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Art's Art to be displayed at BreakAway through July 2

Art's Art is a featured artist exhibit on display at BreakAway Arts Cafe through July 2. Art Nordstrom is the artist behind the exhibit. Michelle Wirth / RiverTown Multimedia

The featured artist exhibit at BreakAway Cafe for the month of June is former Hastings High School art teacher Art Nordstrom. Nordstrom's exhibit, called Art's Art, will be on display through July 2. It features 19 oil paintings that Nordstrom has painted within the past ten years.

"We love his paintings and their subject matter," said Mecca Manz, owner of BreakAway Arts.

Nordstrom is part of a painting group that meets at BreakAway once a week to come and paint. Each month, BreakAway Arts & Cafe has been featuring local artists. Manz said that they asked Nordstrom to be a featured artist and he "graciously agreed."

Nordstrom has been painting for what seems like forever, he said. He went to college to do oil paintings and when he had to pick a profession, he decided to become an art teacher. He went to Moorhead State College to become a teacher and took just about every oil painting class he could find. He went on to get his master's degree in Mankato and taught for 35 years. He spent 31 of those years at Hastings High School before retiring in 1997.

Nordstrom said that his favorite thing about oil painting is how easy and flexible it is to do.

"It stays wet; you can fix it, change it and what not," he said. "If you don't want it, let it dry and go over the top."

The paintings on display at BreakAway are all part of Nordstrom's typical style of painting. He said that he is usually pretty realistic and has always used little brushes which results in very intricate and detailed strokes. However, lately he has started practicing with a bigger brush in order to be a little more impressionistic, he said.

Most of the paintings in Nordstrom's collection on display are landscapes. He said that he has been to all the places he painted. There are paintings inspired by North Dakota, Lake Pepin, the Rocky Mountains, Yellowstone National Park and more. He said that he typically takes pictures at the locations and then paints based on the photo he took.

In addition to his landscape paintings, there are a couple paintings of farm animals on display including a pig and a cow. Next on his agenda, he said, is a buffalo painting that will be even larger than the cow.

Michelle Wirth

Michelle Wirth graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2013 with a degree in journalism and web design. She worked as a web content editor for a trade association before coming to the Hastings Star Gazette in 2016.

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