Katherine Seger still finds inspiration in the landscapes and landmarks of Eden Prairie, the community she has called home for more than 20 years. From the big lawn chair to the city airport scenery and the historic Goodrich-Ramus Barn, there aren’t many notorious Eden Prairie locations Seger (katherineseger.com) hasn’t painted.
The professional painter and art teacher has created a body of oil paintings around local iconic spots and scenery to pay homage to the burgeoning arts community that has evolved much like her own artistic journey over the years. “We have really come a long way from the small display of local art in the City Center more than a decade ago,” says Seger of the Art on City Walls ongoing exhibit that started in 1980.
When she first started showing her work there, Seger was a stay-at-home mom who only painted as a hobby. Now she is a featured professional artist at community juried shows like the annual Arts Crawl and Arts in the Park and teaches drawing and painting classes at the Eden Prairie Art Center.
The family of Eden Prairie’s Roger Sampson donated the Art Center to the city in 2008, and the facility has become the gift that keeps on giving to the community. “With the addition of a building that we can kind of use as a home base, and my position as coordinator to be a voice and a champion for arts in the community, we can provide more resources and networks for art to grow,” says Lindsey Danhauser, the Eden Prairie Art Center Recreation Coordinator.
Three years ago, the Eden Prairie Arts and Culture Commission started the annual Art Crawl as a way for people to get a glimpse of artists in their work environment and the juried event has expanded every year. This month, community members will gain access into the homes of more than a dozen artists for the Eden Prairie event on September 24 and 25. From jewelers and painters to sculptors and fiber artists, Danhauser is excited about the variety of artists on display. Art crawlers can pick up maps to the participating artists’ studios through the Art Center.
For the past two years, Seger has opened up her home to the public for the event and she plans to do so again this year. “I’m not really a people person, so it is a good event for me to do because it gives me a chance to reach out to people and show them more about myself,” Seger says.
After years of experiencing art from a novice perspective, Seger studied Classical Realism at Atelier Studio Program of Fine Art in Minneapolis in 2004. Modeled after the European apprenticeship, her training consisted of painting full-time with instruction for more than four years. When the Eden Prairie Art Center opened in 2008, Seger approached Danhauser about teaching and has been working there ever since.
Seger is part of a staff of around a half dozen instructors who teach a wide range of art, from basic drawing to advanced pottery and even kid-oriented classes and a birthday party program, encouraging arts-minded youth in the community. “I think what we have is a dedicated staff of artists who are really committed to the process of art-making and getting art out there for people in Eden Prairie who haven’t had it before,” Danhauser says.
While the community events and art offerings continue to expand, Danhauser hinted at the expanding presence of public art, which she says could eventually include a sculpture series integrated into the parks system. “Eden Prairie has always been home to a lot of talented artists,” Danhauser recalls. “But in the past few years, we have become better at showcasing our talent.”
Eden Prairie Arts Crawl
Grab a map from the Art Center or Eden Prairie News, and navigate your way through the city to different artist home and studios 10 a.m.–5 p.m. September 24 or noon–5 p.m. September 25. You can peruse the selection, purchase art, enjoy snacks and beverages and sign up for giveaways. Call 952.949.8304 or visit edenprairie.org/artcenter for details.