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IMAGE Art Show 2019


The East Central Regional Arts Council (ECRAC) is proud to honor the award winners of the 32nd annual IMAGE Art Show which opened Saturday, April 27th.

For additional information about the artist in the show, check out the show booklet:


The IMAGE Art Show is an annual event open to any artist residing in Region 7E (the MN counties of Chisago, Kanabec, Isanti, Mille Lacs, and Pine.) The Art Show and the awards honor some of the finest art in the area. The judges for the show were Julie Crabtree and Karen M. Marchese.  They both have a wide range of artistic skills and art show judging experience.  

This year Bethany Whitehead and Becky Franklin served as co-curators for the exhibition and began their work looking at all works of art to assess the colors, subject matter, texture, size to assess how to make the show flow well and look good. Bethany said:  “I dare say that the Image show is the most eclectic group show I have ever seen - and I have put together more than 40 exhibitions in my history of working in the arts. The artists in this region are talented and clearly have appreciation for nature, but also make political statements and have passion for their hobbies, which comes through in their art.”  Indeed, this year there is art made with bacon, pennies, gourds, plastic fish, and teeth, as well as amazing drawings, paintings, photography, sculpture, prints, and more.

A total of 164 artists from the East Central Minnesota region entered this year’s IMAGE Art Show and over 300 people attended the opening event which was held at the ECRAC offices in Braham.

The 2 Judge’s Choice (Best of Show) Awards went to Michelle Ressler of Isanti for “Calm before the storm” and Jake Callahan of Princeton for “Cascade Poetry”. There were also ten Excellence Awards (1st Place) and ten Merit Awards (2nd Place).

2019 Artistic Excellence Awards: Christina Thurston, Onamia; Mike Gainor, Pine City; Cherene Bebeau, Princeton; Charles Jokinen, Cambridge; Claudia Hanson, North Branch; Noah Sikkink, Cambridge; Mike Menasco, North Branch; Tayler Swanson, Scandia; Cindy Fuerstenberg, Pine City; David Spohn, Lindstrom.

2019 Artistic Merit Awards: Leah Marciniak, Mora; Kelli Maag, Ogilvie; Toby Vasquez, Dalbo; Jeff Early, Cambridge; Tommy Thomsen, Mora; MaryAnn Carlson, Rush City; Marie Brown, Grasston; Pamela Daiker, Milaca; Marni Smith, Cambridge; Cheryl White; Onamia.

Purchase Awards were also made and announced during the show opening. ECRAC purchased 5 works of art which now become part of the Council's permanent collection of artwork.  2019 Purchase Awards: Bud Bullivant, Milaca; Betty Carlson, Lindstrom; Michelle Ressler, Isanti; Sue Flanders, Mora; Diana Sill, Isle.

According to ECRAC Executive Director Mary Minnick-Daniels "The IMAGE Art Show keeps improving every year! It is an incredibly vibrant art exhibit and a true celebration of all of the wonderful artists that entered."

UPDATE!!!! Over 601 people attended the show from April 27 to May 4, 2019, and the IMAGE Art Show 2019 Award went to

Mike Menasco for his artwork entitled "A New Chapter in the History of Life".

This art exhibition was made possible by The McKnight Foundation and also by the voters of Minnesota thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Legacy Fund. Thanks also to all that came to support the artists and their work at the 32nd Annual IMAGE Art Show.