It’s easy to get overwhelmed — in a good way! — by the more than 225 artists that line the paths of Centennial Lakes Park for Edina’s Fall into the Arts Festival. With that in mind, we thought we’d zero in on three of the distinct artists that’ll be sharing their singular work on September 9 and 10, including last year’s Best of Show (Matthew Rucker) and Award of Merit (Julia Bernadsky) winners.

For more information about 2023’s featured artists and exhibitors, check back here in the days leading up to this year’s event, which benefits the Edina Crime Prevention Fund, Edina Chamber of Commerce, Edina Art Center, and Centennial Lakes Park.


Maybe it’s because her background is in fashion, design and merchandising, but Julia Bernadsky doesn’t think of her Untamed Hearts company as a jewelry line so much as a full-on brand. One with its own unique perspective and seamless form of storytelling influenced by everything from the Kabbalah’s teachings to minimalistic architecture.

“Untamed Heart was born to communicate a consciousness of peace,” explains Bernadsky, “and bring out certain energies. Kind of like an initiation or a portal; when people buy a piece, something shifts and they feel different.”

One perfect example of this principle is Bernadsky’s striking Circuitry Necklace, an empowering piece worn by many women at special events and speaking engagements. “It helps you show up the way you want the world to receive you,” says Bernadsky.

Other popular items are the Support Ukraine and Protect Ukraine necklaces / bracelets Bernadsky created to support the country’s soldiers. (While she moved to New York City in 1989, Bernadsky was born in Kiev and has many friends on the frontlines.) All of the proceeds from these pieces are being used to buy supplies, an effort that’s taken on an increasing amount of urgency as the war with Russia enters another cold, long winter.

“I’m afraid to even think about it,” Bernadsky says of Ukraine’s ongoing struggles. “I just take it all one day at a time. Otherwise, it causes such despair — a feeling of pure helplessness.”

The Westin Galleria
The Westin Galleria


“A common adage among potters,” explains Blue Sky Pottery founder Mary Beth Horn, “is that ‘it’s only the first 500 [pieces] that are hard.’”

In Horn’s case, her love of ceramics started out slowly with spurts of open studio time and a community ed class in the Hopkins school district.

About 15 years and many classes, teachers and mentors later — including ones at Northern Clay Center, Edina Art Center, and Artistry in Bloomington — Horn has found her own creative voice with pottery that pulls its vibrant palette of “circles, dots and flowing motifs” from Cubism and other free-wheeling forms of modern art.

“The best description of what has been influential to me is ‘everything, everywhere, all at once,’” says Horn, “meaning that I take inspiration from almost everything. As I’ve written in my artist statement, I put the ‘fun’ in functionality.”

Arts Festival
Arts Festival
Arts Festival


Art has always played a major role in Matthew Rucker’s life, from his many years of managing galleries and frame shops to formative days of watching his grandfather work on his own “wonderful and lasting” pieces.

“The thing he taught me that sticks with me most is that art is all about process,” explains Rucker, “and in that process is happiness, catharsis, and connection.”

This lesson took on a deeply personal meaning about eight years ago when Rucker started developing his signature Balance series. Unlike the “complex and busy surrealism” of his earlier paintings, Rucker’s “hyperminimalism” reduces his focal points to just one element and puts an emphasis on animals that are modeled after his own friends and family.

“The combination of sharing my deepest personal connections in hyperrealist detail in a minimalist setting creates not only a unique style of paintings,” says Rucker, “but paintings that project tranquility, simplicity, and joy.”

They also make the most of Rucker’s colorblindness. “The two most important elements of my paintings are the gradation of my backgrounds and the detail of the animals I paint,” he says. “Both of those things are made easier by my colorblindness, since I can see both gradation and detail better than people with normal color vision. I also mix color in unusual ways, which helps me create unique and beautiful colors that perfectly suit the calm and easy nature of my paintings.”

Matthew Rucker Headshot 2023
Spring Fever