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The accidental artist


Sun, Nov 19th, 2000
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For Hong Kong native Peter Mak, the journey to Lanesboro isn't as far as it seems. You see, Mak's exhibition of art work at Cornucopia Art Center has a local connection. Mak's wife is Barbara Tammel, the daughter of Marilyn and Donne Tammel of rural Preston. And many of the artist's work has been housed on the Tammel's Fillmore County farm.

"Many of the ceramic pieces in the show have been stored in the Tammel basement for the past 10 years," Mak laughed. "They didn't have to travel very far."

In Search of Content: Ceramics, Drawings & Prints is the title of Peter Mak's exhibition of art at the Cornucopia Art Center in Lanesboro. An art professor at the Hong Kong Institute of Education, a teachers college near the Chinese border, Mak's art ranges from Pop Art ceramics to Daliesque drawings. In Search of Content chronicles Mak's evolution as an artist.
"My earlier work is heavily influenced by Pop Art , taking popular, everyday , mundane items, like Nike's and Coca Cola, and making interesting things out of them," Mak said.

Mak's ceramic pieces, Taco Bell Box and Cowboy Mad & Sister Rad, are good examples of this Pop Art period, where the artist often pokes fun at his subjects.

In Search of Content, chronicles Mak's evolution as an artist. "I am especially interested in the subject matter, or the content, the narrative element is priority number one. It is finding what story to tell, what to say and how to say it," Mak explained. "I have plenty of twisted ideas and I want to paint, or print or use clay to tell that story."

While Mak works in ceramics, block printing and painting, all traditional Chinese art mediums, he says that there is little or no Chinese influence in his work.

In some ways, Mak is an accidental artist, having left Hong Kong in the 1970's to study accounting at State University in Valley City in North Dakota.

"Before I left Hong Kong, I had some interest in art, but very little formal training," Mak said. It was while signing up for business classes that he was invited to look at what the art department was offering, and the rest is as they say is history.

While Mak is continually searching for new ways to express himself, the artist is fully committed to the art of teaching as well. Mak holds a Masters Degree in Fine Arts from Arizona State University and is presently a Ph.D. candidate at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Education in Melbourne, Australia.

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Fillmore County Pork Producers
Hoffman Stables

The Lion in Winter: A royal feast

Sun, Nov 19th, 2000
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Monday, September 18, 2000

"The Lutheran tongues will be wagging," one theater goer said to me after seeing Commonweal Theatre's staging of The Lion in Winter.

He was right. The Lion in Winter is a medieval soap opera chock full of co ..... 
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Book Review: Recently released Minnesota books

Sun, Nov 19th, 2000
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Last month I attended the annual convention of the Upper Midwest Bookseller Association in downtown St. Paul, a gathering of authors, publishers and independent booksellers.

I was impressed, as I was last year, by the number of fine books of ..... 
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Gateway Towns

Sun, Nov 19th, 2000
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Austin


Greetings from Austin, Minnesota! Located on I-90, visitors from the west will come through this major city located on the Cedar River.

Austin is the home of the Fortune 500 company -- Geo. A. Hormel & ..... 
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Northeastern Iowa

Sun, Nov 19th, 2000
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Northeast Iowa shares much of the same topography of Historic Bluff Country. Limestone bluffs, meandering rivers, springs, and rolling hills in the east and softly rolling hills with rich prairie soil in the west. Minnesota and Iowa also share the sa ..... 
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Anytown, MN

Sun, Nov 19th, 2000
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Nestled in a deep valley of the Root River is the unique city of Anytown. This quaint townsite of less than one thousand residents, located in the state hardwood forest reminds one of the many hillside villages in Norway.

Strolling down the ..... 
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Not in my backyard

Sun, Nov 19th, 2000
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Monday, June 26, 2000

In the usually quiet burg of Spring Valley, the hot topic of conversation has switched as of late. While recent flooding has left the community with much to contemplate, another issue is sizzling to the forefront. What’s ..... 
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Wykoff, MN

Sun, Nov 19th, 2000
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When you visit the heart of Bluff Country, take the drive on MN Hwy. 80 and you will find Wykoff, "The Gateway to Forestville."

Our limestone karst region is dotted with "sink holes" which indicate caverns below ground. You can visit one of t ..... 
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Whalan/Highland area

Sun, Nov 19th, 2000
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Whalan, with a population of about 90, is one of the smaller towns on the trail, though one of the most memorable. The town provides excellent access to the [Read the Rest]
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