Crayons were my first love; I remember the smell of the cardboard box with all the colorful specks on the inside. Growing up in Chicago, I made a lot of drawings that my parents dated and filed in the important place where grownups kept their things. I won a costume contest at Girl Scout camp because I remembered and drew the shape of the label of the Heinz ketchup bottle, me with the red outfit, my tent-mate with the mustard-yellow.
I first encountered woodcuts as a young art student in Sarasota Florida, at New College and the Ringling School of Art. One of the first ever exhibits of the northern Canadian Inuit stone cut prints was on display at the Ringling Museum of Art, along with the grand Reubens paintings and the full-size replica of Michaelangelo's David. Twenty-five years later I traveled to the workshop on Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic to see the stonecutting in progress.
Bread & Puppet Theater came through Sarasota in those early years. I was overwhelmed by the rough power of street theater and larger-than-life paper mache characters. The show was a Vietnam War protest.
Between then and now, my three boys grew up to have adventuresome lives and pursuits and children. I still live on the family homestead near Grand Marais, Minnesota, watching the horses and chickens and the garden grow. I’ve moved the studio into town, tucked into a former historic Lutheran church with plenty of room for the presses and woodblock prints and books, and to build and store the big puppets for our annual community Solstice pageants.
I like what I do.
Betsy Bowen StudioGrand Marais, MN - Fall Hours & Special Events
Gallery hours through October 28th are daily from 11am - 5pm.
We'll have extended hours, from 10am - 5pm, for the Art Along the Lake Fall Studio Tour, September 29 - October 8.
Special Tour Events:
Woodcut printmaking demos by Betsy Bowen, most days throughout the tour.
In-Studio oil painting by Heidi Sobanja, most afternoons.
Hand-made tile demos by Melissa Wickwire, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, 10 -5.
In-Studio visit with photographer Travis Novitsky, Saturday, Sept. 30 from 11 - 2.
In-Studio visit with potter Fritz Lehmberg, October 6, 7, 8
What's Upstairs? Studios will be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, October 6 -8, including a woodturning demonstration with Angela Robins on Saturday, October 6th from 2 - 5pm.
Betsy Bowen Gallery is the best place to find rare and exclusive woodcuts by Betsy, signed books, calendars, cards, local pottery and lots more.
We are also the home of Stephan Hoglund Borderlands Gallery, where you will find art jewelry made from local gemstones as well as portrait and wedding photography.
Upstairs you can find the working studios of Wickwire Clay Works, handmade tile and custom installations by Melissa Wickwire. http://www.wickwireclayworks.com and woodenware by Jim Sannerud. Upstairs studios don't keep regular open hours, but the artists' work is available in the downstairs Gallery.
Congratulations to One North Star! Winner of the Northeastern Minnesota Book Award for Children's Literature as well as winner of the 2017 Riverby Award, given by the John Burroughs Association for exceptional natural history writing for young readers. Hamline University's online journal, Bookology spoke with Betsy, Phyllis Root and Beckie Prange, about their collaboration on the award-winning children's book.
Betsy's woodcuts and paintings are on view at Lanesboro Arts as part of her solo show, "Homage to the Home Town." The exhibit opens on August 12th, 2017. For more details, please follow the link to the Lanesboro Arts exhibit page.
2018 Calendars are a hot item! Follow the link to woodcut.com and place your order on line.