"We find the valley itself so delightful and when I leave, just knowing what I get to come back to— my husband, my front porch and my friends, the easiness of life without traffic— that’s a really great starting point for the other art I do.”
Since moving from a busy life in Chicago in 2011 with her husband, actor Jeremy van Meter, Catherine Glynn has been creating and performing in Lanesboro. Working as an executive coach and professional actress, Glynn, a native Minnesotan, has traveled extensively and made her living teaching and writing.
Glynn and van Meter came across Lanesboro thanks to former resident and friend Carla Noack, who offered to sell them her house. They had been looking to move from the city and after a visit to Lanesboro, they were entranced. “We drove out here, and there was a huge snowstorm,” says Glynn, “and the village looked amazing. We stepped into the house, and it was such a great feeling of peace. And it was like the universe just flooded in with the support to do it.”
Glynn is constantly inspired by the land and people of Lanesboro. “I’ve been given such great permission to be fully who I am here, which is an artist and a teacher and community member. There are so many things that inspire me, but really, it’s the love. People really have good, kind hearts here,” shares Glynn. She notes the art of living is important to Lanesboro: “There’s the art of agriculture, there’s the art of the school, and there’s the art of the people who work up at Mayo Clinic. And there are also artisans— people like Liz Bucheit and Michael Seiler, myself and Jeremy, the people at the Commonweal Theatre, and the people at Lanesboro Arts. There are so many beautiful, big-hearted people here.”
Although Glynn travels for work as coaching and storytelling with the Ariel Group and Voce Veritas, she values coming home to Lanesboro’s beautiful calmness. “For me, the ability to leave but have this beautiful home to always come back to— this touchstone— it’s a sanctuary,” she explains. “We find the valley itself so delightful and when I leave, just knowing what I get to come back to— my husband, my front porch and my friends, the easiness of life without traffic— that’s a really great starting point for the other art I do.”
Since arriving in Lanesboro, Glynn has been involved with Lanesboro Arts— it was one of her favorite places to shop. “Even from walking in the door to buy a piece of art and then, a few years ago, making the leap and asking if I could do “The Belle of Amherst” here. That’s when, artistically, things started to get more involved,” states Glynn.
Glynn has performed in three shows at the St. Mane Theatre through Lanesboro Arts. The first, The Belle of Amherst by William Luce, was a show about Emily Dickinson that Glynn had performed as a senior in college. She wanted to expand her solo performance horizons and write her own play so she wouldn’t have to pay rights. Glynn was interested in the idea of doing a story about teachers, or artists, that then morphed into being teachers. She soon created Miss Myrna Davenport’s Poetry in Motion, a show based on all of the women in her family who are teachers.
Her next show, “A.R.T.”— Audacious Raw Theater— was a natural evolution from doing solo shows. Glynn invited seven artists to spend seven days and create seven new works of art, all based on the theme of recreation or re-creation. “Lanesboro Arts kindly came in and gave us the home where we produced the piece. A magical union of a lot of great minds,” says Glynn. A.R.T. has been conceived as a multi-year initiative to foster the creation and development of new works, while serving as a performance art companion to the annual Art in the Park fine art festival.
Lanesboro Arts Gallery is a welcoming space to Glynn as well. “It’s a place where I can see Robbie and Betsy and purchase beautiful art–art that now serves as an anchor in our home.” Laughing, she notes how her cats have taken to a piece of art. “One of the Joel Sampson pieces— he makes really beautiful water fountains— it is one of the most expensive cat bowls ever, in the world. Our cats are drinking out of this beautiful piece of art. Lanesboro Arts has even enriched my animals’ lives.”
Glynn notes that Lanesboro Arts provided opportunities for her to creatively grow and explore through the St. Mane Theatre. “In those creative endeavors, Lanesboro Arts has wholeheartedly embraced me and given me permission to really fly. I think that’s what every artist needs. So to give me this beautiful nest from which I can move and fly and be free has been lovely,” she says.