LAKE SOCIETY MAGAZINE - WINTER - 2021

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THE CITY OF LAKES LIFESTYLE & DESIGN PUBLICATION

WINTER 2021

M I N N E A P OL I S C IT Y L AK ES WINTER 2021

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The Northernettes photo by liz banfield WINTER 2021

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so•ci•e •ty: companionship or association with one’s fellows: a group of people involved in persistent social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same geographical or social territory

L AKESOCIETYMAGAZINE.COM 4

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rabbitcreekmn.com

R E S I L I E N T. T H A N K F U L . R E A D Y

612.354.7102 WINTER 2021

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KOI No.8 Original painting by Richard Merchán.

Ready to collect art?

Your Art Concierge Curating Pieces with Only You in Mind.

artgirlsmpls.com @art_girls_mpls 6

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inunisondesign.com

612.659.1775 WINTER 2021

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Local Expertise in Fine Downtown Minneapolis and City Lakes Real Estate 612.327.5905 | betsylucasrealtor.com

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612.968.9777 2124 FREMONT AVE S MINNEAPOLIS, MN 55405 ANDREWFLESHER.COM WINTER 2021

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healthy smiles for a lifetime

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4289 Sheridan Ave S, Minneapolis // lindenhillsdentistry.com // 612.922.6164 lake society magazine


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A room that is the view.

MN LICENSE BC006077 p ro u d l y f e a t u r i n g

T R A N S F O R M AT I V E WINTER 2021

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Italian Honed Marble

Floors: Nero Marquina Marble

nvrsurfaces.com (612) 200-0326 TILE AND COUNTERTOPS

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WINTER 2021 THE CITY OF LAKES LIFESTYLE & DESIGN PUBLICATION

WINTER 2021

M I N N E A P OL I S C IT Y L AK ES WINTER 2021

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ON THE COVER TWIST INTERIOR DESIGN PUBLISHER KAREN T. STOECKEL GRAPHIC DESIGN SHEBA CONCEPT & DESIGN, INC. ART DIRECTION KAREN T. STOECKEL MANAGING EDITOR ELLEN OLSON SOCIAL MEDIA JACOB PIERRE LOUIS III CONTRIBUTING WRITERS CARTER AVERBECK HOLLIE BLANCHARD ANDREW FLESHER FRANCE 44 JANE MAIORANO

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CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS SPACECRAFTING LIZ BANFIELD COREY GAFFER PHOTOGRAPHY SUSAN GILMORE STEVE HENKE STUDIO

Lakesocietymagazine.com Lakesocietymagazine@gmail.com @lsm_magazine lake society magazine


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Letter from the Editors

770 Lake Street East, Wayzata 55391 952.746.5826 www.highcrofthome.com

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If you live in Minnesota, it’s pretty imperative that you learn to embrace the seasons. Although the long winter days, short on light, can seem to drag on, there are ways to cope. Our contributing writer, Carter Averbeck, explores the hygge lifestyle. Hygge is a Danish and Norwegian word for a mood of coziness and comfortable conviviality with feelings of wellness and contentment. That sounds like a pretty good option! Some prefer a more active approach to the seasons. We spoke with Alana Christie, founder of the synchronized skating team, the Northernettes. They were recently spotted on Lake of the Isles, dazzling everyone with their graceful moves and symmetrical formations. We visited with the Belton family on a snowy day outside their Lake of the Isles home. Marc and Alicia’s commitment to social justice and their devout faith are threads that anchor their personal and professional lives. Our home features include a French Mediterranean that is full of personality and rich textural details that play out against an extensive palette of blues. The whole home remodel of a dated contemporary in Rolling Green features the juxtaposition of rustic and refined elements throughout. We had the opportunity to visit three incredible galleries/studio spaces as we prepared this issue. Carl and Kristie Bretske invited us into their respective studios at The Traffic Zone Center for Visual Arts. Each has created a highly acclaimed body of work. Art Girls co-founder Hollie Blanchard guided us to Stephanie Dillon’s new studio in St. Louis Park to experience her powerful mixed media work that features recycled and upcycled materials. Susan Thatcher, founder and owner of Rabbit Creek, joins our roster of contributing designers. She introduces us to McGuire Outdoor furnishings as an option for outdoor entertaining spaces. Jen and Andréa of Fiddlehead Design Group tap some local Twin City business for cold weather inspirations. In ASK ANDREW a reader is encouraged to “break the rules” as he thinks about floor plans and furniture placement. Andrew argues that form and function can be achieved at the same time. In COLOR STORY, our ongoing collaboration with Hirshfield’s, we explore black as the new neutral. It’s always a bold, but classic choice. France 44 has become an important resource for many families during the pandemic. They have adjusted and adapted, and have created an important ecosystem for the neighborhood. They are very grateful for opportunity. So as we turn the calendar to 2021, we feel hopeful and inspired. We look forward to a return to dignity, kindness, respect, and the truth. Please stay safe and healthy. We remain ever grateful for your readership. lake society magazine


Photo “Ring of Fire” By Dylan and Katie Photography

Love& Hope Natural Emerald and Diamond Ring 3.19ct emerald, 1.34ctw diamond, 18k white gold

Laurie Kottke F IN E JEW ELER S

3033 Excelsior Blvd Suite 200 | Minneapolis, MN 55416 | (612) 825-9898 | lauriekottkefinejewelers.com

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CONTENTS WINTER 2021

20 A LETTER FROM the editors 24 EXQUISITE SPACES

Rabbit Creek founder and owner Susan Thayer shifts our attention towards planning our exterior entertaining spaces.

