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Dragonfly Spirit Studio -- where creativity is nurtured

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business River Falls, 54022
Hudson Star Observer
715-386-9891 customer support
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

An art studio centered around a new concept opened in Hudson in June.

The Dragonfly Spirit Studio offers quiet energy and a light airy space that visually puts out a large welcome mat to all who enter. Located at 2017 O'Neil Road, the studio idea was developed by Lynne Baur and Carolyn Streed. Baur, a longtime member of the Phipps Visual Arts Council and a Phipps watercolor instructor, is the sole owner.

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Following the health club model, Baur gives artists a space to work and much, much more. Members can take group classes, private classes, use equipment they don't have at home and "work out" with friends.

The classes and workshops are open to non-members as well. The studio offers three levels of membership -- monthly, annual or partial annual. Ongoing classes included in membership are open studio with coaching, open studio and "summon your muse." Upcoming workshops include classes from basic drawing to a greeting card workshop.

The studio offers 2,600 square feet of convertible space.

"Everything is fluid so we can use the space in different ways," said Baur regarding the studio design. The main studio area is spacious and open. Tucked under the mezzanine is a supply area, a discussion pit (outfitted with comfortable chairs for small groups) and a matted area for stretching and meditation. The mezzanine includes a library, framing equipment and a computer station as well as an area to practice Japanese calligraphy.

Baur grew up in Kentucky and readily admits she has no background in art. In fact, she graduated with a bachelor's degree in biology, which included a strong interest in nature and ecology. Academically, she pursued a master's degree in math and earned a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Kansas in 1994. Baur then came to Minnesota to teach at Carleton College. Along the way she also spent time in the Army.

"Academics were not really where I wanted to do my teaching," said Baur. So for a break she enrolled in a six-week watercolor class. That was eight years ago, and Baur has not put down a brush since.

"I kept painting and it took over my life," said Baur -- by the end of her third year she was successfully exhibiting her work in juried shows and earning accolades from the area art community.

Baur is very clear about the connection she sees between math and

painting.

"Ask any research mathematician what they are working on and the first thing they say is, 'Let me draw you a picture,'" said Baur. "They work in the visual realm first. Mathematics feels the same to me. My brain is in the same state of mind when I paint."

Today, Dragonfly Spirit Studio offers artists of all levels a place to nurture their creativity, gather with friends and learn new skills.

"I keep telling my students the magic is getting mileage on the brush," said Baur. "If you have the desire you will get there."

"Watercolor is a dialogue," said Baur. "The medium will suggest all kinds of things to you."

As for the studio's name, Baur's fascination with dragonflies since she was a child is at the heart of it. That fascination continues to this day and is evident in a number of her works.

Dragonfly Spirit Studio and Baur are collaborating with The Phipps Center for the Arts on a number of future classes.

"We want this to benefit both," said Baur. "The market is by no means saturated."

For more information about Dragonfly Spirit Studio and its class offerings, visit www.dragonflyspiritstudio.com or call (715) 781-0287.

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