Brian Barnes: Founding Member

April 1st, 2013 by

Brian BarnesI interviewed Sheralyn Barnes last month, this time I get to talk with musician Brian Barnes, also one of the four founding members of the Creative Drive. We spoke at Brian and Sheralyn’s home in St Paul, where they have many musical instruments resting like dominos near the back wall.

Jenelle Ludwig Krause: When did you really start liking music and wanting to play it?

Brian Barnes: I loved music as a kid. I remember being in 4th grade, over at a friend’s house, listening to the radio and, of all things, I was into Motown. There was a band – The Temptations – I thought they were great. And then I thought, that would be the most fun thing in the entire world… to play music for people. (more…)

Sheralyn Barnes: Founding Member

March 4th, 2013 by

Sheralyn BarnesAlong with John Onkka, Brian and Sheralyn Barnes were also founders of the Creative Drive.   Ten years ago, when the Creative Drive was started, they lived in Spring Valley, WI and owned a gallery called Blue Moment Fine Arts. Now, they live in a cozy home in St. Paul filled with art and musical instruments.  This month, we’ll learn how Sheralyn participated (and named!) the first Creative Drive and find out what she is working on these days.  Next month, we’ll spend time with Brian Barnes.



Jenelle Ludwig Krause:  How do you remember the Creative Drive starting?

Sheralyn Barnes:  Brian and I first met John and his wife, Mary, right after starting my gallery and frame shop in Spring Valley. We were playing music at Seasons on St. Croix gallery in Hudson, WI. Our first conversation with John was uncommonly interesting and we talked about our art and the fact that Brian was teaching guitar out of our building in Spring Valley. Their daughter started taking guitar lessons with Brian, so John and I would talk while he was waiting for the lesson to finish. I really don’t remember how we even got the idea to start the Creative Drive. We thought an art tour would be a good way to get to know people and put my gallery on the map. I was so in love with the Spring Valley area – there were people raising bison, a great community theater, a wonderful bakery – there were so many vibrant people creating things with their hands. (more…)

John Onkka: Founding Member

February 1st, 2013 by

John OnkkaThis year will be the 10th Annual Creative Drive! It seems fitting to look back at who got it started, how it has progressed and where it might go in the future. This is the first of three interviews with the artists who founded the Creative Drive ten years ago.

John Onkka has been the main organizer of the Creative Drive and his studio is one of the four sites for the event. I had the pleasure of going to his home in January to find out more about the Creative Drive and his ceramic work.


Jenelle Ludwig Krause: How did the Creative Drive get started?

John Onkka: I’ve always thought that the easiest way to sell my work was to have a studio sale and have people visit. When I got together with my friends Brian and Sheralyn Barnes and John Turula, it surprised me that they didn’t do the same. So I said, “well, why don’t we just do something together.”


All in a Name: Remembering the First Creative Drive

February 20th, 2012 by

“The Creative Drive” is a perfect name on many levels. It is fun, easy to remember, and it expresses so clearly what this event is about. Recently, I was renewing our domain name on the phone when the sales rep said, “that is such a great name, when you are done using it you will be able to sell it.” We don’t want to sell it, but where did it come from?

It was late winter in 2004 when four of us met at the Red Barn Café south of Baldwin for breakfast. Potter John Turula, painter Sheralyn Barnes,  musician Brian Barnes and myself  began to throw out ideas of how we could work together on a small spring art event. Our goal was to promote the work of local artists (ourselves at that point) and create a community art event that was fun for us and the public. It was unturned land and we just threw out seeds of ideas with no idea of where it was going to take us and which ones would grow.  (more…)