The 16th annual Upper Minnesota River Meander Arts Crawl will be held this weekend on October 4, 5 & 6. The Meander is a free self-guided tour featuring 42 artists from 5 counties in western Minnesota. The annual event offers a chance for the public to meet with the region’s top artists in their home studios. Studios will open from noon to 6pm on Friday, October 4th. Studios will reopen from 9am to 6pm on Saturday, and again from 9am to 4pm on Sunday.
The Meander has become a significant economic development event for the region, according to Kristi Fernholz of the Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Commission. Surveys indicate that visitors travel to the region from 12 states and spend money on hotels, restaurants and gas stations. Fernholz noted that total reported art sales in 2018 amounted to $108,108 with average sales per artist exceeding $3,000.
This year’s Meander features four new artists: fine artist Cheryl LeClair Sommer of Dawson; midwest landscape painter Richard R. Krogstad of Ortonville; wood carver Virgil Kruse of Milan; and Patty Kolke of Appleton, who makes functional objects using repurposed instruments.