About the Artist

Frederick D. Somers, PSA

" I seek to bring to others an experience of the beauty of light as it bathes creation and to point them to a pathway that reaches into eternity."

Frederick Somers - Biography

Fred Somers has been painting full-time since 1975 at his farm-home-studio near Northfield, MN.   His oil and pastel paintings, known for their peaceful sensitivity, reflect themes from the land.  Whether in intimate views of grass, rocks and water with reflections of light and sky, or in spacious vistas of the countryside he seeks to share the hidden places of nature.  He now brings his love of life to sensitive commissioned portraits.

Fred’s pastel paintings of the Big Woods State Park near Northfield were chosen for the 1996 Minnesota State Park Permit design.  He also continues to inspire others through his painting workshops in the U.S. and abroad.   Since his designation as American Swedish Artist of the Year in 1984 he has continued to exhibit and teach in Scandinavia.

Since 1975: Full-time studio artist: Exhibitions, commissioned works, gallery and studio sales,
taught painting workshops. Opened a gallery in a remodeled granary at his rural
Northfield home in 1995. 

1995 Taught pastel painting, 1989 watercolor painting classes Mullsjö Folkhögskola, Sweden
1970-75 and 1980 Instructor of painting, drawing, printmaking, art education, and gallery director at St. Olaf and Carleton colleges, Northfield, MN
University of Iowa, MA in drawing, MFA
in painting; University of Omaha, BFA.
Selected Honors:

2013 Named Eminent Pastellist by International Association of Pastel Societies. Fred is second person in organization to receive this honor

2012 International Birds in Art Traveling Exhibition, International Association of Pastel Societies 20 Juried Exhibit, Bronze Award

2011 Invited to teach two workshops for the International Association of Pastel Societies Biennial Convention, Albuquerque, NM,

2010  Oil Painters of America:  juried into both National and Eastern Regional Exhibitions

2010  Pastel Society of America - Traveling exhibition Butler Museum of American Art

2009 Prix de Pastel grand prize International Association of Pastel Societies, Ventana Gallery, Santa Fe, NM

2009 Best Art of 2009 The Artists Magazine First Place Abstract Division.

2008 Honors,  2009 and 2010 Honors,  Juried Exhibition International Association of Pastel Societies, Butler Institute for American Art, Youngstown Ohio.

 2007 Inducted into the Masters Circle by the International Association of Pastel Societies   
2007 Minnesota Landscape Artist of the Year by Great River Greening
Pastel Society of America Juried Invitational 2004, Gladys Douglas Award;
2006, 2007 & 2008 Pastels 100, Honorable Mention Winner
in Landscape (2) and Animal and Wildlife painting  (1) 2008 Honors in Abstract Art
2003 Pastels 100 sponsored by Pastel Journal Magazine Ruth Richeson
Grand Prize and 2nd place prize Landscape division
1996 Minnesota State Park Permit design
Full membership in the Pastel Society of America, an organization recognizing professional excellence among pastel artists.
Oil Painters of America Associate membership
Who’s Who in American Art
“American Swedish Artist of the Year” 1984 with feature exhibits in Växjö, Sweden and the American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Art Journey America: Landscapes 87 artists from across America
Richeson 75 International Landscapes 
Best of Pastel: Pure Color  cover art and 2 featured works 2006.
Celebrating Door County’s Wild Places, 2001

The Artist's Magazine January 2012

Pastel Journal October 2009. Feature Article

Pastelagram published by Pastel Society of America,  Feature article
Winter 2008
The Artist’s Magazine, Feature Article June 2007.
Award article: December 2006 “Pastel Journal”  March 2006, 2007, December & October 2004, Mar-Apr 2003,  “U.S. Art” magazine 1989

Selected Exhibitions

Oil Painters of America 2013 National Juried Exhibition, Fredericksberg, TX

International Association of Pastel Societies, Juried Exhibition, Brea CA, Bronze Award

Oil Painters of America  Eastern Regional Exhibition

Richeson Landscape 75 Juried International Exhibition, Kimberly WI  2007 2nd place award

“A Million Shades of Green:” Honors Exhibition, Great River Greening at
Como Conservatory, St. Paul, MN 2007
“From the Heartland” Invitational group exhibition, Rochester Art Center
Onofrio Gallery.

“Barn Again” Juried Exhibition, Barnside Gallery, Kewanee, WI  2005

Pastel Society of the West Coast, 2004 juried exhibition

International Association of Pastel Societies,  Kansas City MO, 1997, 
Conference Peoples’ Choice Award, 2003, Bethlehem PA 2004, Raleigh,
NC  Honors 2005, online exhibit Honors 2006.

