Highlighted Artists of 2023

Each year the Frykmans choose five artists whose work will be displayed and offered for sale in addition to their own creations.

Sharon and Steve will highlight these five talented artists in the 2023 Fall Studio Tour. Below is a brief bio about each of them.

Natalie Sobanja

Ceramic Artist
Ceramics & Pottery
Based in Grand Marais, MN

Natalie Sobanja is a ceramic artist working primarily with stoneware clay. She is influenced and inspired by nature and its many elements, patterns, and textural qualities of nature.

Along with the her functional work, Natalie creates lidded vessels intended to be both functional and artistic. She often includes pieces of driftwood and stones to form the handle of these jars.

Natalie provides exquisite tiny lidded pots to the Frykmans. The pots are then filled with Helan salve wildcrafted by their friend Teresa Wolfe and sold at Art of the Elements Gallery.

Brittany Foster

Sterling Silver, Brass, Gold, Stone
Based in Ely, MN

Brittany’s work is a balanced juxtaposition of bold geometric shapes and intricate organic forms. It reflects her own history of living in Minneapolis before settling in Ely.

Drawing on her dozen years as a custom jeweler in Minneapolis, she developed a technique to carve red hot silver into tiny pieces of the North Shore’s forest floor, including mushrooms, mosses, and lichens. These are paired with hand forged sterling silver, brass, or gold. Her work also features a variety of hand cut local stones.

The result is sophisticated and unique. Each piece is completely hand made and one of a kind.

Paul Bondhus of Stone Gardens

Stone, Wood, Metal
Based in the Twin Cities

Paul Bondhus works primarily in stone and wood. You may have seen him and his functional stone sculptures at various art fairs throughout the state.

Each stone is chosen for properties including shape, texture, and color. Paul’s technique draws out the stone’s existing personality by enhancing its unique qualities and presence.

Paul’s finished pieces range from whimsical stone faces to Ikebana-inspired stone vases. The faces are designed to be mounted on metal posts outdoors and are meant to grow in beauty and character as they weather and age, exposed to the elements year-round. The stone vases are breathtaking and make a stunning display as a vessel for fresh or dried arrangements.

Paul Bondhus is Steve’s closest friend from childhood. Paul does not currently have a web site.

Bryan Hansel

Based in Lutsen, MN

Bryan Hansel is an award-winning professional landscape photographer and outdoor educator.

Bryan has over 30 years of photography experience with over 100 publication credits from publications such as:

– National Geographic
– Outdoor Photographer
– Lake Superior Magazine
– Ocean Paddler
– Canoe and Kayak Magazine
– Backpacker Magazine

Bryan Hansel lives just down the the road from the Frykmans’ home and studio.

Maxene Linehan

Mixed Media Artist
Paintings, Collages, Woven Paper
Based in Hovland MN

Maxene Linehan is a veteran educator and seasoned artist. She specialized in the connections between the arts and sciences to complete her M.A.Ed. at Hamline University.

Maxene believes that living with nature and wildlife in the North Shore forest influences her art, directly and subconsciously. Her current art features mostly abstract organic forms, often with environmental themes, bold colors, layers and sometimes playful details.  

She has learned how art can guide us and enrich our lives, help us with home and garden design and other aesthetic choices. The connection of art, science and other realms of life leads to insight and understanding of the ways all things in nature and our lives are related and woven together. 

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