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7 Artists We’d Like You to Meet

These creatives prove that art adds immeasurable value to one's life


Part of the Vitality Arts Special Report

Whether you talk to an artist who has been creating art for a lifetime or even just a few years, one common thread that you’ll find is passion.

Each of the seven artists we’ve profiled below indicated a strong passion for their art — which ranges from visual to performing arts — and a need to continue to create. We were inspired by all of them, and wanted to share their work and philosophies with you; perhaps their stories will give you the incentive to take up an art, too.

We also are offering the opportunity for one of these artists to be featured in a story on Next Avenue that will be part of our Vitality Arts special report. Please click on the “thumbs up” graphic to indicate the artist you would most like to see in a profile on our site. (And yes, you can give the thumbs up to more than one person!)


Maria V. Peters Bodette

Medium: Watercolor
Website: facebook.com/artstudioon6th

Why do you participate in the arts?
“My paintings reflect my experience of life in Minnesota.  As a teacher, it is my mission to teach students of all ages and abilities to express themselves in all mediums of art. Everything from painting with watercolor to creating art on rocks from Lake Superior. I opened my Art Studio in 1980 to bridge students to the next year of school and at the same time enjoy creating art.  I’ve taught kindergarten- to 100-year-old students to explore their creative expression of art. It has been a path of awe-inspiring experiences for the past 44 years.”

Should Maria be Next Avenue’s featured artist?



Tim Sheie

Medium: Woodcarving
Website: sheiecarvings.blogspot.com

Why do you participate in the arts?
“There’s always been something fascinating — something undeniable, something spiritual — about the creative process. Often it’s been some inspiration from music that is then used to create a design in wood that is, in turn, used in church architecture. The process goes on and on, and I can’t NOT do this.”

Should Tim be Next Avenue’s featured artist?



Bob Canepa

Medium: Photography
Website: bobcanepaphotography.com

Why do you participate in the arts?
“I began photography in 2004, while teaching junior high students, who asked me to photograph groups of them. The moment I picked up the camera I knew this was a part of what I not only wanted to do, but needed to do.”

Should Bob be Next Avenue’s featured artist?



Wendy Lane

Medium: Multimedia
Website: mnartists.org/wendylaneartist

Why do you participate in the arts?
I am a visual artist and writer, continually exploring my creativity in different materials and processes. I received my MFA degree from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.  Prior to my retirement from a career in human resources, I exhibited my art work, taught classes in pastel painting and held residencies at a national park and wildlife refuge. I am enamored with landscape and the natural world, and I am currently exploring this subject matter in felting, painting, poetry and memoir.

Should Wendy be Next Avenue’s featured artist?



Bruce Fraser

Medium: Clay
Website: etsy.com/shop/EarthWindStoneware

Why do you participate in the arts?
“I got lucky. I came to art late in life, around 50. Everything just came together for me, all the lines finally made sense. I just love the headspace I get in when working with clay.”

Should Bruce be Next Avenue’s featured artist?



Ariane Khalfa

Medium: Multimedia
Website: facebook.com/ariane.khalfaere

Why do you participate in the arts?
“When I think about my paintings, it’s like a reassuring presence… and if I draw, it’s over words over time, as I speak… I am letting myself go, but it’s still the same obsession: faces, body, graphics repeats themselves to infinity, drawings or embroidered, carved… and as if to fill something in me, they go out there… It’s feathers and a birdsong, decoration, and I want to give my strength and my energy: to dance, to give birth, to run, to strut me…”

Should Ariane be Next Avenue’s featured artist?



Dennis Kinsey

Medium: Music
Website: denniskinsey.weebly.com

Why do you participate in the arts?
“The three most important things in my life are Family, Art and Music (F.A.M.). Everything else falls behind. I’ve been playing guitar and writing songs since age 7. I’ve also been painting for the last 10 years. It is liberating. More recently, I started writing Haiku poems. Art and music enhance life. Participate.”

Dennis Kinsey’s poem was inspiration for this blues festival poster

Should Dennis be Next Avenue’s featured artist?

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