Pam Luer grew up in Waukesha, WI, fortunate enough to get her head start from a public school system that appreciated and funded the arts throughout her young learning years. After earning her associate degree in graphic design from the Madison Area Technical College, she spent much of her twenties in Sonoma County, CA, working as a graphic designer. Returning to the Midwest, Luer completed her BFA degree in studio arts from the University of Minnesota.
Pam’s work combines her design experience with fine art. Launching a career in art licensing, her work became a good fit for gift markets, housewares and textile industries. Pam has also worked closely with architects and restaurant designers. Large original fruits and vegetables paintings became part of the decor planning for restaurants nationwide.
Most recently, Pam has been experimenting with a whole host of mediums. Her themed sketchbooks include acrylic, watercolor, gouache and colored pencil. From her practice, Pam designed her Nature Sketchbook Workshop program. Pam has enjoyed teaching throughout the country (see attached, Note From Pam).
My chosen Minnesota author is Connie Wanek, a poet from Duluth (Bio attached). I took a chance and reached out to her, hoping she’d find my interest in honoring her flattering (and not creepy!) To my surprise, she answered with a passage of her own to be part of what I am calling “The Day Dreamers Bench.”
My hope is that The Day Dreamers Bench will be an oasis for folks. A still place for dreams to brew. I am hoping to pause the dreamers so they can clear their heads in order to create more beauty in the world. I am hoping to offer a connection to nature and peacefulness, no matter where this bench may be placed. I am hoping to create a moment for the dreamers to settle down, recharge and carry on.
"Every birch knows there are a thousand ways to enter the sky.”
- Connie Wanek
Connie Wanek was born in Wisconsin, raised in New Mexico, and lived for over a quarter century in Duluth, MN.
Her first book, Bonfire, won the New Voices Award and was published in 1997 by New Rivers Press. Her second, Hartley Field, appeared in 2002 from Holy Cow! Press.
On Speaking Terms, her third book, was released on January 15, 2010, by Copper Canyon Press. In 2016, the University of Nebraska Press published Wanek’s Rival Gardens: New and Selected Poems. In 2018, Will o’ the Wisp Books produced a chapbook of Wanek’s poems called Consider the Lilies: Mrs. God poems.
Forthcoming from Candlewick Press is a children’s bookof poetry co-written by Wanek and Ted Kooser. Wanek's poems have appeared in Poetry, The Atlantic Monthly, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Great River Review, Poetry East, Water-Stone, and many other publications over the years. In 2006, US Poet Laureate Ted Kooser named her a Witter Bynner Fellow of the Library of Congress. She also served as a co-editor with Joyce Sutphen and Thom Tammaro on the comprehensive anthology, To Sing Along the Way:
Minnesota Women Poets from Pre-Territorial Days to the Present, which appeared in 2007 from New Rivers Press, and which has won several awards. In 2014 she also published a book of prose, ten stories, called Summer Cars with Will o' the Wisp Press. Wanek was deeply honored to receive the George Morrison Artist of the Year Award in 2009, which recognizes an individual artist whose body of work has made a significant contribution to the arts in Northeastern Minnesota. And in 2017, a wildflower trail in Duluth’s Hartley Nature Center was named in her honor