26 ASK ANDREW

Andrew Flesher encourages us to “break the rules” when thinking about floor plans and furniture placement.

28 LIFESTYLE

Carl and Kristie Bretske share a passion for painting; each has received numerous accolades for their respective works.

32 THE TASTEMAKER DIARIES

Jen and Andréa pull together some of their favorite cold weather finds that support local Twin City businesses.

34 SUSTAINABLY CHIC

Carter Averbeck suggests a hygge lifestyle as one option for thriving during these winter months.

36 HOME

46 ART GIRLS

The Art Girls MPLS use studio visits to create powerful and visceral connections between artist and client.

50 EPICUREAN

The team at France 44 reflects, with gratitude, on how their business has changed in response to needs in the community.

52 HOME

A majestic French Mediterranean makes a dramatic statements with a collection of family heirlooms and rich, textural details.

62 LIFESTYLE

Marc and Alicia Belton have dedicated their lives to creating a positive impact on society and in the community.

66 COLOR STORY

Black is the new neutral in home paint colors — it’s always a classic choice.

68 SPOTLIGHT

The Northernettes, a synchronized skating team founded by Alana Christie, offers new and exciting opportunities for competitive skaters.

A dated contemporary was meticulously transformed into a beautiful family home that is a study in contrasts. WINTER 2021

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EXQUISITE SPACES

Susan Thayer is the founder and owner of Rabbit Creek, an exceptionally curated showroom of the industry’s finest furnishings, lighting and accessories. Available at International Market Square, to the trade.

While we endure this frozen tundra, relief is imminent! In just a few short months, we’ll be emerging as pale ghosts rushing forth to soak up the sun. With this in mind, we are eager to shift our focus from the indoors to the outdoors. What a perfect opportunity to introduce you to McGuire Outdoor furnishings for your exterior gathering spaces.

McGuire Outdoor furnishings define a West Coast lifestyle, indoors and out. In everything they do they capture the essence of casual luxury; unpretentious, optimistic, relaxed, warm and engaging. This year’s collection combines a decidedly Southern take on West Coast trends featuring softer and more diminutive shapes, luxurious outdoor performance fabrics. 24

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ASK ANDREW

Andrew Flesher encourages us to “break the rules” when thinking about floor plans and furniture placement. photography by steve henke studio

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Q.

My partner and I just moved into a home with a very long and somewhat narrow living room. There is a fireplace at one end of the room, which I’d like to be a gathering space, but I don’t know what to do with the rest of the room. Help!

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It can be a little intimidating when you’re faced with a space that doesn’t conform to your idea about how a room should be organized. First of all, stay away from any preconceived notion that there is some rulebook that you need to follow. Forget about the things you think “should be.” For example, if you organize the room with the fireplace as the focal point, you are likely going to end up with some spaces that leave the room feeling empty and unfinished. Start by thinking about your lifestyle and how you plan to use the space. Do you have a large family? Do you like to entertain or is it just you and your partner? If you have large parties, you probably already know that the group rarely gathers in a single conversation; people usually break into small groups. Consider creating groupings of furniture that will facilitate good conversation and connection for your guests. When you are home alone, or with your loved one, you want spaces that feel intimate and cozy. Let your instincts be your guide and let the space speak to you. Sectionals and sofas with cut out backs are a great way to give you some flexibility in seating options. Daybeds are another good choice; they allow people to sit in either direction or back-to-back at large parties. Pull-up chairs can be moved around to create small groupings. An ottoman can extend a sectional, or can be pulled apart to make another area for conversation. Cubes that can be used for seating or as a table add versatility to the mix. Remember, your guests need a place to put their food and drinks! Break up the room and have some fun with it. I like to use tables that can straddle the open section of the ottoman, like the Plexiglass one in this photo. It can create a decorative element with the placement of books or flowers, or it can become a table for food, beverages or homework. You have probably heard that “form follows function.” It does, but I believe that you can have it all and you don’t need to sacrifice a thing. If you have a design question that you’d like me to address, please send it to editor@lakesocietymagazine and I’ll do my best to answer it. A portfolio of my work is available on my website: andrewflesher.com. WINTER 2021

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CREATIVE FORCES

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Carl and Kristie Bretzke share a passion for painting; each has received numerous accolades for their respective works. written by jane maiorano, photography by spacecrafting

