Unearthed Arts opens in Waconia

Unearthed Arts is new community-based art center and gathering place in Waconia with a charming storefront gallery showcasing a unique assembly of talented local artists. (Submitted photo)

Unearthed Arts is new community-based art center and gathering place in Waconia with a charming storefront gallery showcasing a unique assembly of talented local artists. (Submitted photo)

Unearthed Arts is the result of a new collaboration of four local women. Cathy Jo Menssen, Kris James, Cheryl Rae Shohet and Pam Braunwarth have come together with the common vision of creating a vibrant, nurturing gathering space for local artists and the community. Each partner has added her own unique experiences to this diverse art center, which is located at 44 W. Main Street in Waconia and opened May 1, 2014. The art center includes a retail gallery, two levels of classrooms, and space for gatherings and events.

The “Gallery Girls”:

• Cathy Jo Menssen has resided in Waconia for 29 years. She has worn many hats as an artist and business woman in the community. She has a corporate art director, gallery owner and art instructor. Menssen actively teaches watercolor, acrylics and clay to students of all ages. She also instructs at the Light House Assisted Living Center. Menssen is now offering classes at Unearthed Arts.

• Kris James has lived in Waconia for nine years. She is a culinary artist and educator. As a Chef at the Arboretum, James teaches hands-on cooking classes. She also owns her own tea line; Artful Brew Tea Co. — stop in to sample her tea anytime. James is teaching a variety of culinary and organic skin care classes this summer at Unearthed Arts. She will also be catering all of the center’s events.

• Cheryl Rae Shohet has been a resident of Waconia for 18 years. She is a former art gallery owner and art educator. Shohet has both backgrounds in illustration and metalsmithing. She actively shows and competes at the top ranked art events and fairs throughout the Midwest. Stop in to see some of Cheryl’s latest custom jewelry designs.

• Pam Braunwarth is a lifelong resident of Waconia. She and her husband, Mark, own The Oliver Clay Co. (named after Oliver, their dog and gallery mascot). Oliver Clays’ studio is located at Unearthed Arts. Come in and see their wonderfully earthy pottery. Braunwarth also has a background in decorative art and is known locally as the founder and creator of Mocha Monkey.

Unearthed Arts is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. It offers online or in-gallery class registration. To learn more, visit unearthedartsmn.com or contact (952) 442-4499.

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