Northwoods Art & Book Festival was a huge success!

All of us from the Northwoods Arts Council want to thank everyone of you who crossed our entrance into a festive day! We are so excited to tell you that we had record breaking attendance with a day that summer was named after…Perfect! We had some very talented artists and renowned authors that attended our event on Saturday. Although we do not judge the authors at this event, we do have awards for our artists. Here are judges Sharon Peterson and Chelsey Wellsted’s winners:

Best of Show

  • 1st Place - Pat Lintner

  • 2nd Place - Emily Annabelle

Most Creative

  • 1st Place - Tin Cat Studio - Lisa and Randy Lee

  • 2nd Place - Creative Nutworks - Albert Tanko

Spirit of the North

  • 1st Place - Bird Brain Birdhouse - Barry Nelson

  • 2nd Place - Karen Spotts - Pyrography (woodburning by hand) Nature Themes (not pictured)

Right to left: Barry Nelson, Pat Lintner, Lisa and Randy Lee, Emily Annabelle not pictured Karen Spotts

Right to left: Barry Nelson, Pat Lintner, Lisa and Randy Lee, Emily Annabelle not pictured Karen Spotts


We were able to catch Karen Spotts after the first round of pictures and had her pose with Pat Lintner for another winning picture! Thank you to you all-Such a fun day!

Welcome Tin Cat Studio!

Tin Cat Studio is comprised of husband and wife team Randy & Lisa, who live amongst the corn and hayfields outside of Luck, WI, along with 7 cats and 4 dogs. May-Oct they can be found at their summer home which consists of a white tent at juried Fine Art Shows throughout the region. 

 Randy‘s photographic interests include old barns, trees, rusty cars, abandoned farms and windmills, which are found throughout his body of work. Lisa captures nature’s beauty through macro photography: finding the tiny, little details in the world around us fascinating and a source of joy—great beauty found within a tiny little space.

 Their style can be described as impressionistic photography. Handmade custom frames encase most of their current body of work. Reclaimed barn wood, metal and found objects make up these pieces, creating individual and unique pieces of art. You can find oodles of more information on their website at

Meet S. S. Baits and your next lure!


The Stennes Sisters, Erica and Shanna have created the company S.S. Baits. They have lived in the MN North woods their entire lives. Growing up in a rural area, on a lake, ensured plenty of time on the water. As children many of our summer days were spent preening and modifying their tackle to better catch the elusive monsters of the lake. As adults we developed and expanded our skills to create one-of-a-kind lures that the fish cannot resist.



Historical Romance Writer - Rosemary Vaughn

Rosemary Vaughn’s recently released novel Penny for Your Thoughts is set mainly on the Canadian prairies. This historical romance covering several decades follows the life of Penny Ryan, beginning with her father’s life during the Depression and WWII. Growing up and living in the fictional town of Crocus Plains, Penny’s life interacts with Sheryl, Libby and Corbin, characters from Vaughn’s award-winning debut novel Love on the Misty Isles, making the novel a prequel as well as a sequel. Penny encounters opportunities for love, but it never lasts. Will Penny’s life story reconnect her with early friendships and find true love? Will her story return the reader to the Misty Isles? Readers who have urged Vaughn for this second book will discover the answers by reading it. Both books will be available at the Festival. The author is looking forward to the event as it will be the third festival in which she has participated and enjoyed. 

 Born and raised on the Canadian prairies, Rosemary and her family immigrated to North Dakota in the mid 1970s. The settings of the novels remain in Canada, indicating that you can take the girl out of Canada, but you can’t take Canada out of the girl. A former high school English teacher and professor of Teacher Education at UND, she has drawn on her experience in education, living on the remote islands of Haida Gwaii (the Misty Isles), and growing up on the Canadian prairies to bring authenticity to her novels. Retired, she and her husband spend summers in Minnesota lake country and winters in Florida, thus she has adopted the title “Pine to Palm Writer.” Readers can visit Vaughn on her website at or Facebook author page at

Welcome Dick and Sandy Pullen and their beautiful pottery!

For more than fifty years, Dick Pullen has been producing unique and functional works of art in clay. His early efforts in clay were driven by teaching and sharing his passion with students in his classroom in public school. Dick was born and raised in Hutchinson, MN. He discovered pottery when he attended Mankato State College now known as Minnesota State Mankato. During his orientation he was asked what he was majoring in and he said he wanted to be a Physical Education teacher and coach wrestling. He was advised to also seek another area of concentration because Physical Education. Teachers and coaches were a dime a dozen. So, having always loved drawing and painting he decided to also major in Art Education which lead him to the first required basic ceramic class. From there, as with so many, the clay got under his fingernails and changed his life. Dick taught both P.E. and Art for a few years in St. Michael, MN until the school got big enough that he had to choose between the two disciplines. He chose Art but continued his love for athletics by coaching many sports during his thirty-four years of public-school teaching. He also taught in Monticello, MN.

