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Local artist gets two pieces into international juried art exhibit

Judy Anderson and her grandson Jaxon stand next to one of her two pieces she showed at the International Juried Arts in Harmony Exhibit in Elk River, Minn., on Feb. 9. The piece is call “Snap Shot” and was inspired by her grandson. (Submitted photo)

Rural Star Prairie artist Judy Anderson got into making assemblage art more than 30 years ago after lightning hit her home and fried everything inside. When she went to see what was left of the house and its contents, Anderson saw that the various pieces of objects that were melted or destroyed by the light­ning made interesting shapes and thought they might look good if she put them together.

“After the lightning hit the house, I found that there were some really inter­esting parts that looked cool,” Anderson said. “I took those pieces and made them into something really cool. That is where I got my start in assemblage art.”

Assemblage art, which is a form of sculpture comprised of found objects arranged in such a way that they create a piece, is something Anderson has put more and more work into since she retired in 2009. She has created many pieces, including “Blue Mourning Crape” and “Snap Shot.”

“I’m always trying to make new pieces and keep trying to get those pieces into galleries for people to see,” Anderson said. “I’ve entered a lot of contests and put my pieces in exhibits to be judged. The biggest one I have entered so far was one in Maryland.”

Most recently, Anderson was awarded the Wanda Gatzke Memorial award at the International Juried Arts in Harmony Exhibit on Feb. 9, in Elk River, Minn. Both of Anderson’s pieces, “Blue Mourning Crape” and “Snap Shot” were juried into the show. She entered the show after seeing an application online and because her son lives in Elk River.

“I figured that I might as well give it a shot, so I sent my information in and my submission was accepted,” Anderson said. “It is a very detailed process and there were artists from around the world who got pieces into the exhibit. I know there was someone who got a piece in from Singapore and a few from Britain as well.”

More than 650 artists nationally, as well as from around the globe, submitted works to the international exhibit in Elk River, Anderson said. However, only 226 pieces were accepted and 37 pieces received varying monetary awards total­ing $10,450.

“I was really excited to just get two pieces into that exhibition,” Anderson said. “I couldn’t believe it when I found out.”

“Blue Mourning Crape” and “Snap Shot” will be on display at the International Arts in Harmony Exhibit in Elk River through March 27 at the Sherburne County Government Center.

Along with her works making it into art shows and exhibits, Anderson has also had many of her pieces in three dif­ferent publications and gotten several awards for them as well.

“This is the first year that I have tried to submit things farther outside of this area,” Anderson said. “I have two solo shows coming up, including one at Westfields Hospital and the Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson. Those shows will keep me really busy because I’ll be trying to make new pieces to have in those shows.”

Anderson’s pieces will be a part of the Westfields Hospital Exhibit from April 9-July 6, with an Artist’s Reception scheduled for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on April 17. The Phipps Center for the Arts Exhibit runs from Aug. 8 to Sept. 13. An exhibit at the Atrium Gallery at the Bloomington Art Center will showcase Anderson’s art from Sept. 30 to Nov. 14.

To learn more about Anderson and her assemblage art, and to see more exam­ples of her pieces, visit

Jordan Willi
Jordan Willi is a reporter for the New Richmond News. Previously, he worked as a sports reporter at the Worthington Daily Globe in Worthington, Minnesota. He also interned at the Hudson Star Observer for two summers and contributed to the Bison Illustrated sports magazine at North Dakota State University.
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