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2010 Meander

APPLETON -- Chainsaw artists Jarrett and Jordan Dahl are among several new artists joining the 2010 Meander Arts Crawl this weekend.

The annual event is a free, self-guided tour of artists' studios featuring 45 local artists from the Upper Minnesota River Valley.

The iconic blue iron bridge spanning Lac qui Parle Lake near Milan is the symbol for the 2010 Meander Arts Crawl, thanks to artwork created by this year's featured artist Lucy Tokheim of rural Dawson.

Tokheim's portrayal of the bridge was inspired by the internationally acclaimed writer Robert Bly's poem "Driving Toward the Lac qui Parle River" penned while he lived on his family farm near Madison in the early 1960s.

Tokheim has been working as a visual artist through the mediums of stoneware and paintings for more than 35 years. Visitors to the gallery operated by Lucy and her husband, Gene Tokheim, can experience a world class art studio featuring hundreds of wheel-thrown pots and many of Lucy's paintings. Recently, one of Lucy's paintings was chosen for inclusion in the Women's Art Registry of Minnesota Juried Member Show.

"Lucy's artistic vision has been a driving force in the evolution of the Meander," according to Kristi Fernholz, an artist and planner with the Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Commission who helps coordinate the annual event. "She has been a consistent voice in keeping the Meander a focused, high quality, artist-managed event."

The Dahl brothers and new artists to the Meander Julie Berndt and Kevin Lohse will be exhibiting their sculptures at the Lac qui Parle Valley Vineyards along the Lac qui Parle River located near the Tokheim Stoneware Gallery.

Also new to the Meander this year is painter Beth Brouwer, the first Meander artist from the town of Hanley Falls along the Yellow Medicine River. Deb Larson will be exhibiting her paintings at Java Jules Bistro & Café in Ortonville.

Also new to the Meander this year are literary events paying tribute to award-winning writer Brent Olson of Big Stone County. Olson was selected as the Meander's "Literary Tributary" Artist and will be reading selections from his book "Papa: Figuring Out What Matters" throughout the weekend. For more information on specific times for Olson's readings visit

The 2010 Meander continues the tradition of highlighting regional food and music through a kick-off celebration at the Community Center in Milan on Friday night and through a concert with Neal and Leandra in Dawson at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Memorial Auditorium in Dawson.

For a unique "sense of place" experience, make plans for this weekend's Meander by visiting to see a map of the studio locations.

Meander hours are 2 to 6 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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