Their language is paint, wood, paper, pen, yarn and thread, and, in between, English.

"It's like we all speak the same language. All of us are interested in art, and we share ideas and learn what works for others. And it's fun to have the people who live there stop and visit and see what new things are being worked on," said Susie Kjeer, a member of the area artists' group that gathers at the Meadows Assisted Living in Grand Meadow each Thursday to enjoy a day of creating new works of all media.

The group, which will hold its third annual art show during Meadow Fest June 28 and 29, is comprised of artists from 9 to 91 years of age from various towns surrounding Grand Meadow, and up to as many as 18 people, including seven homeschooled students, have joined.

Kjeer related that she and her friend, Marcia Carmen, began the group when they were seeking a place to paint together again, like they had in the 1970s, and Karen Swanson, who worked at the Meadows, suggested that they bring their media to the activity room, where Meadows residents would enjoy having the public visit more often and share their various art forms, from watercolor painting to knitting and woodwork.

"Lately it's mostly watercolor painting. One gal prefers pastels, and another does a lot of drawing and charcoal," said Kjeer. "The gal who did most of the crochet, knitting and weaving craft had her hours changed, and we haven't seen her for a couple months. Last summer, they worked on a lot of paper tole art, but the gal who led that has been having health issues this summer. We like sharing ideas, experimenting together, and sometimes another set of eyes can spot just where something needs a bit more color or shading, or someone can suggest using a different brush to obtain the effect you want."

They convene every Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the second floor assisted living activity room across from the chapel, on a very informal basis. Some just come in the morning and leave by noon, and some just come in the afternoon. Those that stay all day have been bringing a lunch.

Preparing for the art show, which Marceil Skifter organized before the artists' group took it on, has kept the creative collective busy for the past several months.

"People will enjoy the variety and the skill of local people who do a great job with the arts, and they'll enjoy being surprised by the talents and skills of your neighbors," said Kjeer. "Some of the things from previous shows include an inlaid woodwork wooden table, wood carving, painting and carving on gourds, paper tole, rosemaling, painting, quilting and lawn art. Prices may be displayed, but any business transactions will have to take place after the show is over, between the buyer and seller."

Kjeer invited those who feel creative to join the group for a Thursday, or another Thursday after that, althuogh they will be taking the months of July and August off.

"Anyone can find hidden talents and have a good time learning new ways to develop them, and anyone is welcome and encouraged to come and join us," she said. "We are always looking for people to come and share our love of art."

The Grand Meadow artists' group's annual Meadow Fest art show is slated for June 28 and 29 on the second floor of the Meadows Assisted Living. There is an elevator available. For more information on the art show or the artists' group, contact Carmen at (507) 272-0281 or Kjeer at (507) 754-5343.