- Associated Press - Sunday, June 14, 2015

MINOT, N.D. (AP) - Thanks to a chance encounter at a garage sale, the long hidden artwork of a former area artist has come out of storage and into public display.

On May 20, the Minot Area Council on the Arts unveiled art pieces created by Shari Hamilton, the sculptor of the Hans Christian Andersen statue dedicated on Oct. 5, 2004, in Minot’s Scandinavian Heritage Park.

“It was a happened-by-chance scenario,” said Kayla Cote, who learned about the existence of the artwork several weeks ago. The owner of Cote Creative and a member of the MACA board, Cote had struck up a conversation with James Lozensky of Antler at a garage sale. When she mentioned that her businesses specializes in art and graphic design services, he spoke about how he had purchased a home in Antler 10 years ago that came with bronze sculpture art and 11 boxes of bronze clay that had been left behind by Hamilton.

“I thought this was just an incredible find for art and culture in Minot,” Cote said.

At Cote’s request, Lozensky agreed to bring the artwork to Minot. Cote also spoke to Terri Aldrich, director of MACA, who had known Hamilton through the Souris Valley Danish Society. Aldrich was part of a group that selected Hamilton as sculptor for the Andersen statue. Sharing Cote’s enthusiasm about the find, Aldrich arranged to have the art displayed at the MACA office in the lower level of the downtown Artspace building.

“It truly is exciting to think that they had been packed in a box and nobody had seen them in years,” Aldrich said. “To be able to open those boxes and allow people to be able to see some of that beautiful work, it’s kind of delightful.”

Lozensky delivered the art the day the pieces were unveiled, the Minot Daily News (https://bit.ly/1Tbvjnc ) reported. They included a watercolor painting dated 1978 and clay relief sculptures from 2002. The sculptures depict popular biblical themes such as Jesus washing his disciples’ feet and appearing at the Sea of Galilee.

Lozensky plans to bring additional pieces to MACA in the future. The collection includes a sculpture of an Olympian-looking woman and another believed to be of a famous Norwegian and small busts of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.

Why the work was left in the home remains a mystery.

Hamilton was married to the homeowner from whom Lozensky bought his home. The previous homeowner did not want to take the artwork when he left. Lozensky has tried to contact Hamilton over the years but wasn’t successful in locating her. Aldrich plans to continue the effort to find Hamilton, who is believed to be living in Utah.

In the meantime, MACA will have the artwork on temporary display during business hours for at least the next couple of weeks.

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Information from: Minot Daily News, https://www.minotdailynews.com


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