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The Minnesota writer and ‘Kaplan Horse’ artist will speak Thursday at the Nobles County Library

By on May 17, 2022 0

May 17 – WORTHINGTON – Minnesota author and artist Arthur Norby, whose Kaplan Horse sculpture is on display at the Worthington Event Center and whose Tom Hall Mysteries can be found locally, will speak at the Worthington Branch of the County Library of Nobles at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. .

“We’re really thrilled,” said Daniel Mick, Adult Service Librarian. “Actually, he called us.

Norby is traveling through Minnesota and has scheduled stops in the Fargo-Moorhead area as well as Litchfield, he said.

“My career has been as a sculptor and painter,” Norby said. “With the sculpture, I would have an idea of ​​what I wanted to do and I would start building it.”

That’s not necessarily the case for his books, which are set in the western Minnesota of his youth, specifically Montevideo and Chippewa County.

“When I write, I don’t know where the journey is going to end,” he said.

His first book, “The Deadly Winter,” is a mystery, and although protagonist Tom Hall is human, the Minnesota Winter himself is the first character in the book, and it’s cruel, Norby said. . The book developed from his own memories of winters on the plains of Minnesota, as well as stories he heard growing up about a young man wrongfully accused of murder and the story of the dam built. in the valley of Lac Qui Parle.

“I live in a fantasy land, because I can create any story I want,” Norby said, explaining that some of his novels start by asking a question like “what were my ancestors doing back then?” and create a mock answer with a story.

“All have a bit of love, a bit of lust and a bit of murder, and it all takes to make a good mystery,” he added.

Including this first book, Norby has written seven Tom Hall novels, all of which draw on local history and geography, and all of which can be read on their own. He also published a book containing images of his many sculptures and an autobiography.

Worthington-area residents might recognize Norby’s name from the dedication of his bronze horse Kaplan, placed in the lobby of the Event Center in honor of local artist Mary Kruse Thompson.

“It’s a very unique piece,” Norby said. “It’s kind of a contemporary-traditional Greek/Native American rendition of a man on horseback.”

Minnesotans may also recognize Norby’s name from the Minnesotan Korean War Memorial at the State Capitol, which opened in 1998, or from exhibits at Spicer, New London and other locations in the state.

Norby began his artistic endeavors young.

“In sixth grade, I watched a sunset, and the next day I took some colored construction paper and colored chalk…and went home and tried to make a sunset with colored chalk and colored construction paper,” he recalls.

Although the experiment was “not very successful”, according to Norby himself, it was only the beginning

Norby started making scrimshaw artwork in 1975, moved into sculpture in 1979 and opened his first art gallery in Willmar the same year. He quit scrimshaw the following year. Throughout his artistic career and even before that, he continued to create oil paintings.

Norby’s work can be viewed online at



His books will be available for sale through Serenity Gifts during the library presentation, and Norby will also be available to sign books at Serenity Gifts from 2-4 p.m. Thursday.