NorthStar Watermedia History

By BARBARA PARISIEN

Founded in 1975, Northstar Watercolor Society, now known at NorthStar Watermedia Society, celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2015. Several of its founders (pictured below) are still active and contributing members. The organization kicked off its anniversary year celebration by hosting its first annual national watermedia show at Hopkins Center for the Arts in September and October, 2015. Founding members will be honored at the holiday meeting/anniversary celebration on December 17, 2015.

A timeline of major events in the history of NorthStar is also featured below. (Click on the photos to make them as large as your screen will allow!)

IMG_0002IMG_0004Photo left: Judy Blain called together a meeting in 1975 to organize a watercolor society. She served as NorthStar president 5 times: 1977-78, 1978-79, 1982-83,1995-96, 1996-97.

Photo right: Nels Femrite has been a member of NorthStar since the beginning years. He took the workshop with Zoltan Szabo in 1976. Following the workshop, Szabo sent a painting that he had done in Stillwater. Nels won the painting which hangs in his home today. He was NorthStar president in 1993-94 and 1994-95.

Photo below left: Marian Wolters attended the first NorthStar workshop and joined the society the following year, 1976. She was on the board from the mid 1980’s until IMG_00082010 and served in “every position except president.” She was newsletter editor three times and hospitality chair for many years. She was one of the original planners of Art on a Line.

Photo below: Barb Lundell was very active in the early years of NorthStar.

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Photo right: Frank Zeller was an early member of NorthStar and posed as the model for Zoltan Szabo’s painting in the 1976 workshop. Zeller was president of NorthStar in 1997-98 and 1998-99. He continues to be an active member of the group and handles the video projection at each meeting.
IMG_0011Photo above: Stuart Botten was the first president of NorthStar.

Photo right: Jon Arfstrom was an early active member of NorthStar.

IMG_0009Photo left: Plein air painting in the early days of NorthStar. If anyone can identify these people, please let us know!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NorthStar Timeline 1975 – 2015

1975 July 8 Judy Blain calls to order a meeting to organize a watercolor society. Dues to be $5 a year. “People attending the meeting suggested the following goals
for the association: conduct only enough meetings each year to enable the club to survive, publish an official club periodical, sponsor workshops by competent
watercolor artists, hold watercolor shows, and endeavor to obtain support from business and industry to finance shows and awards. We were admonished
to guard against the organization’s becoming involved in red tape and business matters to the detriment of art. The emphasis is to be on painting and
learning and communication with other watercolorists.” (from the archives)

August 20 A temporary board meets and draws up bylaws. Stuart Botten is the first president. Judy Blain remembers that originally the name was to be
“Midwest Watercolor Society.” She was in a workshop with a woman in northern Minnesota who said that her group was using that name and “the stationery is
already printed.” Consequently, the name, “Northstar Watercolor Society” was agreed upon. (from the archives)
Newsletter was“NWS News” – There were 50 paid members that first year.

1976 First general meeting held at Minnesota Federal Savings and Loan
Spring workshop with Zoltan Szabo, fall workshop with Milford Zornes
First membership list – 95 members

1977 Bylaws adopted and filed.
First Annual Membership Exhibit held at TCF Atrium Gallery (juror Cheng-Khee Chee)
Meetings held at Birchwood Village Town Hall

1978 Meetings and Milford Zornes workshop held at Aldernon Hall, U of M

1981 Meetings held at McNeal Hall, U of M

1980 173 paid members

1985 Special meeting at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts

1986 Joint meeting with Twin Cities Watercolor Society (became Minnesota Watercolor Society) at Edina Community Center

1987 Meetings held at Apache Plaza (and for many years)

1989 Joint meeting with Twin City Watercolor Society in Edina

1990 Meetings held at the Humphrey Job Corps Center and Silver Lake Camp and Conference Center
Newsletter name changes from “NWS News” to “Watercolorist”

1991 Meetings held at the Shoreview Community Center

1992 Milford Zornes workshop

1993 Member show at Lakewood Community College

1994 “Art Explosion” event from 9 – 3 at NE Metro Technical College, demos and bag lunch

1995 Workshops with Cheng-Khee Chee in May and Tony Couch in October
“Bring a Painting” is initiated

1996 Meetings held at Centennial United Methodist Church (This continued until 2008)
Workshop in April with Stephen Quiller and in May with Frank Webb

2000 Fall Show at Century College (This location until 2012)
Workshop with Tony Van Hasselt
“Bring a Painting” is now called “Peer Voting.

2001 Live and Silent Auction of paintings for Red Cross Disaster Relief following September 11 attack

2002 “Clothes Line Show” is considered, postponed to the following year
Workshop with Eric Weigardt (April) as well as with Skip Lawrence (October)

2003 FIRST ART ON A LINE (“Clothes Line Show”) chaired by Marian Wolters and Patty Healy
Workshop with Alvaro Castagnet

2004 Workshop with Jean Grastorf as well as with Arne Westerman
Northstar website is initiated.

2005 Workshop with Frank Webb as well as with Carla O”Connor and Robert Burridge

2006 1st VISIONING meeting to examine the future of NWS
Futurist position created
Decision to drop the paper newsletter and begin communication primarily by email and website

2007 Paper newsletter replaced by electronic newsletter; website is launched

2008 Meetings begin to be held in the Rose Room, Roseville Skating Center (current meeting location)

2011 “Artists for Abundance” sale to benefit the food shelves

2012 2nd VISIONING meeting
Name changes from Northstar Watercolor Society to NorthStar Watermedia Society
Possibility of a national juried exhibition is discussed

2014 Board passes resolution to sponsor a national show.
Year-round meetings begin.

2015 40TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION OF NORTHSTAR
FIRST NATIONAL SHOW (Hopkins Center for the Arts)
Art on a Line name changes to Artists’ Market