Essential Art Celebration





Paramount Theatre Lobby Gallery
913 W. St. Germain St.
St. Cloud, MN 56301


Open to Minnesota residents. Register artwork in any media (painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, etc.) completed within the past two years. The Essential Art Exhibition has been an opportunity for artists to come together on a yearly basis and exhibit their best work. Included in the process is an artist critique on the day of the reception with the juror and a docent talk of the winning pieces during the reception.
NEW THIS YEAR: Jurying will be online and only accepted work will be delivered to the gallery.

$1750 in Awards!!

1st Place: $500 (in each 2D & 3D)

2nd Place: $250 (in each 2D & 3D)

3rd Place: $125 (in each 2D & 3D)


Over the years I’ve acted as a juror for several art shows. I do it when I’m asked because I enjoy the opportunity to see a variety of artwork and to interact with other artists. I’ve never fooled myself or tried to fool others that I’m some kind of superior artist. I don’t believe in such things, however, I do feel I’m qualified based on my lifetime of experience as a working artist. I’m also not rigid in my beliefs about art. I love diversity and my criteria for judging encompasses a variety of ideas and perceptions but ultimately comes down to my own gut reactions. This is the privilege of working as a judge. It’s like visiting a museum where you also get to hand out a few rewards. Don’t be mistaken. I do take it seriously and it’s always very daunting to have to make final choices and I’m more than willing to discuss my point of view with whomever is interested.

How do you win at art? It isn’t a sport and this isn’t the Paris Salon of the 1800’s. My opinion is you win simply by going through the process and putting yourself out there and I encourage anyone who makes art to participate.


  • The deadline for image submission online is 11:59 PM on Tuesday, December 29th, 2015. Register online at Late applications will not be considered.
  • Accepted works will be notified on Monday, January 4th, 2016.
  • Artwork must be received (whether shipped or dropped off) by Monday, January 18th, 2016. Visual Arts Minnesota will not be able to store packing materials. Work must be ready to hang or display in a professional manner with a wired back, at least 1/3 of the way down the frame and labeled on back with the following: Artist Name, Title, Medium, Price, Phone Number.
  • Exhibition is January 22nd- February 28th, 2016.
  • An opening reception will be held on Friday, January 22nd from  6:00-8:00 PM.Award Presentation at 7:00PM and Artist Critique with juror 3:30 to 4:30PM.
  • Pick-up of work after exhibition is Monday, February 29th, 2016 from 10:00AM-1:00PM or 6:00-8:00PM. Visual Arts Minnesota will not store work past the pick-up time.


Work does not have to be for sale. Sale prices are determined by the artist. 70% of sale price goes to artist, 30% to Visual Arts Minnesota. Visual Arts Minnesota and Paramount Theatre District does not provide insurance for any piece during the Essential Art Exhibition though great care will be taken in handling your work. Visual Arts Minnesota recommends the work be insured during shipping, as the artist bears the full responsibility for loss and damage to art while in transit.

Please note: Work must be ready to hang or display in a professional manner with a wired back, at least 1/3 of the way down the frame and labeled on back with the following: Artist Name, Title, Medium, Price, Phone Number. By entering the competition, selected artists grant Visual Arts Minnesota rights to use the selected image(s) on printed materials and the gallery web site for promotional purposes only.


MONDAY, JANUARY 18th, 2016, 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM or 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Paramount Theatre Studio C
913 W. St. Germain St., St. Cloud, MN 56301.

Use back (north) entrance after 5pm.

Whether shipped or dropped off, artwork must be received by January 18th. Work must be ready to hang or display in a professional manner with a wired back, at least 1/3 of the way down the frame.

Please label artwork on the back with the following:

Artist Name:




Phone Number:


MONDAY, FEBUARY 29th, 2016, 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM or 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Paramount Theatre Studio C
913 W. St. Germain St., St. Cloud, MN 56301.

Use back (north) entrance after 5pm.



Paramount Theatre Lobby Gallery
913 W. St. Germain St.
St. Cloud, MN 56301

ARTIST CRITIQUE: FRIDAY, JANUARY 22nd, 2016, 3:30 – 4:30 PM by Juror Glenn Quist.

RECEPTION: FRIDAY, JANUARY 22nd, 2016, 6:00 – 8:00 PM

Awards Ceremony begins at 7:00 PM on the Paramount Stage including a Docent talk of the winners.

CONTACT: If you need assistance registering online or have any questions, please contact Natalie Ratha with Visual Arts Minnesota at (320) 230-8000 or email


Online entries must be submitted no later than 11:59 PM on TUESDAY, DECEMBER 29th, 2015. Late applications will not be considered.