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LIFESTYLE

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Carl and Kristie Bretzke share a passion for painting, and both celebrated artists in this partnership have received numerous accolades for their respective works. Home for the fascinating duo is a stunning apartment at the 510 Groveland Avenue building in the Loring Park neighborhood; their elegant abode is a merged double-apartment designed by architect Milo Thompson, with interior design guidance from close friend Andrew Flesher. Kristie and Carl have separate studios in the Traffic Zone Center for Visual Arts, an artist cooperative located in the North Loop neighborhood within the Minneapolis Warehouse Historic District. “Kristie and I are both art lovers and art collectors. We have many close artist friends throughout the country but also abroad. Our home is reserved for our friends’ artwork as well as our collected work. Our studios are filled with our own work primarily so we can see the paintings in gallery lighting as we continue to work on them,” comments Carl. At home and at work, the Bretzkes feel blessed to be immersed in the culture and vibrancy of their Minneapolis neighborhoods. Known for psychological portraits and bronze sculpture, Kristie Bretzke has spent the past ten years focused on conceptual realist oil painting. Kristie explains, “People are often surprised when they see my work for the first time. They say I seem like such a cheerful, lighthearted person, but that is not what they see in my work. What I choose to paint reflects many complex emotions, including loss, fear, anxiety and longing, along with some humor and occasionally a political statement. My studio atmosphere is quiet and peaceful. People always ask if Carl and I share a studio…NO WAY…we are on the same floor but at opposite ends of the hall…close enough that I can steal brushes from him but far enough away that I can’t hear him. I work alone in total silence all day, which I need in order to focus on my work, whereas Carl plays music at all times and loves to paint with groups of people. He would also point out, accurately, that I’m too messy to share studio space!” Kristie’s work is exhibited at Groveland Gallery in Minneapolis. Carl Bretzke describes his pieces, “I am a realist oil painter. I prefer to paint scenes that somehow evoke a sense of familiarity, sometimes suggesting a loose narrative or combining the ordinary with the sublime. Every month or two I travel to paint professionally in outdoor plein air painting competitions. The balance of my time is spent in my Minneapolis studio producing larger paintings for galleries.” Carl attained a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Colorado, with a Minor in Fine Art, and a Medical Doctor degree from the University of Minnesota, also completing a Radiology Residency there; he went on to specialize in Interventional Radiology. “Because of my medical career and early family life, my art experience took a vacation for about twenty years. Roughly eighteen years ago I started oil painting and discovered it to be a true passion. After retiring from medicine four years ago, I have been painting nearly every day,” Carl reflects. In 2002, Kristie signed Carl up for a class with Joseph Paquet, a renowned painter recognized for traditional plein air landscape painting. “I studied with him for twelve years. He was my mentor and taught me how to paint and see as an artist,” Bretzke comments. Carl’s work is currently on exhibition at several galleries including Calloway Fine Art & Consulting in Washington, D.C., Edward Montgomery Fine Art in Carmel, California, and the Grenning Gallery in Sag Harbor, New York. carlbretzke.com • kristiebretzke.com WINTER 2021

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THE

TASTEMAKER Diaries

Interior designers Jen Ziemer and Andréa Dixon of award-winning Fiddlehead Design Group pull together our favorites for not just surviving MN winters but thriving in it. Whether you are freshening up your home or practicing a little self love, we’ve got you covered. Be sure to give our local friends a follow and help support small businesses!

A Heavenly Design Collaboration Sister Parish for Country Floors tilexdesign.com

Spring Break at Home Fresh new wallcovering and fabrics bring the outside in when we really need it! rootcellardesigns.com tapis-decor.com

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Sorry I Can’t... I’m Washing My Hair Plant based hair repair aveda.com

Zoom Approved... Waist Up~ Savannah sweater from Atelier Delphine highcrofthome.com Another Covid Friday Night Nileta pj’s, True Hue candle, Above Lake Minnetonka puzzle highcrofthome.com

Drink Up Hidrate Spark with built in tech that even reminds you to get those ounces in! hidratespark.com

Vintage Charm You never know what treasures await at one of our local favorites. shopvictory.com Comfort Food Without The Fuss Weekly heat and eat meals just like mom made. Made with love. noshandgather.com

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SUSTAINABLY

Chic Sustainability has never looked so chic!

Under Winter’s blanket lies the soul of us all; determined perseverance to generate a lambency that will warm us all the way to Spring. A happiness expressed in fireside chats, cozy surroundings and a mug of warm libations. Such is the future of these next few months…if you believe in a HYGGE lifestyle. The very definition of this Norwegian word is a quality of coziness that engenders a feeling of contentment. Since the notion Spring in Minnesota is seemingly, and famously thought of as far off distant thought, here is a way to experience a little bit of hygge now, as well as into the the future. HOME STYLE TREND: WARM TEXTURES AHEAD!

Nothing beats a roaring fire in the dead of winter. This one by Arada Stoves is perfect for lounging at by way of a streamlined vintage rocking chair restored by the artisans at Omforme. An authentic Danish Rya rug from the mid century never loses its style while keeping tootsies warm. Need more glow? A pair of sleek mid century modern lamps may be the ticket, and finally Luciana Frigerio’s enchanting upcycled old leather bound books into origami masterpieces have major appeal when perched on a shelf of the books read during those long winter nights.

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Vintage metal rocker: Omformedesign.com

Scandinavian Rya Rug: Omformedesign.com Wood burning stove: Aradastoves.com

Vintage Globe Lamps: Omformedesign.com Book Origami: Luciana Frigerio, lfpaperworks.com

Carter Averbeck is an interior designer specializing in stylish, sustainable design. For More Information: Info@omformedesign.com.