Dick and Sandy retired from teaching in 2001 and built a log home in Longville, MN. It was there that a friend who was involved in starting an art crawl in the Longville and Hackensack area needed a potter for crawl. His friend came over and wired the kiln and that started the pottery art show circuit for the Pullen’s. In 2007, Dick and Sandy moved to Mille Lacs Lake and built a studio at their home. While in the Isle area they have worked with the 21st Century Education grant teaching after school art

classes in the Isle and Onamia School Districts. Sandy uses her art skills doing the slab work and glazing while Dick works on the wheel. Together they continue to grow and experiment with clay. They very much enjoy the many friends they meet along the way.

Artwoods invites you to "Come and sit and visit at the Northwoods Art & Book Festival'


 “We want to help people enjoy, respect and protect the beauty of the woods, water and wildlife all around us,” says Becky and Bob Seemann of Artwoods.  "This inspires us to create our nature-oriented silver jewelry and rustic furniture and accessories to share with other lake folks.  There are endless ideas for creativity in the forests and lakes — leaves, trees, unique stones and animals.  Our name Artwoods simply means that we make art in the woods of northern Minnesota.  We give 10 percent of net profits to support environmental organizations and want to help people understand that it’s up to all of us to preserve it for future generations."

 “We want to help people enjoy, respect and protect the beauty of the woods, water and wildlife all around us,” says Becky and Bob Seemann of Artwoods.  "This inspires us to create our nature-oriented silver jewelry and rustic furniture and accessories to share with other lake folks.  There are endless ideas for creativity in the forests and lakes — leaves, trees, unique stones and animals.  Our name Artwoods simply means that we make art in the woods of northern Minnesota.  We give 10 percent of net profits to support environmental organizations and want to help people understand that it’s up to all of us to preserve it for future generations."


Meet Jill and Deane Johnson August 10 in the Hackensack Community Building

Jill grew up in Strandquist, population 69, and Karlstad, population 760, two small towns in Minnesota.  When her father returned from a 50th class reunion for the first class he taught in Strandquist, he commented that “all the tiny towns would be gone in a few years.”   Could it be true that our childhood towns would disappear forever?  Jill and her husband Deane began a journey across Minnesota to document and photograph our state’s smallest incorporated cities with a population around 100.

From St. Vincent, population 64, in the farthest northwest corner of the state to Whalan, population 63, in southeastern Minnesota, Little Minnesota:  100 Towns Around 100 chronicles the history of white settlement in each town, and highlights points of interest for the curious traveler.  Following the arrival of James Hill’s Great Northern Railroad, settlers arrived in remote Little Minnesota and developed beautiful farms, churches and thriving business districts.  Annual festivals, music, dancing and baseball were a major part of their lives.  Many citizens went on to achieve national recognition in politics and government.

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Astonished at the number of men who died in war from Little Minnesota, the author included a list of 335 men who died from all the small towns.  A second book, Little Minnesota in World War II, tells the stories of 140 men.

In 2001, Jill opened an independent bookstore, Beagle Books, in downtown Park Rapids.  She is a 1974 graduate of the University of North Dakota and has worked as a physical therapist until 2015. 


Jill lives with her husband Deane, photographer for Little Minnesota, live in Park Rapids on the road to Itasca State Park.

 Books in print:

Little Minnesota:  100 Towns Around 100.  By Jill Johnson, Adventure Publications ISBN:  978-1-59193-319-9.

Best of Itasca State Park by Deane Johnson. Adventure Publications, May 2014.

Little Minnesota in World War II:  The Stories Behind 140 Fallen Heroes from Minnesota’s Littlest Towns by Jill Johnson and Deane Johnson, Adventure Publications September 2017.

Tabula Rasa Furnishings and Décor

“My name is Colin, I am a father, husband, published author, contractor, custom furniture builder and entrepreneur. My passion for building can be tracked all the way back to my early teen years where I would remodel my bedroom every six or so months, to my parents’ dismay and I’ve been on the construction path ever since, one way or another.

 Outside of business I’m committed to my family. Our main goal in the next few years is to have a self-sustaining home and lifestyle fueled by our in success in authored books and exclusive resorts in the back waters of beautiful mid-Minnesota.

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Meet internationally bestselling author Carissa Andrews

"An author emerges from the depths of Minnesotan waters. Sci-fi/Fantasy is my pen of choice."

Carissa Andrews is an internationally bestselling author from central Minnesota who writes a combination of science fiction, fantasy, and dystopia. As an expert in independent publishing and audiobook production, Carissa continually writes and publishes books readers of all ages enjoy. Her plans for 2019 include publication of AwakeningThe Windhaven Witches Series, as well as taking part in an upcoming anthology Playing with Fire. Her goal is to become a USA Today or NYT Bestselling author by end of 2020. As a publishing powerhouse, she keeps sane by chilling with her husband, five kids, and two husky puppies. She also plays with art in its various forms, and seeks out mysteries of the ages.


