In Focus: Leech Lake Art League Provides A Creative Space For All
“I really enjoy the comradery of the artists and also the critiques at the end of the, you know, our luncheon,” says Rosemary Gray, the president of the Leech Lake Art League.
Every Thursday, artists of all backgrounds and skill levels gather in the basement of the Legion in Walker. Together they form The Leech Lake Art League. The league was started back in 1963 to give members a safe and fun environment to practice, share, or create something new.
“Right now, I’m just trying to come up with something that is creative and it doesn’t always work, but it doesn’t matter. I have fun with it. I enjoy it and everybody is very supportive of it,” says Alretta Skellenger, a member of the Leech Lake Art League. She adds, “It’s a nice group, and that’s one of the reasons I come is for the social interaction.”
At the Leech Lake Art League, all mediums are welcome from paintings and mosaics to textiles and gourds.
“I’ve really enjoyed seeing all the different mediums that people work with and where they get their inspiration from. There’s a huge variety and the different materials that people work with,” says Aimee Bouchard, the secretary and media chair for the Leech Lake Art League.
Skellenger adds, “If anybody is interested in learning how to do something, anything, as far as art [goes], this is the place. Somebody knows something about everything so it’s a helpful group.”
Learning is a big theme for the League. They even have a library filled with books that you can use as reference in addition to the words you get from your peers.
Gray says, “We critique at the end of our get-togethers, if you want, which is very helpful because we give each other advice on anything from the framing we’re doing to our artwork to the picture itself.”
The League can see up to 30 members at a session. During the winter, it’s a little less. It all depends on how much the members want to participate. For those who are thinking of joining, it’s really easy. Members say the best thing to do is just show up to the Legion on any Thursday between 9:30 in the morning and 2 and maybe bring anything you’re working on along with you.
Bouchard says, “We’re always looking for new members, and you should never be self conscious about where you’re at with your art ability. Everyone’s welcome.”