Michael Sieve's Harvest Time Harvest Time by Michael Sieve

Redlin Art Center is Showplace

Forum (Fargo, ND), June 8, 1997
Author: Ross Raihala The Forum

South Dakota just got one heck of a return on an old investment.
More than four decades ago, the state gave a high school kid from
Watertown the tuition to attend art school in St. Paul.
That kid never forgot his state's kindness - to this day, Terry Redlin says he could never have attended college without it. "I always thought that was really something," he told the Associated Press last week.
So, in return for that gift of about $1,500, the 59-year-old artist has built a $10 million museum facility in Watertown as a gift to the state.
The Redlin Art Center, which opened Friday, houses 92 original paintings of wildlife and rural America by Redlin, the nation's top-selling limited-edition print artist for the last six years running.
And Redlin's legion of fans will certainly come knockin' - executive director Julie Ranum expects to see between 100,000 and 200,000 guests before the new year. But the 52,000-square-foot Redlin Art Center will also likely pull in travelers off Interstate 29 to see what such a mammoth structure is doing in a town of less than 20,000.
"You wouldn't expect to find this in Watertown," says Ranum. "If they would have put it in Minneapolis where there are so many other competing attractions, it would never have been as special as it is when it's right here."
And special it is.

Granite mined on three continents
The artist and his son Charles, who designed the center, pulled out all the stops, the resulting structure vaguely reminiscent of Tara the plantation in "Gone with the Wind."
Two dozen 38-foot columns - weighing in at 20 tons apiece - support the building, which features granite quarried on three continents.
The white rock used for the columns and 9,000 square feet of tile on the main floor comes from Rockville, Minn., while numerous benches throughout the center are solid Impala granite from South Africa.
Stunning Black Galaxy stone from India trims the floors beneath the paintings.
The end result is two immaculate galleries that showcase the 92 oil paintings Redlin has kept since he stopped selling his originals in 1985. Prints representing the more than 50 paintings he no longer owns are also displayed. The center's two floors of gallery space have room for up to 180 pieces.
"Everything is black, gray or white, so the original art has all the color," says Ranum.
In addition to hunting down the perfect granite, Redlin personally chose the lighting instruments, bulbs and illumination levels in order to display his work under ideal conditions.
"If the Redlin family is going to do something, they do it right. it's obvious Terry Redlin was a perfectionist with this project in the same way he is with his work," says Ranum.

Art career started at 40
Redlin began his public art career painting simple wildlife scenes after 25 years of making a living as a commercial artist.
As a boy growing up in Watertown, Redlin's love of nature ran so deep, his initial dream was to become a forest ranger. But those plans were sidelined after he lost a leg in a motorcycle accident at 15.
His state scholarship sent Redlin to St. Paul's School of Associated Arts; in the years after graduation, he worked as a layout artist, graphic designer, illustrator and art director.
At the age of 40, his original wildlife painting "Winter Snows" appeared on the cover of The Farmer magazine. Two years later, in 1979, he was able to leave the commercial art world to paint full-time.
Redlin's humble glimpses of nature struck a chord with wildlife lovers across the country, who soon claimed the artist as their own.
By 1987, Redlin expanded into nostalgic Americana themes. His painting also grew more complex as he experimented with reproducing the warm glows of dawn and dusk.
"When an idea pops into my head," Redlin says, "right away I try to establish what type of mood I want. Usually it's a low-light mood of some sort. Very seldom do I paint a middle-of-the-day picture. I feel it's kind of boring. Painting the low light is always more of a challenge."

Planetarium first for state
In addition to exhibiting Redlin's most recent works, the lower floor of the Redlin Art Center houses South Dakota's first planetarium, with a 40-foot-dome constructed out of perforated aluminum.
The 94-seat theater features two state-of-the-art systems that offer full motion, 16,000 different available colors and tremendous accuracy.
All of the planetarium's programming is produced in-house - with original scores by Charles Redlin so the staff can tailor shows to any audience.
"Charles is a classical pianist and student of astronomy," says Ranum. "He's the reason we have the planetarium."
The planetarium's foyer contains the Astro Photo Gallery, 44 framed, backlit images of deep space captured by the Anglo Australian observatory.
Ranum sees the planetarium as an integral part of Redlin's vision of the center as a venue to increase the awareness of the arts and sciences to the area and its youth.

