Above: A selection of jewelry pieces ©Linda Koutsky (photograph by the artist, ©2009 Linda Koutsky). Fabricated from sterling silver and brass and found objects each piece of jewelry is a one-of-a-kind piece of wearable art containing natural and man-made found objects. Click on the image to see an enlargement.
Minneapolis artist and author Linda Strand Koutsky received the “Minnetonka Center for the Arts 2008 Barbara Lund Emerging Artist Award” for her excellence in fine art jewelry. Her exhibit at the Minnetonka Center for the Arts opens Thursday, April 2, 6 to 9 p.m. (The show runs through May 2.)
If you are interested in jewelry, found objects, Minnesota, or creativity, you really need to come to this show. Linda, a confirmed regionalist, is a friend and inspiration to me. I’ve seen her jewelry in person and the pieces are lovely and inventive. Using natural items and made-made items Linda has created mini-narratives about life and the land and resources in Minnesota. Her design eye and sense of texture, form, and color transform these ordinary bits, which others overlook, into bits of art with emotional impact. She believes “Not only can jewelry be beautiful adornment, it can also be fine art that explores and celebrates our human condition.” Her one-of-a-kind sterling silver and lost wax cast bronze jewelry confirms that.
As a resident of downtown Minneapolis, Linda watched the recovery, clean-up, and construction of the 35W Bridge. Her walks along River Road led to the discovery of small bits of bridge debris left behind by departing construction crews as well as curled paint chips from beams stored along the river that blew into nearby weeds. A section of her upcoming exhibit includes jewelry made from these found objects.
“Minnesota is a great state,” says Linda. “I am proud to have been born here. From Lake Superior’s treasured agates to Itasca State Park’s towering pines from taconite production in our Iron Range to zebra mussels crowding the shores of Lake Pepin, this state has diverse geology, flora, and fauna. Wherever I go, I’m always picking up things and marveling at its beauty. Now that I’m making jewelry I finally have a place to put all that stuff!”
People might recognize Linda from her other pursuits. She is a local book designer, whose enthusiasm for Minnesota resulted in the best-selling books Minnesota Eats Out, Minnesota Vacation Days, and Minnesota State Fair. She was a founding coordinator of the Minnesota Journal Project 2000 in which 46 artists and creative thinkers documented their lives in the first year of the new millennium. The journals are housed in the Minnesota Historical Society. She is an active book artist who teaches at Minnesota Center for Book Arts in downtown Minneapolis. As the author of “The Lunchtime Tourist,” a weekly column that ran for six years in Downtown Journal, Linda expressed her love of the regional experience by identifying and popularizing Minneapolis art and architecture.
If you can’t attend the opening make a point to see the show before it ends on May 2.
Mon. & Fri., 9 am–5 pm; Tue.–Thur., 9 am–9:30 pm; Sat., 9 am–1 pm; closed Sundays.
DIRECTIONS: Take highway 394 west past Wayzata. Exit on 15W.
Follow shoreline of Lake Minnetonka about 3 miles. Turn right on Co. Rd 51 (No. Shore Dr.). Art Center is two blocks on the right.