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  Thursday February 26th, 2015    

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Rockwell Kent festival a great success (02/20/2013)
From: Taff Roberts

Thank you all for your amazing support the Rockwell Kent Centennial Celebration—it was very successful! Many people came here from afar and were dazzled by the cultural richness of Winona. Rockwell Kent, during his time here a hundred years ago, mentioned that Winona was “a cultural no-man’s land!” Rockwell Kent, thank you for visiting our town a hundred years ago, and helping us get together to make it a rich cultural destination!

There are many people and organizations in our community who helped make the Rockwell Kent Centennial Celebration such a success! I would especially like to thank our financial supporters: Winona National Bank, Elizabeth Callender King Foundation, The Winona Community Foundation, Winona Fine Arts Commission, Frozen River Film Festival, Coca Cola of Winona, Boats and Bluegrass, The Laurie Lucas Family, Slaggie Family Foundation, and Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council.

I would like to thank the Minnesota Marine Art Museum, Winona State University, Saint Mary's University, the Winona Public Library, Theatre du Mississippi, City of Winona, Great River Shakespeare Festival, Winona History Center, and Visit Winona for being partners in this Centennial Celebration. A very special thanks to Henry Adams, Richard West, Beth Christiansen, Emilio de Grazia, and Kent Gernander for their excellent presentations. In the next few weeks the presentations will be downloaded to the Rockwell Kent web page rockwellkentwiniona.org. Thanks to the Rockwell Kent Centennial Committee, all twenty-six of them, for all the work that they have done in the last two years, as well as the many volunteers who helped out during this very successful festival.

A very special thanks to Lynn Nankivil and her director Judy Myers and all the fine actors, crew, and musicians on their masterpiece “Angels in the Trees.” Special thanks to Frederick Lewis for coming here to show his documentary on Rockwell Kent, and to Greg Neidhart, and Andrew Higl of WSU's Celebration of the Book, and their team of technicians. Thanks to Ralf Nemec for bringing some of his private collection of Kent prints for the exhibits at WSU and SMU, to Don Roberts of the “Kent Review” and his staff. Appreciation goes to Ceil Espositio and Marguriette Einsman from Plattsburgh State University of New York, and to Heidi Bryant our amazing webmaster! Thank you Harry Kline from HBC for filming the video on Briarcombe, and Peter Walsh for directing and editing the movie, which can be viewed at the Winona History Center until March 31. Many thanks to Margaret Shaw Johnson for all her good help and advice during this long journey. Thank you Fran Edstrom, publisher of the Winona Post (Catfish Mary!) and Sarah Squires for believing in this from the start. My gratitude to Monica and Emilio Degrazia, Jim McGuire, Walt Bennick, Blandine Berthelot, Gerie Gulden, John Campbell, James Bowey, Bruce Johnson, Chad Ubhl, Tom Fassbender, Crystal Hegge, Monica Henessey Mohan and Bernadette Mahfood for their contributions and assistance. Appreciation goes to Mary Alice Anderson our volunteer coordinator, Eric Bunge, Irene Erkenbrack and the whole staff of Great River Shakespeare Festival, as well as to Preston Lawing, Lyon Smith and student interns who helped install the shows at WSU and SMU. Thanks to John Heid from Tucson who helped me come up with the idea of the centennial celebration.

Many thanks to John Njoes the ice sculptor, the Blue Heron Coffee House, Plaza Hotel & Suites, and Ellis Inman and his assistant Stephanie for volunteering to be the photographers for the whole event. Thank you Rob Thomas from GRSF for being the bus tour guide and Rockwell Kent historian. Thank you to all of you who attended the five-day event from Winona, the Midwest and the nation. A big thank you also goes to Mrs. Brown who came here from Newfoundland for the event!

Forgive me, those of you whom I have forgotten to thank. 


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