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REFINED RUSTIC This dated contemporary was meticulously transformed into a beautiful family home that is a study in contrasts. written by ellen olson, photography by susan gilmore

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HOME

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“I wanted to create a juxtaposition of casual and more formal, both with the furnishings and key architectural details.” –ANDREW FLESHER

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W HOME

When a young family purchased a dated contemporary home in the coveted Rolling Green neighborhood, they quickly determined that the home was in need of a “whole home remodel.” Andrew Flesher of Andrew Flesher Interiors, had worked with the homeowner on several other projects, and coincidentally, had done the interior design for the original owners of the home. Together with PKA Architects a number of changes to the layout were specified, including expanding the foyer, enclosing a staircase and adding an office in the master suite. Soffits were removed throughout the home and most of the walls were taken back to the studs. “I always start with the architecture,” said Andrew. Welch Forsman Associates were brought in as the general contractor to provide the labor, oversight, the interior millwork and much of the cabinetry on the project. The interior of the home was completely transformed. “My clients wanted the home to feel relaxed and easy,” said Andrew. “I wanted to create a juxtaposition of casual and more formal, both with the furnishings and key architectural details.” Large, rough Douglas fir beams were added to the ceilings throughout the home. They are a stark contrast to the smooth plastered walls, which are finished in an Italian lime wash. The effect is dramatic and sophisticated. Wide plank oak flooring with a dark matte finish replaced the existing flooring throughout the home. “Elements of the home were fabricated and supplied by a wideranging group of artisans and vendors from Arizona, Colorado, France, Florida and Minnesota,” said Don Forsman, owner of Welch Forsman Associates. “Although the logistics were sometimes a challenge, the result is a highly customized home that reflects the owners’ tastes and personalities.” The living room is the most formal room in the home and is furnished with high quality, classic pieces, including a coffee table that features a crackle finish. “The tailoring is so precise, almost impeccable, on many of these upholstered pieces,” remarked Andrew. “They exude quality and could easily become family heirlooms. The rug brings the room down a little bit and keeps it from being a little bit too fussy.” Forest green Fortuny draperies finish the room and soften the space. The dining room features a hand finished custom dining table. The antique armoire is the focal point of the room; the scale is perfect and the patina of the wood finish has aged beautifully. “Hand crafted pieces, whether furniture or art, have an energy to them that I love,” remarked Andrew. “They reflect the artist’s hand and change over time.” A flame stitch cut velvet from Lee Jofa covers the dining chairs, while the host chairs by Christian Liagre are upholstered in a contrasting fabric. “I think of a room as a landscape,” said Andrew. “You need your eye to go up and down, and the host chairs help to create that movement. Adding a second fabric choice makes the room feel a little more collected.” Finishes in the master suite include a curtain wall that adds interest to the recessed space. The yellow Venetian glass lamps are by Jan Showers. The room is tailored but the fabric choices keep it relaxed. “Draperies help to take the cold edge off a room,” remarked Andrew.“The treatment of the pleats will give you very different looks. Draperies can be clean and minimal or more formal.” The family room features a more vibrant palette, and a bright green patterned rug that keeps it fun. Yellow “exclamation point” accents can be found throughout throughout the home and create another layer of continuity to the finishes. The collaboration between the homeowner and the entire project team culminated in a stunning transformation of a family home that is sophisticated and refined, yet full of spirited energy. pkarch.com • welchforsman.com • andrewflesherinteriors.com 40

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HOME

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HOME

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“In any project, the architecture comes first.” –ANDREW FLESHER

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HOME

project credits: residential design: pka architecture general contractor: welch forsman associates interior design: andrew flesher interiors millwork & cabinetry: ingrained wood studios furniture style cabinetry: jon frost cabinetry steel & wrought iron accents: live oak ironworks decorative paint & plaster: otto painting design 44

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ART GIRLS

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The Art Girls MPLS use studio visits to create powerful and visceral connections between artist and client. written by hollie blanchard photography by spacecrafting

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“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” – PICASSO

