This Was 2020 Wins Minnesota Book Award

As Paul Lai, Ramsey County librarian and lead on this book project states, This Was 2020 “…highlights the voices of people in Minnesota as they remember a difficult year.” And those voices come from across the state, most from the metro, but also from greater Minnesota. The writing, Lai notes, offers glimpses into our communities.

Judges for the award also sing the book’s praises, calling it “a beautiful anthology that memorialized a very difficult year in Minnesota.”

That assessment fits as writers penned pieces related to the pandemic and to social justice issues re-ignited by the murder of George Floyd with ensuing protests. I encourage you to read this book for the thought-provoking, and often emotional, content. (Click here to read an earlier review I posted on This Was 2020.)

“This book is one small way to help us all grieve, protest, imagine, co-create and empathize so that we build stronger connections rather than more walls between each other,” Lai says in a reflective video. I appreciate that comment, that encouraging insight. (To hear Lai’s comments, forward to around 10 minutes into the video.)
© Copyright 2021 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Read Minnesota Prairie Roots full article here

Nordic Center September 2021

As a personal challenge, after retiring from teaching art for over 30 years, I wanted to see if I could illustrate a book – could I draw people and places consistently throughout the story! I had never eaten a Swedish Princess Cake until the summer of 2019 and it seemed a fun opportunity to try. There are a lot of steps involved. It seemed as good a challenge as any to try and depict making the Swedish Princess Cake and publish an illustrated recipe book!
Great fun to do – making the cake and eating it too! I hope everyone enjoys the work. Stay well!!

There is an opening and limited in person galley hours available. In addition, the exhibition and a video (artist discussion) will be available on line! With concerns due to Covid/Delta growing the online option is a wonderful way to see the work!

Paintings – How to Make a Swedish Princess Cake

Illustrated Recipe Book – “Prinsesstarta – A Swedish Princess Cake

Nordic Center online Artist video and exhibition