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A lifetime of loving art

January 11, 2009
By SERRA MUSCATELLO — Journal Staff Writer

NEW ULM - When New Ulm resident June Newburg was a young girl, she enjoyed drawing pictures from comic books.

She was born and raised on the plains of South Dakota on a family ranch in Willow Lake.

"Coming from a small school we didn't have art classes in high school," Newburg said. "I did the artwork for the school paper and yearbook."

Article Photos

Staff photos by Steve Muscatello
June Newburg in her home studio in New Ulm.

As she grew older, her love of art also grew within her.

Growing up on the family ranch instilled in her a deep love and respect for the land and its rugged way of life, she said.

"I started college as an art major, but decided I'd better change majors if I wanted to make a living ... so I switched to elementary education," said Newburg.

After two years of going to college she was able to start teaching so she finished her degree by attending night classes and summer school. Newburg remembers how she would sell World Book encyclopedias door to door to be able to afford the tuition. She taught third grade in various places for about 11 years.

Newburg said she is a self-taught artist who has "honed her natural talent through the practical application of brush to canvas."

She feels the most comfortable painting with the medium of oil, but she also works in graphite and colored pencil. Her subjects range from "the haunting beauty of the South Dakota landscape ... to the tranquility of a prairie flower," she said.

One her favorite subjects to paint through the years has been her brother, Myron Edleman, a South Dakotan rancher.

"It is very satisfying when it turns out like you had envisioned because not every finished painting becomes what you had in your mind," said Newburg.

She has also painted other family members including her grandchildren.

Newburg and her husband Huon, have two daughters, Heather Ferguson, of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada, and Nicole Truax, of Thornton, Colo. She also has four grandchildren: Jillian (born 2003) and Ethan (born 2007) Ferguson and identical twins - Annah and Ava Truax, (born 2005).

Newburg moved to New Ulm in 1987 with her husband after living in Glenwood for 20 years. While living in New Ulm, Newburg was employed as head of the jewelry/accessories department of Herbergers for 13 years. She retired from Herbergers in 2001 and resumed her painting career full time.

The couple has recently added on to their home. This change made her art studio twice the size. She is able to display many of her paintings and the collectibles (she collects stamps, miniature shoes, blue and white china pieces, raku pottery and other pots and sculpture pieces) she has gathered over the years.

Newburg said she has displayed her artwork in both national and regional competitions. She has won numerous "Best of Show" awards.

Newburg has self-published offset lithographs and prints of her work. Her artwork can also be found in private collections spanning from Ontario to Rio de Janeiro and many places in between in America.

This last year Newburg was also asked to display her work in connection with the Spirit of Dakota event held in Huron, S.D.

Newburg said she has been asked to be the featured artist for the 2009 Watertown Art Festival held at the Goss House Theater located in downtown Watertown, S.D.

"I have to do a painting that will be featured on the buttons and my display will be right near the entrance," said Newburg.

For more information on Newburg and her art contact



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