Center is self-sufficient
Redlin established a fund to pay for the center, with all profits from a selection of his prints going toward the building and future operating costs. The museum's top two floors are rented out as office space, with all income also going back into the fund, ensuring the Redlin Art Center will never be a financial burden to taxpayers.
The artist lives nearby on Lake Kampeska with his wife, while Charles lives next door. The three run Redlin's art business out of an office in the center. Redlin paints four months each year, from November to March, and spends the rest of his time signing prints and working on conservation projects.
Ducks Unlimited has benefited most from Redlin's charity, to the tune of nearly $30 million. "He's a firm believer in giving back," says Ranum.
So what does the artist have to say about his generosity? "Can't spend it anyway," he told the Associated Press. "All I ever wanted was to just be back here."

If you go
What: Redlin Art Center.
Where: 1200 33rd St. S.E., Watertown, S.D.
(intersection of I-29 and U.S. Highway 212.)
Hours: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday; 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Saturday; noon-4 p.m. Sunday.
Admission: free; $2 for planetarium shows. For details, call
(605) 882-6393.

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Minneapolis Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN), June 22, 1997
Sports Sec., Minneapolis (West) Edition, pg. 4
Author: Karin Winegar; Staff Writer
Art Ducko: Wildlife art has propelled Terry Redlin's fantastic career.
Watertown, S.D. - ``And right here will be a marsh when we're done,'' Terry Redlin said as the sweet smell of fresh-cut alfalfa rose around him in front of the three-story brick museum he has just erected on the plains of South Dakota.
That mallards, pin tails, cattails and frogs will thrive in the 37-acre
yard of the Redlin Art Center is appropriate for the man who has
contributed more to wetland preservation than perhaps any other person in America.
After decades of living in Mound, Hastings and Minnetonka, Redlin is back where he started - in a small prairie farming town with the corn and soybean fields, horses, ducks and 19th century farmsteads that infuse his wildly popular prints.
``I love being back in a small town. Everywhere you go it's `Hi, hi,
good to see ya!'' Redlin said while lunching with his son, Charles, at a
Country Kitchen that sprang up along with a motel when Redlin announced his plans for a museum on the interstate.
``One objective was to put it here to pay back for what the state had done for me 30, 40 years ago,'' Redlin said in his rapid and voluble style. ``Second, it had to be different enough for tourists to go out of their way to get here. Chuck's idea was using the Egyptian revival architecture he likes. It's an eye-catcher that way.
``This whole project was Chuck's project. He conceived it 12 years ago and talked me into holding back my paintings.''
The 52,000-square-foot museum houses 92 original Redlin oils and prints of 50 others.
The building incorporates elements ``somewhat intended to overwhelm;
structurally massive,'' Charles Redlin said, pointing out the 20-ton,
38-foot granite columns supporting the porticoes of the museum.
``Everything is double. I used steel girders four feet thick instead of
two feet thick. It'll stand forever.''
``We didn't chintz on it,'' Terry Redlin agreed. The $10 million
center's interior is oak, gold and black, from black marble floors to
the brass and enamel waste receptacles.
With his close-cropped silver hair, tan chinos, sport shirt and
sneakers, Redlin, 59, blends perfectly with his guests - 30,000 of whom visited in the 10 days after the museum opened June 6.
America's most popular artist (Redlin prefers ``painter'') says ``oh
garish,'' and ``okey dokey'' and ``gee.''
Being at rest is anathema to Redlin, who paints with televisions
flickering on each side of his easel, and who signs 170,000 prints
annually.
He does four or five paintings a year - two for Ducks Unlimited, which has raised $30 million over the past 30 years with sales of his prints - one for Christmas and one general painting, the latter two in a style he calls ``romantic realism.''
``Ya, it's been a long time since I saw a binder,'' the elderly man with her said.
Redlin and his wife, Helene, married at 19, and a South Dakota
handicapped student scholarship helped him through the School of
Associated Arts in St. Paul. (Redlin had a leg amputated after a
motorcycle accident at age 15.)
They raised three children, and he became a professional illustrator and later art director for Webb Publishing until 1975. Elements of Minnesota are prominent in many of his paintings: a cabin on Big Island, a Victorian house in Excelsior, a 1912 maple sugar shack in Mound.
That's Redlin himself in ``America, America,'' outside a one-room
