The wide-ranging talents of local artists are currently on display as part of the annual Student Show at Minnetonka Center for the Arts.

Each year, the art center invites its students to submit work in a variety of media to show their creativity and skills in a professional gallery.

One of the many students participating in this year’s show is Wayzata resident Katharine Robinson, who has three watercolor paintings on display at the art center – one in the Student Show and two in the Contemporary American Botanicals exhibit open in the Murphy Room.

The Sun Sailor recently caught up with Robinson to discuss her artwork and her time spent at Minnetonka Center for the Arts:

Question: How long have you lived in Wayzata?

Robinson: I moved to Wayzata six years ago. I instantly fell in love with this walkable lakeside town filled with interesting shops and great restaurants.

Q: Did you grow up in the area?

Robinson: I did not grow up here in Minnesota. It is my adopted state – a perfect home for an artist, filled with abundant natural beauty. There is no end to the subject matter here in this lovely state.

Q: Is this the first year you’ve displayed work in the Student Show?

Robinson: This is the first time I have entered the Student Show at the Minnetonka Center for Arts, although I have been in several of their juried shows through the years.

Q: You have three watercolor paintings currently on display at the art center. How long have you been working in that medium?

Robinson: I have been painting in watercolor since 1995, when I first began taking classes at the art center. I have been fortunate to have had excellent instructors in my classes there. Suz Galloway teaches both Contemporary Botanical Watercolors and The Basics of Watercolor and several other classes. Catherine Hearding is also a wonderful watercolor instructor who teaches a wide range of different classes. There is truly something there for anyone interested in art.

Q: Are you planning to try working in any other mediums?

Robinson: It is my only medium except for some drawing, which is essential to creating a fine painting. ... Watercolor has a lucid transparency that has become a great passion of mine.

Q: What kinds of scenes do you typically paint? All they all based in nature?

Robinson: I typically paint botanicals, which includes all plant life. Although the exactness and skill needed for this type of painting often leads me into doing more ‘loose’ paintings too. This might include landscapes and some fun pieces.

Q: What advice would you give someone who’s interested in getting into watercolor painting?

Robinson: Before I began to paint, I took a drawing class at the art center. I do believe you need a good drawing to begin a fine painting. Also, the more you do it, the better you will become. Most of all, do not be afraid. Have fun with the process.

Q: What classes are you taking at the art center?

Robinson: I am presently taking Contemporary Botanicals and Continuing Watercolor at the art center. There are also many workshops offered at the art center that I take from time to time.

Q: What makes the Student Show a unique exhibit for the art center?

Robinson: The Student Show is a great showcase for all the artists at the center to display their art, whether they are a beginner or have been involved in art for years. I believe this is one of finest shows they have had at the center.

Q: Anything else you’d like readers to know about you or your art?

Robinson: I have also been fortunate to have my paintings in shows at the Watercolor Society of Minnesota, the Great River Chapter of Botanical Art and am currently working with the arboretum on a flora and fauna project.

The Student Show is free to attend and runs through Saturday, March 5, in the art center’s Laura H. Miles Gallery, 2240 North Shore Dr., Wayzata.

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