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A legacy in the arts: Recounting Veeder’s impact on local artists

The late Larry Veeder poses with great-grandchild Penny around 2017. Veeder is remembered as a kind man who helped develop the Red Wing arts community. Photo courtesy Julia Crozier

Larry Veeder earned a legacy as a central figure in the Red Wing arts scene, from his paintings that can be found around town to helping launch the yearly Red Wing Arts Fall Festival.

Beyond his work as an artist, family and friends said they remember Veeder as a kind man with a strong work ethic and dry sense of humor.

Family photo courtesy Julia CrozierThe former Red Wing resident died Feb. 12 in North Carolina at the age of 82. He is survived by Carolyn Veeder, his wife of more than 60 years, as well as daughters Kathy Boos and Julia Crozier, five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

"He was always willing to take time out for me, no matter what," Crozier said of her father. She recalled times as a child going out hiking and playing softball with him. "He was just a fun guy to hang out with."

Art supplies were ever present around the house growing up, Crozier added. The Winona-based artist said she credits her choice of profession to the encouragement of her parents.

The Veeders also played a big role in encouraging artists throughout the Red Wing area. The couple moved to the city in 1962 where they were active members of the local art community. They lived in town until moving out west in 2006.

"The vibrant arts community that exists in Red Wing is in large part due to his influence and his success," Red Wing Arts executive director Emily Guida Foos wrote in an email Tuesday. "He paved the way for many to pursue a career as a professional artist."

Veeder was instrumental in developing Red Wing Arts, formerly Red Wing Arts Association, including the organization's Fall Festival.

Former Red Wing Arts chair Chappy Achen said Veeder encouraged him to participate in the festival 35 years ago, where Achen sold his first photograph.

"He was well known in the area for his work and was admired by the local residents because they showcased the beauty of the area," Achen said of Veeder, adding, "His legacy will live on in the paintings he created."

Ruth Nerhaugen got to know Veeder professionally writing stories about Red Wing Arts and the Fall Festival for the Republican Eagle. She said residents cherish displaying Veeder's work in their homes. She has a couple prints, herself.

"They're just so representative of Red Wing," she said of Veeder's paintings.

A tribute wall has been set up by Morris Funeral Home & Cremation Service at www.morrisfamilyfuneralhome.com/obituaries/Larry-Veeder.

Michael Brun

Michael Brun joined RiverTown Multimedia at the Red Wing Republican Eagle in March 2013, covering county government, health and local events.  He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls journalism program.

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