Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Paulette Anderson's organizational skills a benefit to Hammond

Paulette Anderson admits she's good at organizing and that has proved beneficial to the Hammond area in several ways. Years ago she took a grant writing course at UW-River Falls and as part of the course applied for a grant for a fictional organization called the Hammond Arts Alliance. Her business is gardening, at one time operating Paulette's Gardens and now as a gardener for others, and her skills with plants have resulted in more beauty at the Hammond Hall.

For those activities and others that have benefited the community, Paulette has been recognized by the Hammond Heartland Parade Committee as Grand Marshal. Paulette will be walking in the parade perhaps accompanied by two-person llama costumes designed to publicize the upcoming premier of a documentary film "Running of the Llamas" by local filmmaker Heidi Freier.

Anderson is a native of Amery, or more specifically, Range, where her family had a turkey farm. She spent a couple years in college and then traveled and worked as a waitress for 20 years. Then she started her gardening business, which she has now been involved in for 20 years. She
had a retail operation for six or seven years, "Paulette's Gardens," but now is out of retail and does flower garden maintenance. At one time she had many clients, but at present has just a few.

Paulette admitts that gardening is a passion for her. She said for many years she tried to find a job she could do and have summers off so she could garden and now she is able to garden all the time. She volunteers her gardening expertise at Adoray Gardens and the container gardens at the Hammond Library and Hammond Post Office. About gardening she said: "I like it. I'm a part of it."

The Hammond Arts Alliance story is interesting. "Thirteen years ago I took a grant writing workshop," said Anderson. It was a day-long workshop at UW-RF. She said that afterwards she was excited about the prospects and was talking to the late Fred Kraemer and he said Bruce Foster would probably allow Foster Hall to be used for a gallery. A 501(c) organization was formed and that's how the Hammond Arts Alliance and Foster Hall got their start. "I like making things happen," she said. The Hammond Arts Alliance is now in its 12th year. Foster Hall is no longer the venue for the Alliance, and instead upstairs at the Hammond Hotel is used as well as
some remote locations.

Anderson said that over the years she's had many employees who were artists and so has a network of artists she knows. "I'm kind of a social person," she said, and knows art students, art teachers and everyone in between. She also said Hammond is an interesting place in which to have an art gallery.

Friday Paulette said she will be at the new farmers market, next to Hammond Hall. She will be selling flowers, be available to answer gardening questions and to talk about one of her new projects-establishing community education. Another of her current projects is to renovate the upstairs of Hammond Hall so it is usable year-round.

In addition to her organizing and gardening activities, Paulette has found time during the past eight years to serve as a trustee on the Town of Hammond Board.

Paulette and her husband Joe live just north of Hammond in a prairie style home filled and surrounded by plants and works of art.

The preview screening of the documentary "Running of the Llamas" will be on Thursday, September 11 at 6:00 p.m., which is just before this year's llama race which is at 7:00 p.m. The film will be shown in the Hammond Hall above the library. Next door, above the Hammond Hotel in the Kraemer Loft Gallery, will be a show of award-winning items made from llama fiber by members of the St. Croix County 4-H/FFA.