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Opening event for new exhibitions Jan. 19

Ani Kasten’s “Rectangular Boat Form,” a 7-inch-by-6-inch-by-12-inch stoneware and porcelain ceramic with slips and glazes, metal wire. Photo courtesy of The Phipps

The public reception for the new exhibitions in The Galleries will be 6:30-8:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19, at The Phipps Center for the Arts. All are invited to meet the artists and enjoy hors d'oeuvres at this event for all ages. The Galleries feature ceramic sculpture by Jenn Angell of River Falls, mixed media drawings by Lou Ferreri of St. Paul, sculptural ceramics by Ani Kasten of Shafer, Minn., watercolor and painting by Peter Mak of Hastings, acrylic paintings by Jessica Mongeon of Russellville, Ark., formerly of Rice Lake, Minn., and ceramic sculpture by Susan Strand-Penman of Hudson, which will be on view through Feb. 25.

Kasten will present a talk in the Atrium Gallery starting at 6 p.m., prior to the reception. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of Michigan in 2000; apprenticed with ceramist Rupert Spira in Shropshire, England, in 2001; and apprenticed with master potter Santa Kumar Prajapati in Thimi, Nepal, in 2002. She spent four years in Nepal, leading development of a stoneware ceramic production facility for artisan potters. On returning to the United States, her emphasis shifted from functional to sculptural ceramics. Before coming to the St. Croix Valley, Kasten was one of the pioneer artists of the Gateway Arts District, located on the Prince George County, Md., border with Washington, D.C. She currently lives in Shafer, Minn., where she is renovating a small farm into her home, studio and showroom.

The exhibition of Kasten's work is part of an ongoing partnership with Northern Clay Center, titled "Earth and Water: Ceramic Art from the St. Croix River Valley."

Galleries hours are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, noon to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, as well as one hour before and through intermission of all performances in The Phipps theaters.