“Pastels Only” Pastel Society of America, New York, New York. 1997, 1993, 1997, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007
Pastel Society of America Juried Invitational 2004. Dunedin FL,  Gladys Douglas Award for Outstanding Merit

Minnesota State Fair Fine Art Exhibition, St. Paul MN 1990, 1991 and 1994,
2004 awards, 1996 2nd honors, 1997, merit 1999, 2nd place painting  2005, Honors 2007

“Annual Juried Exhibition” Lakes Country Pastel Society, Minneapolis, MN
1998 First Honors, 1999, 2005. Best in Show, 2001 & 2002 First Place, 2003,  2004, Best in Show 2006

“Birds in Art” Leigh Yawkey Woodson Museum, Wausau, WI 1997 and 2003, 2005, 2006 Traveling exhibition 1997-98

“Joint exhibitions with sculptors David & Mary Ahrendt, Johnson
Heritage Museum, Grand Marais, MN, 1996 and Miller Art Museum Sturgeon Bay, WI 1997

Featured Artist Exhibitions, Edgewood Orchard Gallery, Fish Creek WI 1999, 1995, 1990, 1988
"Landscapes in Oil" '04, “Robed in Splendor”  ’95, “Celebrate Jubilee”  ’92 solo shows at Premier Gallery, Minneapolis, MN

Connecticut Pastel Society, juried exhibition 1994

Featured Artist, Berger Sanzèn Museum, Lindsborg Kansas Hyllningsfest
Biannual Celebration 1993

“Wetlands and Wildlife” juried Wetlands and America Show, Westchester County Museum, Yonkers NY 1992

Kansas Pastel Society 6th Annual International Exhibition:  “For Pastels Only”  Wichita, Kansas, 1989 and 1990

Nebraska Artists’ Retrospective, Nebraska Museum of Art, Kearny NE 1990

Solo Exhibitions in Scandinavia: Mullsjö and Falköping, Sweden and Steinberg Norway 1989, ’09 & ‘95, Galleri Æ, Jönköping and Göteberg, Sweden, 1984 & ’85
“Homeland” solo exhibition, American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis, MN
1988 featuring themes from Swedish home sites belonging to American-Swedish immigrants. 1985-86 “Light in Tangent” solo shows Växjö Museum, Växjö, Sweden and American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis, MN

“Contemporary Realism,”  National juried exhibition, the Yuma Art Center and Leslie Levy Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ

Challenge of the Land” Pillsbury Corporation 1981

Selected Collections   


Fairview Clinics, St. Joseph’s Hospital, Health East Hospitals, Hennepin County Government Center, Stassen Building,St. Paul, 3M Company, Richeson Fine Art Collection, Acuity Insurance Company, Northland Insurance Companies, Northwestern and Marquette Banks, First Wisconsin Bank of Madison WI, Employers Insurance of Wausau, Kemper Insurance Companies, Medtronic, Hewlett-Packard, Thrivent Insurance, the Mayo Clinics, University of Minnesota Hospitals, Allina Medical Clinics, Regions Hospital, Syngenta Corporation International Headquarters, Radisson Hotels in the Twin Cities and Scottsdale AZ, Associated Bank of Manitowac WI, as well as more than 400 other private and business collections in the United States and abroad.

Permanent Museum Collections:  Miller Art Center, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, Leigh Yawhey Woodson Art Museum, Wausau, Wisconsin, Nebraska Museum of Art, Kearney, NE. St Olaf College, Northfield, MN

Permanent Museum Collections
Miller Art Center, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin,
Leigh Yawhey Woodson Art Museum, Wausau, Wisconsin, Nebraska Museum of Art, Kearney, NE. St Olaf College, Northfield, MN

What others say:
"Beautiful, contemplative view
of nature…sophisticated use of color. 
Wonderfully sensitive”  Sally Strand, Pastel Journal Magazine, March/April 2003

“Somers’paintings depict a natural world glowing with light.  He studies both the detail of nature and broader views of the landscape, all with an eye for interesting forms and strong color.”   Door County Advocate
March 14, 1997.

“He speaks gently of the interplay of light and shadow among trees represented in his large forest scenes.  He lovingly focuses on several square inches of small pastel stones along a stream bank.  He pulls the viewer’s eye into a hidden pool with iridescent lights.  The feeling is one of magical intimacy.” Cook County News-Herald, August 19, 1996.