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  SIgn Up For
Good Taste


Richard Stephens & Denise Thurmon
Featured Artists

Show runs: Mar 14 - May 31
Reception: Mar 31, 6-8pm

Richard Stephens

Richard Stephens

These objects, (kites and screens) are influenced by Chinese literati books that combine painting and text. Each panel has two hinges glued to the edges of individual screens and then sewn together. This structure guides the observer to discover the composition, panel by panel and tactually and visually.

I am a member of Minnesota Center for Book Arts Artists’ Cooperative. The community atmosphere at MCBA leads to discussion of process, how to make that structure, how to present your idea in a book form, and helpful critique.

The Kites and Screens were completed in the past year and inspired by time at Lake Superior’s North Shore and a residency at Anderson Center in Red Wing, Minnesota.

Other work of mine can be seen at MCBA, Grand Hand Gallery, Minnesota History Center, and Special Collections at Hennepin County Library.

Denise Thurmon

Denise Thurmon

The chance to show with Richard really has not happened that often. Surprising since we have so many similar likes and interests. We visit Lake Superior’s North Shore a few times a year and the highlight of our days there are painting and drawing the landscape en plein air. Competition is tempered by the fact that the process in printmaking and painting are different and then the contest to out do is innocently played out with who can make the most number of sketches in a given time.

I begin without a plan. To simply put paint to paper and build color, transparent then opaque. To allow “color making” to take center stage and the subject to surface on its own.

When I start a painting—it’s just me and the blank canvas. Nothing else. As a seasoned painter I find the abstract approach very freeing. I work quickly, eliminating the temptation to over-think. Leaving me free to make art like a child, lost in the pure experience of painting.

But of course even “abstract art” is derived from something. My imagery comes from remembered experiences. The titles are notations about a place, moment in time, a spoken phrase, a feeling, a fleeting understanding.

I am always aware of the need for craft—for visual power that strives to be significant and transformative. But basically, painting for me is joy. A chance to show, and share a personal inner vision.

About the Artist:

Denise Thurmon has been exhibited in solo and group exhibits in galleries and studios.

Denise grew up in Louisiana. She studied at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge where she received a bachelor’s degree in Art Education and a master’s degree in Painting. After teaching art in Louisiana Schools for several years, she attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine, then lived in New York City for the next ten years, dividing her time between teaching, graphic arts and painting. She currently lives in Minneapolis with her partner, fellow artist printmaker Richard Stephens.

We Connect Makers, Growers & Community

To Our Customers—

As of January 1, 2015, we will begin paying our employees not just a living but a livable wage. To accomplish this increase in hourly pay rates we are increasing prices and eliminating the practice of tipping at the café. We believe that by creating a sustainable pricing model to support the quality of our products and staff we offer a positive (and delicious!) experience in a way that gratuity-driven service simply cannot.

As the owners, we are an integral part of Kopplin's, but so too are our talented employees. Sharing the work of the café deepens our commitment to them, which is to create a secure and fulfilling role for those who choose to stay with us. In doing so, we make our coffee house a better place for every person who sets foot inside. As we seek to create this alternative to standard 'service industry' chains, we choose to provide fair compensation (exceeding the "living wage" of $9.69 in Ramsey County). This validates the good work of our employees and creates a more stable and equitable pay environment for these people who bring beauty into our lives with the creation of their hands.

In 2006, Kopplin's Coffee opened with a vision based on a philosophy of good taste and real community. Over time the principles of the shop have evolved and strengthened to form the backbone of the café that exists today. We're here to provide a location, a unique space, standing opposed to the prevailing narrative that reduces people to consumers. We imagine a community of people in collaboration, with customers and staff learning from each other. We are excited to announce this latest step Kopplin's is taking toward making our vision more concrete.

We call Kopplin's our "public house," a focal point of community. We welcome you to linger over a cup and conversation with us.

Andrew & Amanda Kopplin, Owners

The Latest News on Our Farmers & Products

Dear Customers—

In April we will be transitioning from Castle Rock Organic Dairy to Kalona SuperNatural. We didn’t want you to see the glass bottles disappear out of the blue and get worried. Instead, you can be sure that we did our research to find a dairy that could offer the quality we are all used to at a price that fits our business – without any compromise. When it became apparent we would need to find a new dairy supplier, in some sense we knew right where to go. Both at home (buttermilk, butter, cottage cheese) and at the shop (yogurt), we’ve come to really enjoy Kalona products. While working with them to get their milk to the Twin Cities, we’ve become even more confident that we found someone who can and will work with us to produce something great. We are excited about Kalona products coming to our shop and want to share a little more about what we’ve learned.

Kalona Super Natural Milk

Here’s some information about our new milk:

• Our values: This milk upholds the standards we have set for the dairy at the shop: organic, grass-fed, non-homogenized, vat-pasteurized, and produced by small Midwest farms.

• Business practices: Kalona works with about 50 Amish and Mennonite farms in the Kalona, IA area to bring their minimally processed milk to market. They take the support of these small farms seriously, using the growth in the organic market to grow their farms and business in a sustainable manner. Kalona is searching for creative ways to grow production, including a new Kickstarter campaign to create pastureland for non-producing dairy cows. We believe the milk blended from these small farms will create both a highly delicious and consistent product – the samples have certainly lived up to their promise.

• Plastic bottles: Kalona did their homework about the expense and carbon cost of shipping glass bottles to and from their creamery. It turned out to be high. In response they designed and contracted the production of their own plastic bottles to create a container that is highly recyclable, BPA and BPS free, and consumes less fuel in shipping.

Still wondering, “Why the change?” Here’s a little more background:
The demand for organic milk has grown immensely. This has produced a shortage in the supply of organic milk, leading to higher prices. It takes time to grow an organic farm and increase production. This puts pressure on organic farms, causing a variety of reactions. To contend with this flux in the organic dairy industry, Castle Rock made the decision to support their farm through a significant price increase (beyond standard annual adjustments). The new pricing is not sustainable for the shop, leading us to search for options to better meet our needs at this time.

We feel we’ve found a great fit with Kalona. Andrew has talked with them extensively and is confident they are a sound and sustainable business, well-suited to be featured in our beverages. We appreciate your commitment to Kopplin’s and take our responsibility to source quality products seriously. We hope you’ll let us know if you have any questions about this change. Cheers to enjoying many more delicious beverages together!

Andrew & Amanda Kopplin, Owners