Art of the Garden show runs July 7-Aug. 10

Minnetonka Center for the Arts will celebrate the summer season with its annual Art of the Garden show, which invites guests to an indoor garden featuring works of art and fine craft inspired by or designed for use in the garden.

Mediums represented in the exhibit include painting, photography, sculpture, ceramics and fiber, in a variety of approaches by local artists attempting to capture nature’s beauty.

“In curating the exhibit, I interpreted the garden theme broadly, including everything from images of fallen leaves to depictions of various garden residents such as birds and bugs, in addition to the traditional floral and landscape images one would expect in a garden show,” said Robert Bowman, exhibits director. “Whether subtly realistic, boldly abstract, or playfully funky, each of these artworks has something to say about the cultivated outdoor spaces we enjoy whenever the weather permits – or even when it doesn’t.”

Works featured in the show are by artists from the Lake Minnetonka and Twin Cities area. To get a better idea of what visitors can expect, the Sun Sailor spoke with four artists displaying work in this year’s show.

Minnetonka photographer Anne Groton, who recently began teaching photography composition and design at the art center, has five pieces in this year’s show. On display are two works in Groton’s abstract “Brushed Birch” series, which she said were done through intentional camera movement and a slow shutter speed. Her three other works accepted into the show are composite photographs that incorporate a technique of layering an image of a succulent plant onto a textured background.

“I’ve always been somewhat fascinated with textured walls and streets and the age and history that goes into all of our surroundings,” Groton said. “I’ve always loved taking photographs of those things not knowing what I’d do with them, but I told myself to just keep taking them.”

Groton said she looks forward to the Art of the Garden show every year because it challenges artists to take a new and interesting approach to the nature theme.

“It’s a wonderful show. It’s just very well-loved by the community and all of the people at the art center,” Groton said.

To view Groton’s work, visit

Painter Deb Kirkeeide has four paintings in the show. The Minnetonka artist said oil painting became her preferred medium 12 years ago after a class at the art center.

“I had previously painted in watercolors and acrylic, but I’ve always loved the look of oils. … That’s my medium of choice now,” she said.

Kirkeeide’s artistic talents can also be found in her work as a freelance illustrator and graphic designer and a nearly 20-year career in broadcast design, in which she crafted work for corporate videos and television.

Kirkeeide said the show is one her favorite exhibits that the art center puts on because her art is an expression of the joy that nature brings her.

To view Kirkeeide’s art, visit

Another unique artist featured in this year’s Art of the Garden show is fused-glass artist Trish Gardiner.

Gardiner, who works and teaches kiln-formed glass classes at her home studio in Minnetonka, will have around two dozen glass flowers in this year’s exhibit. She said she encourages buyers to incorporate her glass flower sculptures into their homes however they’d like, whether it’s on a wall in their house or outdoors in their garden.

Gardiner’s connection to the center began 12 years ago when she began taking photography classes. A few years later, she was introduced to the medium of glass art.

“My inspiration for my flowers originally came from my grandmother and helping her in her flower gardens. She really was a big figure in my life growing up and when I make these I feel like I’m staying connected with her spirit in some way,” the artist said.

Gardiner has studied with world-renowned master glass teachers from Ireland and Czech Republic, as well as teachers from New York and Oregon, and became a member and regular contributor to international fused-glass forums.

Gardiner’s work can also be currently found on display at Ridgedale Mall.

View Gardiner’s glass art at

Plymouth artist Linda Kollofski is displaying several works of fabric art. It’s a medium she began exploring after retiring from the business world in 2009. A few years later, she dove into eco-printing, a technique that involves using natural dyes from locally sourced plants to create various colors, patterns and textures on natural fibers such as silk, linen, cotton and wool. The plants are tightly bound into cloth and steamed, creating a permanent transfer of form and pigment from the plants to the fiber. The cloth is then dried, aged, washed and ironed.

“Eco-printing is a fiber art that’s somewhat difficult to find teachers for, so I have learned somewhat on my own from reading books, but also finding instructors around the world,” Kollofski said, adding that she recently took a trip to Spain to study the latest in eco-printing.

Kollofski said she was drawn to the unique art form because it allows her to get out into nature when collecting plant materials   for her work.

“It’s a form of fiber art that allows me to get outside and in nature instead of being in the studio all of the time or behind a sewing machine all of the time. But also, it is one of the few art forms where you are completely surprised every time you start a new piece because there are so many variables that lead to uncertainty that you’re never quite sure what you’re going to get, and I love that element of surprise,” Kollofski said.

View Kollofski’s work online at

If you go:

Art of the Garden

When: July 7-Aug. 10 (opening preview 6-8 p.m. Thursday, July 6)

Where: Laura H. Miles Gallery at the Minnetonka Center for the Arts, 2240 N. Shore Dr., Wayzata

The exhibit is open to the public at no cost, and all artwork will be available for purchase.

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