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Daily News Editorial

By Staff | Sep 30, 2009

All you have to do is look around you. Estherville is getting a major facelift.

Just over the past few weeks, businesses up and down Central Avenue have been redoing siding and painting. And just yesterday, Mother Nature’s and the Grand Theatre, just beside each other, were both getting a major painting job.

Go down any street in Estherville, and you’ll see homes with new siding, roofs, porches and decks. A number of older homes have also been recently demolished, making room for new infill housing.

Not only that, but new additions are popping up on the north side of the community as well as growing interest in building on the city’s westside subdivisions.

An art colony in Ringsted?

It doesn’t end there, though. Just yesterday, Lezley Lowery, who recently relocated from Minot, N.D., to Ringsted where her mother grew up, came into our office and told us about The Artist’s Table she’s opened in Ringsted. She plans on offering art supplies and adult art classes starting this fall.What a wonderful idea for a renaissance. And her sister, Theresa Arne, is in the process of relocating from the Washington, D.C., area to open a coffee shop and bookstore next to Heartland Americana on South Sixth Street in Estherville.

Lowery’s aspirations go far beyond offering art lessons though. She wants to start an artist’s colony in Ringsted.

That seems like a very good fit. Ringsted already offers top-notch, professional-calibre entertainment with the annual dinner theater during Danish Days. Glenn Henriksen is regionally renowned for his impeccable virtuosity on the keyboard and has several recordings. April Gunderson, whom Randy Yackle, master class keyboard and voice instructor, refers to as his longest-standing student, has already impressed people with her vocal talents for years despite the fact that she’s still in college.

And there’s certainly no shortage of major talent through the rest of Emmet County either.

Lowery could very well be on to something. Sometimes it takes someone to come from another place to offer an objective view as to a community’s potential. Major art colonies, such as Aspen and Taos, began as quaint, quiet communities away from the crowd, places where people could grow with their art.

Ringsted is exactly such a place. It will be interesting to see how far Lowery’s vision takes her – and Ringsted.