The GuestHouse is a private art gallery which showcases local artists and is a vacation rental. Regarding the house: as a local artist and writer, I renovated this 1905 home with high attention to quality interior design. At 1100 ft.², it is an excellent example of small space living. There are two bedrooms and one bath. Enjoy morning or afternoon coffee on the porch with a view of Big Stone Lake. Maple hardwood floors are throughout the living room, dining room, and bedroom. There is air-conditioning, a five-burner stainless steel gas range, microwave, a quality appointed kitchen, reverse osmosis drinking system, a winter humidifier system, a main-floor bedroom with a queen bed, an upstairs bedroom with a full bed, and a pullout living-room couch sleeper. The main floor bathroom includes an old-fashioned cast-iron tub, shower, and a Whirlpool washing machine and dryer. Wireless Internet, a 38” flat screen television with an internet audio and video player (internet access to Netflix, Hulu Plus , You Tube and Pandora), and an ample library of DVDs. The dining room table seats four, but has three extra leaves. The GuestHouse is centrally located in downtown Ortonville, just two houses away from The Ortonville Pier and Lakeside Park, walkable to the library, The Granary Food Co-op, Java Jules, a favorite coffee and lunch spot. During the summer, enjoy the Saturday farmer’s market along the lake. I try to use natural cleaning products. Towels and sheets are 100% cotton and are of high quality. I strive to buy organic cotton when I can. The GuestHouse has been inspected and licensed by the state of Minnesota, which means it meets safety and cleanliness criteria. Mattresses are encased with a hypo allergic and bed-bug barrier, there are smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, a carbon monoxide alarm, etc. This summer, 2016, I launch my third summer season of having The GuestHouse. It amazes me where people come from. I’ve had guests from all over the United States including Hawaii. I have people who come here to see family and reconnect with their roots, people attending weddings, honeymooners, girlfriend getaways, people who want to see what our region is like and explore real estate. I have also attracted people specifically because of this house, which makes me incredibly happy! Because The GuestHouse is also an art gallery, I have the opportunity to be a curator, which means I select the type of show I want to have for the season and specific artists. Because I am an artist myself, I am familiar with artists in our region and with their work. So I begin to think of shows long in advance and imagine who the artists might be. This year I decided to have a contemporary art exhibit. The showcase artist this year is Lisa Bergh out of New London. I met she and her husband a number of years ago, we were both on an art jury together. Her work is very contemporary and reflects (to me) moving fabric in a breeze or in a bundle. She has a MFA in Spatial Arts from San Jose State University in California. She is a very well established artist, art instructor, artistic entrepreneur, and the Executive Director for The Hutchinson Center for the Arts. Personally, I was interested in how her work would look in contrast to a 1905 home, I love the twist of old and modern to showcase her work! Her work is deeply bold and original. I discovered Phyllis Joos’ work at the PRCA gallery in Morris. Once upon a time, a long time ago, I explored woodblock printing. She has taken woodblock printing to a whole new level in creating images of clothing. I immediately fell in love with her work and really appreciate how avant-garde it is. Everyone who has been in the house and sees her work is absolutely nuts about it! She is a perfect addition to this year’s show. And then there is John George Larson. I am deeply intrigued by his work. I was able to visit his art studio outside of Milan and see his two kilns. He lived in South Korea for a year studying with a ceramic master. It is only a matter of time before he is discovered – with a larger audience – for his truly innovative creativity in ceramics. I’m absolutely delighted to have three-dimensional sculpture as part of this year’s show. Having his work raises the quality of The GuestHouse to a whole new level. And then there is my wonderful friend Vicky Radel’s work. Ironically, I met Vicky about eight years ago in California, we were both attending a conference on dreams. Years later, we met again HERE, and we are now part of a dream group here in Ortonville. What are the chances of that? I absolutely love her encaustic art. With this specific art form, she incorporates photographs onto a beeswax resin mixture with pigment, the colors are earthy and fantastic. I truly think she has found a unique niche and definitely has a lot to offer this specific form of creativity. I’m always excited to see her latest work. Last but not least, I am deeply honored to showcase the work of the late, JoAn Melchild. JoAn was a beloved Ortonville artist with a deep and hearty laugh and a twinkle in her eye. I have to be honest, at first, I would look at her work and not quite get it. She would paint pink Pepto-Bismol Lake cabins, farm sites that have almost an elementary, primitive, folk art look. But over time, I really came to love her courageous use of colors and her style of brushstrokes. In regard to this specific show, she gives a nod to our rural region, with a whole new perspective. I am showing her work, on loan, through the generosity of two private collectors. Returning artists showcased this year at The GuestHouse: Kathleen Marihart is a lifelong artist. Along with fine arts, she is a master award-winning quilter. I believe that her work with colors through fabrics, have had a strong influence in her paintings. She’s a prolific artist and is constantly taking classes to expand her knowledge and explore different mediums. I am always fascinated by what she is doing and how her work is evolving. Corina Kells is getting a degree in photography. Although she is quite young, in her mid-20s, she has been exploring different types of art for years. Creating yupo art is something that she is really enjoys doing with her mother, Kathleen Marihart. Kathleen has an art studio on Big Stone Lake, so when the two of them are painting, Corina often will take a break and go for a swim in the lake. Not too shabby. Becky Stattelman was born and raised in this area. She loves life on the farm and lives it with panache and style. I would have to say that her life itself is a form of artistic expression. The beauty that surrounds her, the horses with their swishing tales, the strutting chickens, and her welcoming farm dog, are all part of her personal expression. It’s no surprise that she is able to communicate her appreciation of farm life and nature through her stunning photography. She and her husband are the proud hosts of The Meander location titled The Red Barn. Their site attracts about 900 people a year! I am also a returning artist. However, I ran out of wall space this year, so the only pieces I have displayed are the historical painted photographs. They are important to me because they honor history--not only the land that this house is on-- but to Ortonville and our area. I am deeply honored to have these artists at The GuestHouse. Each of them bring years of creative expression to their work. Fun idea: a recent client was here for a large family reunion. She hosted an open house at The GuestHouse and invited me to talk about the art. This was something novel for her family to do, and it was certainly fun for me to meet people from various parts the United States and showcase our local artists. Artists at The GuestHouse are: Lisa Bergh of New London, Phyllis Joos of Hancock, John George Larson of Milan, Vicky Radel of Norcross, the late JoAn Melchild of Ortonville. Returning artists are: Corina Kells, Kathleen Marihart, Becky Stattelman, and myself, Edie Barrett. With some advanced notice, studio tours can be arranged. PLEASE NOTE: an art show runs from May through the end of October. If you rent this house in the "off" season, there will be art on the wall just not the art that is photographed on VRBO. This house will not be re-photographed until May 2017.