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Locally owned •

Wide selection of mouldings; select your own or work with our designers

HOURS Tues-Sat 10am-6pm •

3107 W 50th St 612.924.0809 nashframe.com

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WINTER 2021

PENN AVENUE S

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For Kelly and I being an art curator means so much more than finding great art… it’s really relational with our artists, clients, and one another. We know that building a circle; embedded on our mantra of only joy, is our foundation for success. It creates trust with our clients and the artists as well. One component of our business is the studio visit. This is a chance for us to immerse ourselves into the artist space as we begin to source art that will engage our clients on an emotional level, whether it’s for an immediate need or taking a mental note for future. I love being able to take the time to invest into who and what each artist represents. It provides intangible and unforeseen value and the kind of knowledge that our clients expect from us. To be able to see the subtle nuances, textural elements, bold brush strokes, poems scratched into a surface is really incredible and frankly can’t be achieved on the same level when seeing a work of art online. The very best part of owning an original piece of art is to know that a human hand was the sole source to create the object as they transferred their ideas, knowledge, and emotions onto canvas or clay. One of our favorite places we love to visit is the newly opened studio of local artist Stephanie Dillon, located on the West End. Immediately you see there isn’t anything off limits for her to paint upon: sofas, canvases, and her repurposed clothing line Citizen-T. These mediums have become a way to express her personal journey of being a mother, a wife, a woman of faith, a reformer, a philanthropist, and lover of Parisian Fashion. Her studio and style is fun, electric, and bold. Her genre is mainly mixed media paintings built upon the concept of upcycling. Dillon finds canvases headed for the landfills and rescues them. This is where she then begins to paint, adhere fabric, wallpaper — you name it — all with the intention of creating a beautiful work of art from repurposed materials discarded by others. Stephanie Dillon’s space is a working studio and also a showroom by appointment only. Good art transcends the voice behind the work and offers the ability for connection. Kelly and I had a client recently that immediately responded to Dillon’s art. The client’s reaction was swift and visceral; I just knew that this client resonated on an empathetic level to Stephanie’s journey with breast cancer. It utterly fascinates me that this connection was created, even in the absence of a face-to-face meeting between the artist and client. It is truly such a gift to witness and watch the power of art. We love to take our clients on studio visits or virtual meetings so our collectors can hear the words placed upon the art by the creators themselves. It provides depth and such an insight and is more powerful than receiving that information second-hand. Whether it’s abstract or impressionism, a simplistic line drawing, or a sculpture we encourage our clients to dig deep beyond the surface to really excavate and understand what it is saying to them. It’s about surrounding yourself with work that speaks to you, because ultimately it fills you up each and every day… and hopefully will be left behind to resonate with another soul. Hollie Blanchard owns Art Girls Mpls, an art concierge service, with sister-in-law Kelly Netishen. artgirlsmpls.com

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EPICUREAN

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A reflection of gratitude during the pandemic reveals how the folks at France 44 are helping each other through a challenging year. At first glance, the past twelve months have not cultivated fertile ground for thankfulness. Perhaps that is why it’s more important than ever to focus on gratitude — the practice of noticing and being thankful for what is valuable and meaningful. Reflections of this past year have left me with a long list of people for whom I am grateful: First, our staff and all of the essential workers who have persevered during times of imperiled safety, unrest and exhaustion. Also for the displaced restaurant workers who joined our team and became a part of our family. You helped us weather this storm and allowed our business to continue providing warm and personalized service to our customers. And finally, for our customers. Your patience and patronage allowed us to find new ways to support you and our community. To all of you, we say thank you. As an independent, family-owned business that has been operating in Minneapolis for over 60 years, we feel a deep responsibility to support our community. Because hospitality is central to our business plan, we have always looked to build longlasting connections with our customers, neighbors and colleagues in the industry. These relationships became incredibly fruitful and were no doubt a mutual life-support during the pandemic. When restaurants closed down, we moved quickly to offer employment. The synergies were phenomenal! When customers called in to our phone bank, they were met with talented, highly qualified leaders in the food and beverage industry: a passionate and professional team that includes 10 sommeliers, 2 cicerones and 2 with bartending certification. Our food side needs were met with equal talent, including the hiring of a renowned pastry chef from Bachelor Farmer, along with three cheesemongers who have competed in the prestigious Cheesemonger Invitational. The connections didn’t stop there. Our team was energized and eager to continue finding ways to support our customers and community. Our innovative staff found ways to partner with restaurants to highlight their takeout menus, initiated campaigns to raise funds for restaurant workers, provided food support for frontline healthcare workers, and assisted multiple food and essentials collections targeted to local charities. Internally, our pivot to virtual classes has been well-received, allowing us to offer a vast schedule of creatively curated topics. We have become the go-to for corporate happy hour boxes and experiences, and most recently added a coffee hour box for morning meetings. We love what we do and value the people we serve. Our commitment to service and innovation shines through in each member of our team. Ultimately, the what is not as important as the why and how. We do what we do because being a local, independent business comes with a responsibility to provide professional wages, full benefits, and a business model that gives back. This allows us to attract and retain talented and enthusiastic individuals who see themselves as stakeholders in the business. When you shop our business, you become the how. You are not just buying a product, you are supporting an entire community ecosystem. So, the next time you call our phone line or stop by, know that we are very grateful for your business and truly appreciate the trust you place in us. Thank you for being a part of this important framework. WINTER 2021

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BLUE MUSE

A majestic French Mediterranean makes a dramatic statement with a collection of family heirlooms and rich, textural details that play out against an extensive palette of blues. written by ellen olson photography by corey gaffer photography

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project team: residential design: murphy & co design construction: john kraemer & sons interior design: twist interior design landscape design: topo, llc 54

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“The Moroccan inspired chandeliers over the bar are big and bold and further emphasize a sense of folly and fun.” – SANDY LAMENDOLA, ASID

