Sept. 11, 2006

Watercolor painter to be part of arts fair

By Kristen Miller
Staff Writer

A Cokato artist will be featured at the 32nd annual Arts and Crafts Festival in Hutchinson Friday and Saturday, Sept. 15 and 16.

Carol Niska of Cokato has been doing water color paintings for about eight years, and this year, for the first time, was chosen by the Crow River Arts Association to be its featured artist at the fair.

Niska will have her artwork set up in a booth, and will have a number of her works for sale. With a passion for flowers, many of her watercolors are florals.

Her interest in art began 20 years ago with a friend from Michigan but, with a large family, Niska found it hard to find time to work on her art until recent years, she explained.

At first, she would paint from photographs, now she tries to paint from memory. By doing so, her paintings are more artistic than realistic, Niska said.

She enjoys watercolor because it gives her the opportunity to create her original piece. Also, she feels she can always learn new and better ways to improve her paintings, which allows for a challenge, Niska said.

LuAnn Drazkowski, Crow River Arts board chair, admires Niska’s quickly learned talent.

“She has a natural talent and is very quick with providing beautiful work,” Drazkowski said.

Niska has been a participant in the arts association and has been a “great advocate” for the organization, Drazkowski explained.

With their shared hobbies, Drazkowski has a “heightened appreciation” for Niska’s abilities.

“I can only imagine where she will be in the future,” Drazkowski said.

Niska and her husband, Dale, own an insurance agency in Dassel, where she works part-time. Currently, she tries to paint two full days a week but is hoping to get to five full days, she said.

Niska’s work can be found at the Crow River Arts Gallery in the Hutchinson Mall, Robert Wilde Studio in Dassel, and Rennie’s China Closet and Art in Litchfield. She also has note cards for sale at Latte Da Coffee Shop in Dassel.

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