Art Gallery

In the gallery, the library mounts a bi-monthly show which features the work of contemporary area artists.

In addition, the library has a permanent collection of paintings, prints, and photographs displayed throughout the building. This collection includes works by Jo Lutz Rollins and other historic Minnesota artists. In July, 2013, a permanent sculpture by Minnesota sculptor Kinji Akagawa was installed on the Johnson Terrace. Commissioned by the Huelsmann Foundation, the Akagawa sculpture is in memory of Richard Huelsmann, the Foundation’s founder and area philanthropist. Mr. Huelsmann also donated a large number of the paintings in the library collection.

2021 Shows

In the Gallery: Sarah Lilja

In the Gallery: Sarah Lilja

Through September 2021:

In August and September, the gallery at Stillwater Public Library will feature the exhibit Water, White Pines, and Wildflowers by photographer Sarah Lilja. The vibrant works are from Sarah’s recent three-week residency at Pine Needles, the historic James Taylor Dunn Cabin, on the banks of the St. Croix River. This competitive residency program, sponsored by the St. Croix Watershed Research Station, focuses on the complex connection between art, the natural world, and the sciences. Sarah’s work captures new spring growth as it unfurled from the cold leaf-littered ground after a long Minnesota winter. She also spent time exploring the quality of light across the land at Pine Needles. Shooting from dawn to dusk, she was able to take photographs of the same subject multiple times over many days. She studied how different qualities of light and composition dramatically changed the way the subject looked across changing conditions. Two images in this exhibition, Wild Ginger Bud and Nodding Trillium, show how Sarah used the angle of sunlight, at different times of the day, to bring out details and create drama in the photographs.

Sarah hopes that the photographs on exhibit will inspire your wonder and curiosity about the important science work of the St. Croix Watershed Research Station and the special beauty of the St. Croix River Valley. She encourages everyone to get outside and explore for themselves how science and art come together in the natural world that surrounds us in the St. Croix Valley.

The exhibit runs from August 2 – September 30 and is viewable during library hours. Meet the artist at a reception in the gallery on Tuesday, September 14 from 5:30 – 7:30 PM. 

View our artist brochure to learn more about Sarah and her work. Want to dig deeper? Check out the Science Museum of Minnesota’s video interview with Sarah Lilja about her experience at Pine Needles.

In the Gallery: Karen Tan

In the Gallery: Karen Tan

June – July 2021:

Our gallery is now open with the library’s return to nearly full open hours! Our first exhibit of 2021 features the vibrant still life oil paintings of Karen Ni Tan. Karen’s passion is to celebrate the beauty and richness of life through art. She specializes in creating paintings in chiaroscuro style, using strong contrasts between light and dark, and has recently explored works with looser and painterly brushstrokes. The shapes and forms of collections of potteries, fresh fruits, and flowers inspire her. The exhibit runs through July 31 and is viewable during library hours. Meet the artist at a reception on Saturday, July 24 from 2 to 4 PM.

Karen Ni Tan also shares the joy of art by offering art classes to kids and adults. Her classes have been a regular part of our adult programming over the past year. Registration for her August virtual class, Summer Landscape in Watercolor, opens on Thursday, July 8. Visit for more information about this adult art class.

View our artist brochure to learn more about Karen and her work.

Past Shows


January-February Textiles – Traditional and Modern 2020: Rug Hooking and Applique from the St. Croix Valley and beyond


January-February Fiber Favorites
March-April Surreal Landscapes by Kristin Prideaux
May-June Memories into Art by Rita Zawislak-Brandt
July-August Twelve Months in the Midwest by Bruce and Tamy Leventhal
September-October Views from Within by Becky Benson
November – December: Recollections by Susan Strand-Penman & Jerilyn Strand


November-December Nature Photography by Craig Blacklock
September-October Michael Gordon and Nick Earl 
July-August Jamais vu: To See Anew by Charlotte Schuld
May-June Within An Exhibition of Drawings by Jennifer Davenport
March-April  The Secret Camino by Ann Gregory
January-February Flora and Fauna Creating Art With Wool One Loop at a Time


November-December Diana Hatchitt
September-October Digital Vision Quests by The Western Wisconsin Photography Club
July-August Virginia Lovness
May-June Jimmy Longoria
March-April 2017 Tim Nyberg
January-February 2017 Town and Garden by the St. Croix Valley Area Rug Hookers



November-December 2016 Pebbles in the River  by Tomy O’Brien
September-October 2016 Emily Haddad
July-August 2016 Gregg Rochester
May-June 2016 Oil and Water with Dianne Ginsberg and Jeanette Richards
March-April 2016 Laurie Schneider
January-February 2016 Rug Hookers


November-December 2015 Myrlah Olson
September 2015- October 2015 David Parker
July 2015-August 2015 Melissa Belanger
May 2015-June 2015 Sharon Weiser
March-April 2015  Every Day Brave with Douglas Limon, Rachel Limon, Gavino Limon, Melvin Losh & Tom Lindfors
January-February 2015 Wynn Davis


August -September 2014 Marie Olofsdotter
July-August 2014 Sue Hedin
May-June 2014 Edie and Richard Abnet
March-April 2014 Beverly Van Dell
January-February 2014 Carl Cedergren

Historical List of Gallery Shows