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Building a new home that has a sense of place yet feels that it belongs is an ambitious undertaking. An elegant French Mediterranean home in the southwest suburbs is proof that it can be done and can be done well. Murphy & Co was responsible for the home’s design, which features authentic architectural details: a slate roof, arched windows flanked by dark wooden shutters, and elaborate grill work that embellishes the front door, as well as the floor to ceiling windows on the second floor. Cast stone door and window surrounds feature classic ornamentations and period flourishes. John Kraemer & Sons, the builder who was responsible for bringing the plans to life, did so with the finest materials, workmanship and quality finishes. The landscape, planned by Scott Ritter of Topo, LLC, features elements found in classic French gardens. There is order and symmetry. Trimmed hedges and shrubs grace the front entrance. The home resembles something you might stumble across in southern France on a dream vacation. When Sandy LaMendola, ASID, founder of Twist Interior Design, joined the project team, the architecture of the home was complete and the floor plan specified. The homeowners had a generous “houseful” of furniture along with a number of rugs and family heirlooms they wanted to reuse. They also wanted to be mindful of the resources allocated to the project. “The architecture inspired the character of the house,” said Sandy, “and it was my job to optimize the project team’s vision by choosing the proper locations for the homeowners’ collections, as well as to specify the finishes throughout the home. My mandate was to create a comfortable, colorful and relaxing home for a busy and active family. Despite the rather formal architecture the goal was ease and fun.” The homeowners possessed a very broad palette of aesthetic influences they loved – French, Mexican, Moroccan, and Montana – but the big element in their roster of love was color. “My clients love the color blue in all its shades and hues,” said Sandy, “Paint was our primary tool for decorating the space; I ended up specifying a new regional record of fifty-six paint colors in this house! Although it seems a little counter intuitive, each selection was deliberate and considered. Some of the finishes were achieved by using layers of color to create depth and dimension. We used a lot of tonal accents and you will find lots of blues on cabinets and millwork.” The most striking color in the palette is the vibrant cobalt blue that is echoed throughout the home. The bar in the living area of the home was an important feature of the home’s design and is the first thing you see when you walk into the foyer. It’s a place for family and friends to gather – perfect for entertaining, but also a terrific place for the family to assemble at the end of the day. Comfortable stools upholstered in bright blue leather flank the crescent shaped bar which is framed by a gallery of arched French doors that open out to a patio and fire pit and a generous tree-lined lot. “The Moroccan inspired chandeliers over the bar are big and bold and they further emphasize the sense of folly and fun that my clients wished to express,” remarked Sandy. The bar area opens on one side to a family room decorated in rich vibrant textures. The sitting area is furnished with a caramel leather Barcelona chair, a green velvet sofa, and artwork by Virginia Randolph Bueide. The fireplace façade is Blue Mare, a natural quartzite that was also used on the bar – a bold choice that was enthusiastically embraced by the homeowner. A well-appointed kitchen with a plenty of storage and a large center island with seating for four completes the family gathering space. continued on page 61

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“People have responded so positively to this project. It’s irreverent and it’s bold.” – SANDY LAMENDOLA, ASID WINTER 2021

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HOME

“The blue on the vanities looks like the middle of the ocean on a moonlit night and creates a sense of quietude.” – SANDY LAMENDOLA, ASID

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continued from page 57 The hallways that lead from the foyer to the private quarters of the home, as well as the formal dining room, feature a wall covering that resembles a field of flowers. The representation is abstract, but it creates a feeling of movement and playfulness – it’s the “boulevard of blue” that is traversed several times each day by the home’s inhabitants. The dining room was furnished with family heirlooms and existing furnishings. The chairs were reupholstered to update the look. The inside back is embroidered linen and a metal studded leather strap accents the back of each chair; the trim is a striking but unexpected finish. It was intended to be a play on the back seam of a ladies stocking. The chandelier, resembling a tree branch, was custom fabricated from bronze and colored crystals attach to the branches. The fixture is an artful and organic treatment in an otherwise traditional setting. LaMendola likes to sprinkle in very subtle details in her designs, things that create an element of surprise. “There is magic in those subtle details – and a quiet way of getting someone’s attention, “ she remarked. “I am always looking for new ways of expressing people’s personalities in their furnishings.” In the more casual lower level of the home, she repurposed a municipal tree grate as a ceiling medallion, an inspiration that came from walking the streets of NYC. The medallion-patterned hardwood floor in the foyer is another subtle layer of detail that LaMendola specified. It adds elegance to the expansive and grand entry space. The bathroom is where confident French influences are on full display. The freestanding tub has a marble surround, with classic detailing. The vanities were custom designed. “We chose a different marble for the countertop, because we wanted it to read as a piece of furniture,” she commented. “The blue finish on the vanity looks a little more vivid in the photos than in real life, but looks like the middle of the ocean on a moonlit night and creates a sense of quietude. It’s one of my favorite finishes, achieved by a masterful artisan through a painstaking, multi-step process.” A more formal masculine study features a vintage inspired partner desk as well as a handsome built in display for the family’s collection of Santos figurines and statues. The office for the lady of the house is lighter and brighter. An aqua Murano glass chandelier is a bright pop of color against the neutral but textured tin ceiling. The eclectic elements come together effortlessly. “This was such a great project,” said Sandy. “People love it – they have responded so positively. I think they love how irreverent it is. It’s really bold.” She also really enjoyed getting to know her clients. “They are effervescent and fun and so very charming. They elevate their friendships because they are so approachable and generous.” “Designing a whole house with a bold color palette with bold fixtures and finishes was a real page-turn in my skills repertoire,” concluded Sandy. “It was a process of discovery and learning that strikes at the heart of my creative self. It’s why I do what I do.” The project was awarded the ASID MN Merit Award for Excellence in Palette – Color & Charisma in 2017. twistinterior.com • jkandsons.com • murphycodesign.com topollc.com WINTER 2021 61