$20 for 1st Piece, $35 for 2 Pieces. SAVE BY BECOMING A MEMBER

Members pay $15 for 1st Piece and $30 for 2 Pieces.

Payable online through PayPal (button below online submission form). Checks accepted by mailing to: Visual Arts Minnesota, PO Box 972, St. Cloud, MN 56302.


Visual Arts Minnesota creates opportunities for visual artists to exhibit and promote their work while providing resources to help with their careers. The Paramount Theatre is a historic downtown St. Cloud Landmark that brings in thousands of people for various performances, plays and musicals.


Glenn Quist-mug shot

Glenn Quist was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota May 23, 1952. His family lived in Saint Paul. At the age of four, on a snowy December afternoon, he tried emulating his older brother who was drawing with pencil on paper. The older brother actually seemed to have a gift for drawing. Glenn did not, however he found so much pleasure that day doing childish images that he decided he wanted to become an artist. He’s been working and playing at it, trying to figure it out ever since.
The family moved from Saint Paul to Elk River, Minnesota where Glenn attended school. As a junior high school student he had his first serious encounter with painting. Encouraged by his art teacher, Harvey Schroeder, he became keenly interested in painting and art history and later studied privately with Mister Schroeder for several years at The Schroeder Studio where he learned a lot of the important fundamentals of academic oil painting techniques.
After graduating high school, Glenn moved to Minneapolis where he attended the Minneapolis College of Art and Design despite his parents refusal to give any financial support because they didn’t believe art was important or that it held any future for their third son. He has earned and payed his way throughout his life. A couple of years after finishing school, Glenn finally managed to find work as a graphic designer for a printing corporation in Edina, Minnesota. He has worked solely as a professional artist for close to forty years. He became Art Director as the company grew. After about ten years, in 1986, tired of corporate life and long commutes, he set off on his own as a freelance designer and illustrator contracting work with several large and small businesses, corporations, publications and manufacturers. This was lucrative work but also a steady grind of deadlines and late nights. The money was good but the work itself was unfulfilling although looking back, the experience was invaluable. Also during these years, Glenn barely painted at all. He realized the reason for not painting wasn’t simply because he kept such a busy schedule. It had more to do with his lack of passion. He couldn’t persuade himself that he had anything to say as an artist and found it difficult justifying working long hours over tedious oil paintings which offered very little pleasure.
In 1997, a trip to New York City brought some artistic focus. He was visiting the city on business and pleasure and casually walked into a gallery one afternoon. In his thoughts he negatively judged the artist whose work was featured but almost immediately felt a shock, like a lightning bolt of realization. He realized he was a total jerk and a coward because he was not producing any real work as an artist and even if he did, he didn’t have the courage to exhibit or try to do anything with his paintings. In that gallery in Manhattan he received some clarity about fear and anxiety regarding creating and showing work and being willing to accept judgement. Good, bad or indifferent. This was truly a life changing few minutes. He returned home with new excitement and determination. His passion was reignited but he knew he wouldn’t get far churning out pretty paintings in a realistic style that bored him and had little to do with his own vision and desire. One of the first things he did was convert what seemed to be a large darkroom that held a huge photostat camera and equipment that he used for his graphic design business into what seemed to be a small painting studio which he still uses to this day. He also began reading and studying volumes of art and art literature and keeping journals and notes in sketchbooks about his true artistic likes and dislikes, frustrations, goals, etc. He got busy working. He soon realized he’d be better off putting most of his formal learning and training out of his mind as much as possible and basically beginning again as a painter, working intuitively, mostly from imagination and memory. The work became less tedious and seemed more genuine and enjoyable. One of the early goals was to finish one hundred paintings (which then seemed nearly impossible) and if that could be achieved, assess the work and the experience and then decide if it would be worthwhile to continue. It’s now been seventeen or eighteen years and several hundred paintings later. Also, a key part of this journey was to overcome the reluctance and fear of exhibiting his work. This meant approaching galleries and other venues and having his work displayed and sold along with getting his paintings into various competitive shows. He managed that. His work has been accepted and has received many awards in shows such as Arts In Harmony, The Minnesota State Fair, Art Soup and so on. In recent years he hasn’t really had the time to participate in events like these but he found his experience in doing so to be rewarding and enjoyable.
Currently, Glenn Quist spends most of his days painting and dealing with the business of working as an artist. His work sells through galleries and his own and other websites. He also frequently does commissioned paintings for individuals, businesses and institutions. The process of learning and development and the business and life as an artist continues to be his full time occupation.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Central MN Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

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