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ArtsMinded column: 'Intersection of recycled materials with whimsical imagination'

Sometimes an artist's journey stretches credulity. Such is the case of a recent theft of Hastings, Minnesota, artist and sculptor Dale Lewis' 160-pound recycled steel crocodile absconded from an art walk in St. Cloud, Minnesota, in late July 2018. It was recovered, in apparently good shape, soon afterward.

Likely to boost visibility of the prolific artist, his works, large and small, contribute to growing appreciation by art afficionados of the intersection of recycled materials with whimsical imagination. The use of weather proof materials makes for resilient objects that grace grounds and interiors, adding character and charm to each space. For example, an early piece atop the Orange Dragon Gallery, created from salvaged materials, stands as its namesake and mascot, at 122 Orange St., downtown Prescott.

Lewis' website,, provides a delightful glimpse into the artist's history and process. Color photographs of some of his memorable pieces are included. Of his work, Lewis says, "My goal is to make each of my pieces entertaining, fun and recognizable as having been crafted with salvaged materials. There's no turning back now, this is what I want to do, when I grow up!" He can be reached through his Fine Art Representative, Mecca Page, at or 651-202-7370.

Events and opportunities

• Continuing through Sept. 28, UWRF Art Department presents the Art Department Faculty Exhibition, KFA Gallery 101.

• Continuing through Oct. 6, A Story of the St. Croix, ArtReach St. Croix, 224 N. Fourth St., Stillwater,

• Exhibits and special programs, St. Croix and Namekagon rivers, continuing through Oct. 21, The Phipps Center for the Arts, 109 Locust St., Hudson, 715-386-2305

• Friday, Oct. 5, 5-9 p.m., First Friday artists' reception, Seasons on St Croix Gallery 401 Second St., Hudson,

• Friday through Sunday, Oct. 5-7, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Fresh Art Fall Tour of artists' studios near Lake Pepin and Chippewa Valley,.

• Oct. 11-20, Book Sale, sponsored by the American Association of University Women, 109A N. Main St., RF, 10 a.m., to 7 p..m., except for Oct. 13 and 20, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

• Fridays at noon, Oct. 12, Nov. 2, Dec. 7, Frances Kohler Coffee concerts. Free. Kleinpell Fine Arts, UW-River Falls. Abbott Concert Hall is closed for renovation. Check locations at 715-425-3183,

• Friday through Sunday, Oct. 12-14, Photographer David Heberlein (former UWRF professor), St. Paul Art Crawl, open studio, Creators Space PS6, 218 Seventh St. E., St. Paul. 715-338-1737

• Saturday, Oct. 13, 4-9 p.m. Artist reception and open house, Kelley Gallery, 125 Second St. S., Hudson,

• Tuesday, Oct. 16, 7:30 p.m. UWRF Symphony Band/University Band Concert, University Center Ballroom. Free.

• Fridays and Saturdays, Oct. 19, 20, 26 and 27, 7 p.m., RF Community Theatre presents "Steel Magnolias," RF Public Library, tickets $12 at the door.

• Saturday, Oct. 20, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., River Falls Main Street Art Crawl (artist applications due Sept. 30, contact River Falls CAB

• Oct. 20, Dec. 9, and 16, St. Croix Valley Symphony Orchestra concerts in Hudson, Afton and Stillwater.

• Saturday, Oct. 20, 7 p.m., Gary Snyder, Pulitzer prize-winning poet, essayist, environmentalist, Anderson Center, 163 Tower View Drive, Red Wing. Adults $10, students $5, members free (reservations encouraged). 651-388-2009,

• Monday, Oct. 22, 5 p.m. UWRF eco-artist Wang Ping presents "Kinship of Rivers," University Center Ballroom. Free.

• Sunday, Oct. 28, 2 p.m. Autumn concert and pot luck supper, old Martell Church, featuring local musicians. Free. Intersection of Highway 63 and County Road Y. For more information, contact Fred Pierce at

• Sunday, Oct. 28, 3 p.m. UWRF Symphony Band and two choirs, Fall concert, Free. Shepherd of the Valley, 14107 Hudson Road S., Afton, Minn.

• Starting in November, UWRF Department of Stage and Screen Arts presents 2018-19 University Theatre Season,

• Adult pottery classes, fall and winter, at Kinnickinnic Clayworks, 109 W. Cedar St. River Falls, 715 821-3982, . Kinni Clay potters invite you to throw, trim and glaze pottery in their studio on River Falls' newest segment of the Kinnickinnic White Pathway.

Other sources

• RF CAB. Art's House, 108 E. Maple St., River Falls, openings monthly.

• River Falls Public Library,

• River Falls Community Theatre,

• Fox Den Books, 120 S. Main St., River Falls, 715-425-6180,

• The Phipps Center For The Arts, 109 Locust St., Hudson,

• Hammond Arts Alliance,

• Check out art courses at