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Area Voices: Local wildlife artist talks up Art Leap event Sept. 23-24 in Park Rapids

Painter Jeff Renner painting a dog on a boat
Wildlife artist Jeff Renner of Park Rapids poses with one of his paintings of a black Labrador retriever in a duck hunting boat.

On "Area Voices," we interviewed wildlife painter Jeff Renner to discuss what it's like being an artist during the event.

PARK RAPIDS — “It brings people's awareness that there's a lot of good quality art in this community,” said Jeff Renner of the Art Leap 2023 event.

Wildlife painter Jeff Renner joined Area Voices to discuss participating in this year’s Art Leap Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 23-24, in Hubbard, Becker and Wadena counties.

Art Leap is an open studio event featuring 30 sites with nearly 100 artists' works at studios and other locations where you can admire or purchase their art.

Jeff Renner painting of two birds on a water pump
Local wildlife artist Jeff Renner's "Summertime Hangout."

Renner has participated in Art Leap for almost a decade and was surprised how many people showed up the first year he did it.

“People just love to hit all the studios and look at your work. Sometimes they buy. Sometimes they don’t,” Renner said. “It’s just nice to have them come.”

He does landscape and canvas pieces and will have originals and framed canvas additions for sale.

Renner is a self-taught artist whose interest in wildlife started at an early age.

“I’ve always had a love for nature and hunting and fishing,” Renner said. “And so that's why I paint what I’m familiar with.”

He finds it easy to get inspired by the area.

“We have everything out our back door here.”

Renner believes events like Art Leap add a lot to a community, introducing people to wood carvers, painters, photographers and potters. It’s a busy weekend for Park Rapids.

“Everybody will still be showing their work, whether it’s inside or outside. Just come on out and enjoy yourselves hitting all the studios,” he said.

Sites for Art Leap will be open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Find event guides at the Park Rapids Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center, Park Rapids Library and other locations, or at the Heartland Arts website.

Tell us about upcoming arts events where you live in Northern Minnesota by emailing

Area Voices is made possible by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and the citizens of Minnesota.

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