Art media

Area Art Show top prize goes to Worthington artist with deep Minnesota roots – The Globe

WORTHINGTON – A pair of trucks dig into the northern woods, the sunny face of a sleeping buffalo and a black bear seemingly about to dance – artist Seth Thomas’ paintings show his deep northern Minnesota roots in the forest and to the south on the meadow.

And now those paintings have earned Thomas a Best in Show at the 2022 Area Art Show at the Nobles County Art Center.

“It’s still part-time, something that started out, really, as a hobby,” said Thomas, who grew up in St. James and moved to Worthington in 2014. cars.”

He started painting when he was young, but by then he mainly used watercolors rather than the acrylics he usually uses now. A family friend was a professional local artist, so he took many classes with her, as well as art lessons at school.

“During my teens and early twenties, I didn’t really paint. I just got back to it,” Thomas said. “It’s really good to get back to it.”

His return to painting began in late 2019, and when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Thomas found he was home often and could spend his time painting.

His work tends to spotlight Minnesota, its animals and landscapes, but although he has lived in southern Minnesota all his life, he and his wife enjoyed hiking in northern Minnesota around Lake Superior.

This is where Thomas finds the more common bears, loons and forests in the north.

“Part of what I like to try to do is take something that we’re used to and neglect, like the prairie, and make something special out of it, in a painting,” he said. declared.

Another acrylic painting by Seth Thomas, now on display at the Nobles County Art Center.

Tim Middagh / The Globe

Sometimes Thomas uses reference photos, and other times he works purely from the imagination.

And lately, he’s even received commissions, most often from friends and family, to paint pet portraits. They range from the realistic – a cheerful dog panting above a stand of daisies – to the whimsical – a furry dog ​​wearing a monocle and a starched white collar.

Thomas also offers greeting cards on his website that have a more minimalist look resulting from his only use of black markers and white acrylic markers on the brown cards. Keeping media simple helps images stand out.

And for those who want to create their own art, Thomas also has a few inexpensive coloring pages for sale, which he drew digitally using Adobe Fresco.

For the art exhibition, he brought three acrylic paintings and three drawings in the style of his greeting cards; the piece that won top honors and $125 showed colorful vehicles with the forest all around and a sky lighting up in front.

Seth Thomas' award-winning acrylic painting is now on display at the Nobles County Art Center.
Seth Thomas’ award-winning acrylic painting is now on display at the Nobles County Art Center.

Tim Middagh / The Globe

Thomas said he was very surprised to win the competition, as it was the first art exhibition he remembered attending, and he had never really exhibited his work before either. He congratulated the many other accomplished artists who featured their work in the show and thanked the Art Center for the show, the award and their hard work.

Nineteen artists took part in the exhibition, contributing 74 works, said artistic director Kimberly Kooistra. Many of the show’s awards are funded directly by donors.

Gene Schar Excellence in Painting, Agnes “Bobbie” Alsgaard-Lien, $100; Honorable Mention, John Kolb, $75; Fiber Art, $100, in memory of Lorna James, Sandy Ahlberg; Sculpture, $50, in memory of Tom Ling, Rhonda Fueston; Original illustrated poem, $25, Simon Fraga; Jewelry, $50, sponsored by Johnson Jewelry, Susan Middagh; Mixed Media, $25, sponsored by Serenity Gifts, Adrienne Herbert; Pastel, $100, in memory of Mary Thompson, Linda Ackland-Kolb; Pottery, $50, sponsored by Jean Bunge, Hank Hall; Watercolour, $100, sponsored by Joanne Johns, Destiny Scroggs; and Merits, Mary Earll, Tricia Mikle, Krystl Louwagie, Ellen Baker-Merrigan, Jerry Deuschle and Nancy Jo Hambleton.

The jury art exhibit can be viewed at the Nobles County Art Center, which is open from noon to 4 p.m. weekdays.

More of Thomas’ art can be found on his website,