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Wahpeton’s Red Door Art Gallery hosts its first Rural Art Show

Springtime at the Ruddy FarmTravel 45 miles south of Fargo-Moorhead and you will find my treasured hometown of Wahpeton, North Dakota. I have many fond memories there and a little history, too. My grandfather, Frank Benda, owned the historical Opera House building, the Sears building, and the building that housed Benda’s Meat Market. My grandfather died before I was born and the Meat Market was lost to the depression; however, I grew up feeling proud of him because he was known for making the “best polish sausage around”. He would probably roll over in his grave if he knew I stopped eating beef and pork 39 years ago, but that is beside the point. As a result of his ownership of three buildings on Dakota Avenue, there is a large brick on one building that says, “BENDA BLOCK”. Across the street from this landmark is the quaint 1915 National Bank building which has been the home of the Red Door Art Gallery since 2012. It  features original works by Wahpeton-Breckenridge native Fritz Scholder and a variety of works by artists in a variety of mediums in response to the theme of “Rural”.  I have three paintings on display in this exhibit: Snowflake , Springtime at the Ruddy Farm (my aunt and uncle’s farm west of Wahpeton), and The Well House.  Please check out the gallery hours at It is worth the trip!



The Well HouseSnowflake


Combining my loves of nature, art, golf, and teaching

Hawkeye The past month and a half has been an amazing time starting with a visit to Grassy Butte, ND filled with wonderful friendship and hiking in Theodore Roosevelt Park….I took hundreds of photos of bison and birds, such as the red-tailed hawk on the left, and have enough material to last me a few months! I rode in a hot air balloon over the Badlands and took a few more hundred photos. In early October, I had a wonderful and successful Studio Crawl and met so many new friends! The icing on the cake happened last week when I went to the golf destination spot named Streamsong, Florida to teach art lessons to corporate types and their spouses. They were there for a Board retreat and art lessons were a part of the many activities they could select. I was so blessed to work with these fabulous people! I also got to play two rounds of golf there, as the company, Mosaic, owns the golf resort and its thousands of acres of reclaimed mining lands in central Florida. The Mosaic people are exceptional people-so appreciative and willing to learn about sketching and watercolor. The food was amazing, too, and I became a big fan of Chef Mike…so much that I asked him if I could be a , “Mouse in the corner”, and take photos of him and his staff as they prepared for their third banquet that week…he welcomed me and I spent an hour in the kitchen, observing and photographing  the “plating” process…I was floored by the stunning focus shown by the three chefs and three cooks…I will most likely be doing a “Chef Mike” series, as I loved watching his team work like a well-oiled machine…there was no yelling or pressuring one another…it was so quiet this mouse had to be careful not to squeak and distract them. So, the painting continues…….Tomorrow  I go to Wahpeton to teach basic watercolor mixing, sketching, and then on Wednesday, I will teach an all day workshop in Mixed Media collage through the Red Door Art Gallery. If you want to get in to one of these classes, it is not too late! Call the Red Door Art Gallery at 701) 591-1010 or email me on my website and I will make sure I save a spot for you! Bison Magnificence Face of the Mighty Bison