After teaching art in White Bear Lake for 38 years, Lori Eklund Quello decided to “practice what I preach.” Paintings by the hometown artist will be featured Oct. 11-12 at First Presbyterian Church.
Known for her ability to bring out the artist in her students, Quello returned to the canvas in retirement with new knowledge and techniques that she taught in the classroom. “I’m a better artist now,” she said.
As an artist, Quello is known for her landscape and flower paintings that capture beautiful scenes and happy memories. Her “Painting the Town” art show will feature that work, along with paintings of familiar places in White Bear, including the Hippodrome, the library, St. Mary’s Church, the train depot and other iconic landmarks. “These are the places that caught my eye as a kid growing up in White Bear and now they’re catching my eye as an artist,” noted the retired teacher.
Quello is the daughter of the late Norm and Cele Eklund. Norm taught industrial arts at Central when it was a junior high school. “My dad was an artist in his own right who taught mechanical drawing to his students. My mom was also a teacher and a creative writer. Together, they fostered my talent and supported me in my teaching and my craft.”
Her sister, Kari Logan, is one of Quello's biggest fans. “I will tell you that when she was teaching at Sunrise Middle School, Lori had a passion for bringing out the artist in her students. Many of them didn't excel in athletics or other activities, but with her teaching and encouragement, they became confident in their artistic gifts. Lori would spend her own money on hosting art shows at the school that spotlighted her students as artists. Now it's her turn to shine.”
Now an award-winning artist, the former teacher hopes that old friends and new will gather at First Presbyterian Church to see her work. It will be available for purchase.