottery wheel classes. Several of our local artists allow you to explore making art with clay at their relaxing studios. Take home a piece of art to remember your vacation by, or create memories by making your own.

Eclectic, whimsy and playful are all words that describe Pretty Dirt Pottery. Local potter Kate Hammer was raised in Roseau and her work captures her community and her surroundings in a most magical display of color, shape, and expression. She takes nature and brings it to life in a whimsical way making even the annoying Minnesota mosquito more enjoyable. If you have an opportunity to meet Kate while visiting her shop or at a market, you will immediately see the bubbling personality that creates this work. She and her art are a ray of sunshine.

Handmade Creations

At times her pottery reflects her Scandinavian roots, with nordic horses, flags, and words like Fika or hygge. If you do not know what Fika and Hygge mean stop by the EnLiten Svensk shop for conversation over coffee and take part in this comfortable conventionality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being. Everyone can use a little more hygge in their lives.

Kate’s latest collection is a commemoration of her childhood years in Roseau. It’s a series of people, places, and events that have made lasting memories in her life. The work takes you on a journey back in time to the simpler days. She describes the full bike racks that line the entry into the Roseau Outdoor Pool, the taste of hot melted butter at the movie theater, and the ever so iconic Roseau Memorial Hockey Arena and its wooden arches. These are all still fixtures in Roseau, minus the pool, which was destroyed when Roseau flooded in 2001. You can see this collection on display at the Roseau County Fair in July.

Handmade Creations

Kate offers pottery classes at her studio in downtown Roseau. Classes fill quickly so be sure to book in advance. Kate says, “a little dirt can never hurt” and invites you to her studio. To learn more about Pretty Dirt Pottery created by Kate Hammer visit https//prettydirtpottery.com. The link allows you to view her shop and sign up for classes which you should do on your next visit to Roseau. Kate says,” everyone can use a little dirt in their lives.”

Watch Kate at work getting dirty: https://fb.watch/cCtyQbeNZu/

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Black Horse Pottery & Tile is a Minnesota-inspired stoneware business. Owner Karen Engevik is a self-taught artist whose shop is directly next to the family home in rural Roseau. Surrounded by the woods, with dogs, chickens, and horses for companions, the family farm provides a creative habitat for a wonderful balance between family, work, and life.

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When you see Karen’s creations it is no doubt that nature and wildlife is her muse. Wildlife and nature provide stories and vision for her work. Their movement is the core element of Black Horse Pottery and Tile. Karen wants her work to be artistic yet functional. She wants her designs to bring warmth and comfort to a home and be used for everyday life, not just decoration. When she is not creating her next masterpiece, you can find her on the farm, stone mug in hand, sipping coffee and admiring her horses. You can also find her at festivals and shows in MN, ND, and WI. Soon Karen’s daughter Kate will join the company as an independent artist. A schedule for pottery workshops or single lessons is in the making.

Follow Karen’s journey at http://bhorsepottery.com

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River’s Edge Studio is nestled on the bank of the Roseau River in Malung Township, south of Roseau, MN. Artist Janet Johnson finds much inspiration there in the color, lines, and textures of all the natural beauty that surrounds her. Most of the time, you’ll find Janet working in clay, but she also works with many other types of media like glass, painting, drawing, printmaking, jewelry making, and mixed media. She also writes poetry and sometimes incorporates that in her mixed media pieces.

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Janet hosts small art events and art lessons in her studio, and has done larger events at the Malung Community Center or in Roseau at various venues. Her pottery as well as some of her paintings and mixed media pieces have been shown in several gallery events in the region. Her pottery is sold primarily at The Bead Gypsy and Scandinavian Shop in Roseau on the corner of Main Avenue and Center Street, and she does special orders.

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“Being an artist is about looking at the world differently and seeing the beauty and visual drama all around you. It is about being a creative problem solver, and it is about being brave enough to put your feelings on paper or canvas or in clay, and then perhaps sharing it with others. I love every aspect of art!”

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Take home a memory from your next visit to Roseau by buying a handmade item, meeting the artist, and supporting the local community. Roseau is a mecca of artisans whose artistic media is about as diverse and creative as they are. The lessons and events that they offer are the perfect activity for a day out on the town. Gather a few friends and plan your next getaway to Roseau and including booking an art class. Let your creativity flow by creating your own masterpiece at one of their events or private workshops. Not ready to take on the wheel, no problem you can still enjoy the art. Whether you buy pottery or make it, it will serve as a memento of your travels. Come be artsy-fartsy in Roseau.

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In most Folk schools, individual expression and social interaction are developed and supported through classes in music, crafts, nature studies, gardening, cooking, dance, and other expressions of local culture. At the folk school local artists, musicians, and creative community members share their talents as instructors. In Warroad, classes have ranged from Native American beadwork to backyard medicine. To learn more about classes and events visit their website at https://www.folkschoolwarroad.org/

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Warroad Summer Theater has been entertaining this region for over 40 years. The local talent that auditions for the theater is amazing. Shows include hits like Tarzan and Mary Poppins. The shows are performed in the mini-theatre every summer with dinner theatre shows at the Legion and Rock Harbor Lodge at Rocky Point. They are trying to expand beyond the summer months and recently moved one production to the Christmas season. WST has also been doing children’s theatre workshop productions in the mini-theatre under the name of Popcorn Players. Visit their website at www.warroadsummertheater.com

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Minnesota’s northernmost brewery, Lake of the Woods Brewing Company in Warroad, Minnesota is a great spot to have a beverage and a break.  The Warroad brewery is located in a refurbished fire hall and situated right on the river that runs alongside the city’s downtown area. The brewery operates on a custom-made 15-barrel brew system. In Warroad, the ​beer offerings on tap include Sultana Gold, Forgotten Lake, Lakeside Kolsch, Honey Pale Ale, and other seasonal offerings.

Lake of the Woods Brewing Company offers events such as Tuesday Trivia Takeover, growler painting, live music, and board games.  The brewery does not have a kitchen, but they do hosts food trucks onsite over the weekends and encourages patrons to order food from the area’s restaurants.  We highly recommend you try the artisan wood fire pizzas from Nomads Tavern or Vientiane, local Thai cuisine. 

Tours of the brewery are offered by appointment on Friday (4–7 pm) and Saturday (12–7 pm) and cost $10 per person, which includes a pint of your choice of brew. Kick back by the Warroad River with your choice of beverage and talk about the amazing day you just had.  

It’s been a full day, so let’s head to our home for the night and discuss our day in the hotel’s sauna. A very Scandinavian way to relax and unwind.  

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