Welcome back Barbara Schlichting!

Barbara is the author of the White House Dollhouse mystery series, historical fiction as well as picture books and poetry. She has several short stories published. Originally from Minneapolis, she and her family moved further north to Bemidji, MN.

Barbara’s newest book, THE BROKEN CIRCLE, is about the renewal of three childhood friendships. It’s written from the viewpoint of two sixtyish year-old women. Together they seek acceptance, love, hope, and happiness as they look ahead to the next excerpt in their lives. While doing so, they realize that a friend who had been abducted during their senior year of high school, was never found. Together they are able to bring a closure to the family as well as themselves, allowing them to start afresh in their relationships.

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Welcome Mike Lein!

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Mike Lein successfully published over 50 non-fiction pieces in magazines and journals before moving on to book publishing. His first two books – Firewood Happens – Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness in Minnesota’s Northwoods and Down at the Dock – More Stories of the Good Life in the Northwoods scored back-to-back First Place Awards for Humor from the Midwest Independent Publishing Association. A comment from one judge says it all – “This book belongs in every cabin in Minnesota!”

The Crooked lake Chronicles – Mostly True Stories of Life Up North continues this series with more lightly embellished tales of the things that happen, the people you meet, and the struggles with Mother Nature that occur when you step out and enjoy the simple life in the Great Outdoors.

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Meet national best-selling author Christine Husom!

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Christine Husom is a national best-selling author from Buffalo. She finds the cold, crisp winters clear the cobwebs and encourage her to write. Husom pens the Winnebago County Mysteries, and the Snow Globe Shop Mysteries where the bad guys demonstrate not everyone is “Minnesota nice.” She has stories in six anthologies and co-edited A Festival of Crime. Her latest titles are Firesetter in Blackwood Township and Frosty The Dead Man. Husom served with the Wright County Sheriff, and is currently a County Commissioner. She’s a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in

Christine will be presenting with the Sisters in Crime Twin City Chapter at 11 AM in the UCC Sanctuary Murder She Writes Again and Again.

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Always a favorite -Barbara Robertson

I've started to make some cluster pendants. They are so much fun to make but do take a while!!! I still make my metal clay charms for necklaces or bracelets or special-order lake charms. Then there's a lot of silver and copper jewelry, a variety of prices. Rings galore too!

 Barbara Robertson

Emily Koehler - Printmaker

Silence Waits

Silence Waits

"When asked how long I’ve been making prints, I stumble. The easiest answer is since I was thirteen, when a family friend invited me to her print studio. It was certainly from that experience that I fell in love with printmaking, but that doesn’t completely answer the question. Even as a baby, I was fascinated by the impression my hands made in wet beach sand, the intricate lines that appeared when I pressed a paint covered thumb onto paper. In my earliest art classes, I scratched images into foam plates and printed them like stamps. How long have I been making prints? Well, forever… that is to say, from my earliest memories. In every print ever made, there is a history of process, a story told through impression. The grain of the wood or the bevel of the copper translate into paper something of their essence where wood becomes image, metal becomes paper, stone becomes print. It is in this transmutation of properties that my love of printmaking lies. Just as the mechanisms of printmaking guide my hand, my heart is inspired by the wonder of cycles and processes in nature. The marrying of these two passions, has informed my art as I seek to explore the intersection of humanity and nature in a world where nothing is untouched by man."

Emily Gray Koehler was born and raised in Traverse City, MI. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Printmaking from Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, MI in 2006. After relocating to Minnesota in 2008, she opened her own print studio in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul metropolitan area and is now currently located in the Thorp Building in NE Minneapolis. Koehler’s work is represented in galleries throughout the Upper Midwest and may be found in public and private collections in the United States and Northern Europe.

Wendy Hightshoe piques our curiosity with her fun sculptures-

Jazzy Junque creations are welded art made from old rusty metal.  I love the hunt, searching for items and shapes that I can weld together and create garden and home décor.  Although I love creating the sculptures, I enjoy seeing people’s reactions and watching them as they try to figure out what was used to create the sculpture.  Most of my sculptures are from farm equipment, auto parts, tools, and chains. 

Meet Anthony Swann

Anthony Swann grew up in Cross lake Minnesota. After attending college he lived in Minneapolis where he co-founded a jazz coffeehouse. He has lived in San Francisco and Las Vegas as well as long stints in Mexico and Brazil. His book of poems, "Paint With Words", (2009), was preceded by his CD poetry collection "The Kali-Yuga Rag”. His novel "To Search The Night”, a jazz novel, came out in 2018 with a favorable Kirkus review and is available on-line. He now lives and is active in the vibrant arts community of the city of Bemidji in Northern Minnesota. Anthony's poetry appeared in 'Thirty-Three Minnesota Poets" and he has read his poems at The University of Minnesota, Bemidji State University, The Loft and many coffee houses. In 2006 he was invited to read at The Palace of The Legion of Honor, in San Francisco.