Betsy Bowen

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About the Artist

I am an artist and writer who has lived and created her art for the last 40 years on an old homestead at the edge of the wilderness near Lake Superior's North Shore. My work in printmaking has focused on illustrations for picture books, written by myself and others. Interest in folktales and pageantry has led me to create puppets and staging for community theater (Grand Marais Playhouse, and Good Harbor Hill Players) and dance performances (Sterling Dance). I currently operate a studio, gallery and arts performance space in the Old Playhouse, a building which once housed the local theater and was the original Norwegian Lutheran Church, built in 1903.

Artist's Statement

"The aim of the artist is to make people love life," said Leo Tolstoy, and I agree. I live and work on the edge of the wilderness near Minnesota's north shore of Lake Superior, on an old homestead bought by my suburban parents in 1963 to establish another way of life. In my early creative years, I focused on hand made crafts. Mywork in woodblock printmaking has continued the ethic of seeking a straightforwardlivelihood generated by making goods by hand. The prints have focused on illustrations for picture books, by myself and others.

My topics have evolved from views of my local rural life into the folktales and stories which inform rural lives worldwide. Recent interest in the oral tradition of these folktales has lead me toward pageantry, creating puppets, scripts, and staging for community street theater and dance performances