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Small wonders: Jo Wood’s bead paintings offer a sense of place

Wood art work 2
Blueberries" is what artist Jo Wood calls this bead "painting" on felt. Her work will be on display Aug. 24 through Sept. 15 at the Ripple River Gallery near Bay Lake. Submitted Photo

AITKIN -- Some painters use oil, some use watercolor -- Jo Wood paints with beads.

Ripple River Gallery near Bay Lake will feature Wood’s beadwork beginning Wednesday, Aug. 14, with a reception for the artist from 2-5 p.m. Aug. 24. Wood’s show will continue through Sept. 15.

“I am a bead artist inspired by nature, my sanctuary,” Wood stated in a news release. Wood creates her impressions of nature’s ever-changing patterns, by sewing tiny glass beads on felted wool.

Wood, who lives in Hovland, states, “My ‘paintings’ express my sense of place.”

Living and working in northern Minnesota have given Wood an intimate relationship with the shorelines, forest trails and gardens where “flowers gesture, trees reach and water moves,” the release stated. Through her art Wood shares her connection to nature, celebrating its abundance and conveying qualities of peace and beauty.

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“I delight in botanical elegance, each series of ‘paintings’ is a tribute to the beauty and enchantment of nature,” she stated. “For me, life is tactile and labor intensive … like my beadwork. It is a patient art form. Choosing one bead at a time and stitching up to 200 beads per square inch, it can take months to complete a piece.”

Wood’s bead and fiber landscapes have been exhibited throughout the United States and can be found in the collections of the Minnesota Historical Society in St. Paul and Mayo Clinics in Rochester. Her work has been published in several books and periodicals. She travels to teach bead embroidery workshops both regionally and nationally. She will teach a class Aug. 25 at Ripple River Gallery.

Ripple River Gallery is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday; and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays. For more information on the exhibit or the gallery call 218-678-2575 or e-mail the art center at ripplerivergallery@gmail.com.

Wood art work 1
"Autumn Days" is what artist Jo Wood calls this bead "painting" on felt. Her work will be on display Aug. 24 through Sept. 15 at the Ripple River Gallery near Bay Lake. Submitted Photo

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