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Ann’s Story

“When I have an idea and am not sure how to make it happen, I ask my neighbor or I go to the gallery and ask questions. We all are in the same game and understand what it's like,” she says.

Picture this: a house filled with artists– listening, contemplating, encouraging, making lamps, spinning fire, hula hooping, walking on stilts, and hammering metal at all hours of the day. For Lanesboro jewelry artist Ann Madland, this scene was reality. In this vibrant Portland, Oregon community, Madland honed her artistic skills and learned the importance of community support in the arts.

From her current metal smithing workshop at her home in Lanesboro, Madland recalls the importance of artistic communities and stresses the necessity of creative sharing and support. When Ann arrived in Portland, she lost money the first year. With the help/encouragement of her friend (a novice musician), Ann overcame her fears of the unstable nature of work as an independent artist and decided to continue doing the hard, yet rewarding jewelry design she loved. “Everyone supported each other in that realm,” She explains “That artist community made me who I am today.”

In Lanesboro, Ann is thankful for this new home of thriving artists. “When I have an idea and am not sure how to make it happen, I ask my neighbor or I go to the gallery and ask questions. We all are in the same game and understand what its like,” she says.

For example, Ann had the idea to make earrings that were shaped like an “X.” So, she went to Crown Trout Jewelers, Liz Bucheit and Michael Seiler, to help her cast them. She says that this is a prime example of the benefit and necessity of a collaborative artist community here in Lanesboro.

Not only do the people inform Ann’s work, so does “place.” The “rise of the moon, flight of the birds, and flow of the water” help spark her continuous stream of ideas. 

“Being around nature all the time really opens my mind to what is out there and what can be done. It wakes up the ideas in my head,” Ann vividly describes.

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