Artists and community members came together for the downtown St. Cloud Art Crawl Friday night. St. Germain Street between 9th and 5th avenue was bustling as art lovers perused galleries, restaurants, and boutiques that were displaying and selling local art. Art Crawl goers were welcomed by businesses with food, coffee, and wine. This was the fourth and final art crawl of 2015, and the calm weather led to a pleasant night for spectators.
A variety of art was displayed during the art crawl. Amy and Steve Zapf showed their custom made canoes, jewelry boxes and other wood workings at the Capitol One Café. Amy said their business came from Steve’s family upbringing of building canoes. Amy didn’t know anything about wood working before marrying Steve but has now been building heart shaped jewelry boxes, suitable for wedding engagements or other occasions.
Retired SCSU professor John Carter displayed his watercolor paintings in the Capitol One Café as well. A pilot who taught in the aviation department, Carter enjoys painting realism paintings like airplanes, and also does abstract works like his painting “Fantasy Forest,” which contained many hidden images like seahorses and a hot air balloon.
In a third floor office space that was previously leased by lawyer and artist Peter Happel Christian showed his abstract art. An SCSU professor, Christian described his art as photography in origin, which then mixes with sculpture and performance. A lot of his work shown involved wooden structures, including “Lumbering Forms”, which was a series of photos involving two pairs of legs that were originally constructed for a table, but Christian later realized the many “hieroglyphics” the shapes could make and realized that was the art piece. Christian said after the photos were taken, the wooden legs were scrapped in a shop, which he thought was the epitome of photography, because the photo’s subject “came and went”.
Christian was a recipient of an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, which gave him the funds to give out free posters of his work, and free stickers that said “Make Saint Weird Cloud”. A lot of Christian’s work came from time spent in places across the United States. His piece “Blood of Kings” was originally a photo of his neighbor in Tucson’s tattooed arm. Christian then transformed that life-size photo onto a sheet of copper which can be used for printmaking. For those wanting to see more of Christian’s art, he will have a show in the Paramount Gallery Vault in January.
Visual art wasn’t the only thing promoted at the art crawl. In the Black Box, a film company called Extending the Link was doing a film showing. Extending the Link, or ETL for short, is a student run company from the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University. Their mantra is “Think globally. Act locally” and they are in the ninth year of making documentaries, according to student Chayce Kenny. Kenny said the company seeks to “extend the link” between issues happening around the globe and in central Minnesota. The next country ETL will be shooting their documentary in will be in Rwanda at the end of December, and the students will connect the subject of women in agriculture from Rwanda to central Minnesota.
There was a plethora of art to see, and crafts and jewelry to buy up and down St. Germain Street. Other artists, like local painter Dan Mondloch, displayed their art in studios below the Paramount Theater. The lack of snow made for a cheery November evening for St. Cloud patrons to absorb local culture and do some holiday shopping as well. Friday evening wrapped up the tenth year for the St. Cloud downtown art crawl, and the next art crawl will be on March 18, 2016.