schoolhouse. ``That's me. I hated school; I wanted to be outdoors with my dog hunting and fishing,'' he said.
He often is called a Norman Rockwell for the '90s, but Redlin focuses on landscapes rather than people.
``As a little kid I saw his [Saturday Evening] Post covers and those
just made my hair stand on end. Oh, I idolized him so much,'' Redlin
said. ``That's what I wanted to be, an American painter.''
His son, Charles, 35, is responsible not only for the design,
construction and furnishing of the building, but he also composed the
piano reveries piped over the museum's sound system. Charles, whose passions include astronomy, also created the state's first planetarium, located in the lower level of the center and featuring a
state-of-the-art laser light show.
``Edu-tainment'' Charles calls it. (Charles himself is immortalized as
the hunter in the red plaid shirt in his father's painting ``Lifetime
Companions.'')
Redlin's symbiotic relationship with Ducks Unlimited (DU) propelled him to popularity, especially with the pre-World War II generation of farm-bred Americans.
DU members once bought Redlin prints for $10. Today, signed and numbered prints sell unframed for about $250, said Marty Kulak, manager of Kelly Galleries in Stillwater, which has carried Redlin's work for a dozen years.
``It is in very, very high demand, particularly in Minnesota,'' Kulak
said. ``An original might be over $50,000. He's the single most popular artist in Minnesota; his work has a nostalgic feeling, and a lot of people go for what he does. He appeals to many, many people.''
DU members and other collectors love his signature.
He signed prints up to the minute before he went into surgery for a
cardiac bypass 10 years ago. He signed two days after surgery, and five days later he was painting again.
``It was Christmas prints, and I had a deadline,'' he explained.
He takes better care of himself now: working out on a treadmill every morning, and recalling with horror ``down-home fat food I grew up on, like Grandma's lard sandwiches.''
His two daughters live in the Twin Cities metro area, but Terry and
Helene moved back to Watertown two years ago. ``Too many people in Minneapolis,'' Terry said.
``I'm an incurable romantic,'' he said. ``I've waited my whole life to
get back here. It only took me 40 years, but I made it.''
Redlin file:
- Name: Terry Redlin.
- Age: 59.
- Hometown: Watertown, S.D.
- Education: St.Paul School of Associated Arts.
- Original career plans: Forest ranger; he abandoned the plan when   his leg was amputated at age 15 after a motorcycle accident.
- Work that launched his wildlife art: ``Winter Snows,'' 1977 cover
  of The Farmer magazine.
- Wildlife links: He won the 1981 and 1984 Minnesota Duck
   Stamp competitions and the 1982 Minnesota Trout Stamp
   contest. In 1982 he placed second in the Federal Duck Stamp
   competition.
- Switched to nostalgic Americana: 1987.
- Awards: Named most popular U.S. artist annually from
  1991-1996 by U.S. ART magazine; inducted into the U.S. ART
  Hall of Fame; named artist of the year by Ducks Unlimited's
  Minnesota chapter; named Minnesota Waterfowl Association
  conservationist of the year.
- Next project: ``Terry Redlin, Master of Memories,'' a book    scheduled for release in August.
- Look for: Langenfeld's Dairy and Ice Cream signs are tucked in
  some of his paintings. The now-defunct Minnesota company was
  owned by the family of his wife, Helene.
- What he emphasizes: ``I don't go for faces; I go for body     language and attitude.''
Redlin Art Center
- Where: Watertown, S.D.; 1200 33rd St. S.E., Hwy. I-29 and Hwy.
  212.
- Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays;
  1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays.
- Admission: Museum is free; planetarium is $2, with shows Tuesdays
  through Saturdays at 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.
- Information: Call 1-605-882-3877

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Terry Redlin
American Portrait Series
Articles
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Books
Calendars
Christmas Plates
Christmas Items
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Elite Edition
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Encore Prints 1
Encore Prints 2
Gifts
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Limited Editions 1
Limited Editions 2
Limited Editions 3
Limited Editions 4
Linen Designed
  Art Plaques

  Master Classic Prints
  Master Stroke Series
  Personal Collage Prints
Main Redlin Page
Museum Canvas Collection
Older Redlin Prints
Pinnacle Collection
Plates
Time Pieces


Other Artists
Dave Barnhouse
Charles Wysocki
Michael Sieve
Chet Reneson
Les C. Kouba
Charles L. Peterson
Rick Kelley
Mark Daehlin
Randy Meyer
Other Artists

Specialty Topics
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