FAITHFUL

Marc and Alicia Belton have dedicated their lives to creating a lasting and positive impact on society and in the community. as told to ellen olson, photography by spacecrafting 62

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SERVANTS

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HOME

“A summer road trip with the grandparents expanded our perspective and appreciation of our country.” – MARC & ALICIA BELTON 64

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Marc and Alicia Belton live a life of service. Each of them has distinguished careers yet they find time to serve in community, both locally and nationally. Although Marc grew up in West Hempstead, New York, and Alicia grew up in New Braunfels, Texas, they now consider the Minneapolis area “home.” They currently live in Lake of the Isles with their two children: Alexander (14) and Gabrielle (11). Alexander is on the ski team at Minnehaha Academy and he plays the saxophone. Gabrielle also skies and is a gymnast; she balances out those activities with her artistic and creative pursuits, which include playing the violin. “This is an incredibly livable city with great access to the outdoors as well as a multitude of options to enjoy sports, music and theater,” said Alicia. “We love the people who have become extended family.” In 1983 Marc moved to Minneapolis to work for General Mills. He was planning a short stint, maybe a couple of years, but he quickly established himself as an innovative and inspiring leader who cared about the business and cared about the people. Marc retired from General Mills in 2015, after 32 years of service. “It was a great honor to be able to lead and contribute to a great organization,” said Marc. “I helped pioneer the organic business and was President of the Snacks, Cereal and New Ventures groups. His final role was leading Global Strategy and Innovation.” After retirement, he founded Wisefellows Consulting. His firm helps values-based, mission-driven and not-forprofit companies gain strategic clarity and create sustainable growth. He is an angel investor and an advisor for Aethelon Capital. Marc enjoys skiing and golf, plays the bass and piano, and listens to jazz. Alicia moved to Minneapolis in 1992 to work at 3M. After several years as an Advanced Project Engineer, she founded her own architectural firm Urban Design Perspectives. As the Founding Principal and Chief Creative Officer, she is able to direct her firm’s efforts towards projects that have impact on restoring and lifting marginalized communities. “My vision is to design wellness in the world through the lens of the environment, equity and economic impact of our work,” said Alicia. “We focus on workplace, churches, housing and hospitality projects.” There are about 500 black registered women architects out of approximately 117,000 architects in the US. “I work in a male dominated field, so I want to help change the perception of who leads and designs, “Alicia remarked. “Our profession needs to be much more authentic, equitable and collaborative. In order for more young women of color to consider a career in the field, they will need exposure to the profession as young girls and the availability of college scholarships, meaningful internships and professional mentoring.” licia’s firm hosts a STEM Camp for middle school girls of color; the camp introduces them to the field of architecture. In her spare time, Alicia enjoys cooking, traveling and playing the piano. Ten years ago they established the Belton Family Foundation, which focuses on four key areas: Empowering communities; Faith and social justice; Transforming minds; A vision for wellness. The foundation is an extension of this mission: Be for God, Be Fruitful, Be You and Be Your Best. “Especially in this past year, we understood that there was a huge need to help families who had been impacted by the pandemic,” said Marc. “We redirected funds to organizations that helped family with food and basic necessities.” The foundation also supported a school in Kenya (Embiti Primary School) in their efforts to build housing for their teachers. The Beltons have also built a number of schools in the rural areas of Sierra Leone and contributed to an orphanage in India. Marc and Alicia ask for input from their continued on page 70 WINTER 2021

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COLOR STORY

With black being the new neutral trend in home paint colors, Benjamin Moore makes it easy to curate the best black for your home project. Whether it is an exterior black paint, entry and foyers, powder rooms, or dining rooms—black is always a classic choice.

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PICTURED: BENJAMIN MOORE 1596 NIGHTFALL

Visit the Benjamin Moore Paint experts at Hirshfield’s for unmatchable service and color advice. WINTER 2021

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WINTER WONDER

The Northernettes, a synchronized skating team founded by Alana Christie, offers new and exciting opportunities for competitive skaters. written by ellen olson, photography by liz banfield

