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Franz Allbert Richter opens 'A Life in Art' Thursday in Madison

The Madison Mercantile will host Franz Allbert Richter's "A Life in Art" exhibition through the month of November. An opening reception will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. Nov. 10 at the Mercantile, 601 First Street, in Madison.

Photo of Franz Allbert Richter with snow covered mountains in the background
Clarkfield artist Franz Allbert Richter will showcase his work with a gallery exhibit in the Madison Mercantile throughout the month of November. Richter, 80, has long been considered one of the most influential artists and historians of the Upper Minnesota River Valley region.
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MADISON — Clarkfield artist Franz Allbert Richter will showcase his work with “A Life in Art” gallery exhibit at the Madison Mercantile, 601 First Street, in Madison. An opening reception will be from 7 to 9 p.m. Nov. 10.

Richter, 80, has long been considered one of the most influential artists and historians of the Upper Minnesota River Valley region.

He grew up on a farm south of Clarkfield and, after graduating from Clarkfield High School in 1960, he moved to the Twin Cities to pursue further education. There he met and collaborated with the likes of Garrison Keillor, Robert Bly and architect Dennis Grebner.

After a stint as a Freedom Rider in the civil rights movement in the south and a visit to San Francisco for the “Summer of Love” in 1967, Richter returned to his home farm to pursue “a life in art.”

Richter is known for his pencil drawings, some of which have been used to illustrate the work of Robert Bly and Bill Holm.

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He was influential in the establishment of Tokheim Stoneware’s first kiln.

He was an early collaborator with rosemaling artist Karen Jenson of Milan and letterpress printer Andy Kahmann of Montevideo.

It was Richter’s sense of design and his extensive networks with creative artists in the region that helped give rise to the establishment of the Meander Upper Minnesota River Arts Crawl in 2004.

Several individuals are lending their framed original art to the exhibit.

Pioneer PBS will be recording the gallery opening for an upcoming story for its Postcards program. The gallery exhibit will remain up for public viewing at the Madison Mercantile throughout the month of November. For more information, contact Kris Shelstad of the Madison Mercantile at 320-361-0006.

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