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Synchronized skating is the fastest growing discipline in US Figure Skating and around the world. Sixteen skaters demonstrate incredible grace and athleticism in their routines, which include choreographed teamwork, speed, intricate formations and challenging sequences. Although there are over 600 synchronized skating teams throughout the United States, there is only one organization in the state of Minnesota that has an Intermediate, Novice and Junior team competing at the national level: the Northernettes, founded by Alana Christie in 2017. Alana started competing at a very young age as a freestyle skater but she was a junior in high school before she was introduced to synchronized skating. She skated for Team Braemer Junior for two years then attended Miami University where she skated at the senior level, the highest level in the sport. “There are only six senior teams in the entire country,” said Alana. As part of both teams, she represented Team USA in International competitions all six years. Alana graduated in 2016 with a double major in journalism and sports management. “I always thought I’d have a job in sports marketing,” she mused, “but I was offered an opportunity to coach a synchro team at Shattuck St. Mary’s. I discovered that I loved coaching so much. There was no high-level synchronized skating team in Minneapolis and I knew I wanted to inspire other skaters to get involved in the sport that gave me so many incredible opportunities.” Starting a synchronized skating team at the junior level with a team of freestyle skaters is a major undertaking. Alana had to educate skaters and supporters about the sport and the opportunity, recruit the talent, and find time on the ice. Most junior teams are able to recruit from “feeder” clubs where skaters begin at a young age and advance their way through the system. Her enthusiasm was contagious, and a lot of dedicated families helped her put her first junior team on the ice during the 2017-2018 season. Since then, the Northernettes have added Intermediate and Novice teams who compete nationally. Alana coaches all three teams; she spends about fifteen-twenty hours a week on the ice. “I love the sport more than ever,” she remarked. “My greatest joy is being able to re-ignite a passion for skating in a young athlete who may have burned out from the rigors of competitive freestyle skating. Synchronized skating adds that element of teamwork that can be so fulfilling and rewarding.” The sport is very demanding. Skaters practice as many as three-four times a week and it can take months to master and refine the complicated and exacting routines and ready them for competition. The Northernettes skate at several rinks throughout the city and some of the team members travel great distances to be a part of the program. In early March, the Northernettes will offer a workshop that is aimed at recruiting prospective skaters. “There still isn’t widespread awareness of synchronized skating and the opportunities it offers competitive skaters,” said Alana. “We hope to see a lot of new skaters at tryouts in late March.” In early January, the Northernettes annual photo shoot had to be moved outdoors due to COVID restrictions. “All of the rinks were closed so we decided to head to Lake of the Isles,” said Alana. “It ended up being a magical afternoon. It was warm and sunny and a crowd quickly gathered.” Photographer Liz Banfield, with her mastery of light, beautifully captured the team on the ice. “Liz is a family friend and because she is a former figure skater she gets out on the ice and shoots the skaters close up,” said Alana. “Her perspective is so dynamic and beautiful – she’s right there.” Alana hopes that the Northernettes will soon be able to return to a full schedule of competitions – with spectators. “Their support is one thing we have all been missing, but we are excited to have them back when the time is right.” northernettessynchro.org • lizbanfield.com WINTER 2021

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children as to what organizations are important to them and where resources should be deployed. Although both children have a soft spot for organizations that support animals, they devoted a good deal of their attention towards combating hunger and food insecurity in 2020. Travel is one of the passions that the entire Belton family shares. Before the pandemic, the family traveled extensively: a safari in Kenya, hiking Machu Picchu, exploring the Galapagos, and time in Australia are just a few of their recent destinations. “We always try to connect at the local level on these trips,” said Alicia. “The school we support in Kenya is one we visited on one of our trips. Going local gives us the opportunity to see the need first-hand, and helps us formulate the initiatives we support.” This past summer the family took a road trip out west with the grandparents. “We filled in some gaps in our understanding of our own country,” said Marc. “Our time together as an extended family might not have happened if the pandemic had not forced a new way of thinking about the possibilities.” “One of our fundamental values is to give our children the opportunity to become global citizens and to develop a worldview,” said Marc. “They don’t need any more Legos! Alicia and I gift experiences. Our children get to see what other kids their age are doing, how they are living, and what they are thinking. The shared experiences allow for learning and understanding. It’s extremely powerful.” Words from the book of Luke serve as a guidepost for the Beltons: “To whom much is given, much will be required.” Luke 12:48. They believe that the surest way to develop a sense of responsibility and philanthropy in young children is to “have them see what you do and bring them along. It’s not about telling – it’s about showing. Let your children get involved and experience things firsthand.” In addition to the work done by the Belton Family Foundation, both Marc and Alicia make significant contributions to the community at both the local and national level. Marc is Board Chair of Minnehaha Academy and Vice Chairman of the National Board of the Salvation Army. He is also on the Guthrie Board and is working on community issues with the Itasca Project. Alicia is on the Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity Board, Capital Area Architectural Planning Board and American Institute of Architects Minnesota Board. 2020 was a very challenging year for the city of Minneapolis, and when asked about how the events of the summer changed the city Alicia responded, “It was a giant wake-up call that Minneapolis is not as far along as we actually think we are. There is significant opportunity to address the disparities that citizens face in this city.” Marc added, “We have real work to do and it’s going to take an effort from everyone. We need government, corporate, and individuals to bring about the change that we all desire. It is hard work and we need to get comfortable being uncomfortable. Honestly, if the solutions we come up with are solutions all of us are comfortable with then we are probably not doing much.” Marc and Alicia Belton will continue to be a part of this important discussion in our community and they encourage each one of us to get involved. They lead by example and are creating an incredible legacy in the community and in the world. beltonfamilyfoundation.com • wisefellowsconsulting.com urbandesignperspectives.com 70

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