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Artist's Bio

Most people want to read about how I had this big plan to find art. But I didn't. This is how art found me.

When I was 13 years old I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and that scared me. I had my standard answers for the adults who would ask. I'd say "I want to be a veterinarian." but I didn't really mean it. I wanted to mean it, but deep down I knew it wasn't the life for me. I was sad about everything and made some art. It was ok. Not bad. Not good. But it made me feel less sad. I met other people who had the same thing happen to them. They tried going through life doing everything they were supposed to do and settled down on this very interesting concept of "Making Art Makes Me Less Sad". 

I started going to an online school and this gave me what I needed most in the world, more time. I had time to sleep and time to make some average acrylic paintings. If I was going to keep living this blessed life I was going to have to get serious. I was going to have to get better at making art. I was 14 when I decided I was going to be an artist.

People don't like the word obsession. It gives us an icky feeling. But to say that I became passionate about teaching myself how to paint better is an understatement and the results I got weren't born from doing a little reading on the weekends. I didn't want to do anything but paint. I was obsessed. The books I'd read were related to art and the videos I watched were of other artists. I'm a self-taught artist in every sense of the phrase but all that means is that I pieced together bits from every artist I'd admired until I found a way that worked for me. All that is fine and well until it comes to touching the paintbrush to the canvas. All lessons, tips, and advice fly out the window as soon as it's game on. And you fail. And you succeed. And you fail some more until the stuff you've learned starts to click.


I had this feeling that I was not a very good person and not living a very good life. To me, being a painter was a direct reflection of where I was mentally. If I could improve this part of me, it would mean that I was getting somewhere with the whole "being alive" thing. 


How I paint has a significant effect on the strength of each painting. I paint like this is the only painting that will ever come off my easel. It's the one that needs all of my attention. All of my time. This painting is VERY important to me. I think if you look at the artwork, it should look a little like "Hey, this artist thought this was important enough to give a lot of time and dedication to." And that's the point of it all. 

What I paint changes all the time. I started with nude women. What's more expressive than the female figure? What could accurately describe how I felt more than a woman crouched down and missing pieces of her flesh? But I changed. I felt less and less "Defeated" and more and more like honoring the life and the things in life that brought me joy. I started painting pets and painting portraits for others. When I was 16 I was invited to have a solo exhibition in Grand Rapids. On the walls were grayscale ink drawings and oil paintings. Subjects range from naked women to guitars to cats and dogs. Next to some flowers, there was a drawing of this building I fell in love with a few blocks from my home. It'd be 2 years of portraits and flowers before the idea struck me again. Right in my soul. I need to make art of the places that mean so much to me, even if it doesn't mean much of anything to anybody else.

"Our Spot" is a little pond that flows into a little lake right next to a small warehouse a block from my home. It's got trees and cat tails, tall grass, and otters, the geese love to swim there in the summer. It's a perfect little oasis right in town. It's also where I looked at my best friend and realized with all the confidence in the world that he was madly in love with me. So I told him. "You're in love with me." What else is there for him to say but "Well...yeah." After years of dreaming together, learning about art, and music, learning to be better people, and getting significantly better at the whole "Being Alive" thing. I knew and he knew that we're meant to be together forever. And so I told him "I love you too." The series of "Our Spot" has been an honor to us and exploring how an unlikely place can be so beautiful every season. 

 My heart has been in love with the alley behind our gallery years before I ever thought I'd be hanging art in it. When I told my husband that I was burning up to paint it, I think he thought that it was a little crazy. Who would want to hang a painting of some random alley? When I finished it, the vision I had was so strong that I felt like I needed to paint this alley and every other alley as much as I could. I'd take a walk and see the beauty in places I'd seen every day. I'd notice the plants taking over in the thick of summer and the snow piling up on the side of the road. But what made the passion I felt grow from a burning desire in the pit of my stomach to an inferno was when people from Hibbing and surrounding areas started to see it in person. They recognized the places. They had memories from childhood spring up from the past. One woman said, "You have through your art taught me to seek the beauty of each and everything I see." Comments and connections like this touch me so deeply. It makes every obstacle worth overcoming. 

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Serenity Crego

1811 3RD AVE E


I'm a realism oil painter dedicated to creating portraits, still lifes, and landscapes with a high level of technical accuracy and emotional significance. I create art to authentically capture the scenes that we can connect with through memory and personal experience.


  • Oil Painting

  • Grayscale Ink Drawing

  • Photography




  • 30 Oil Painting Portrait Commissions

  • 40 Grayscale Ink Portrait Commissions



  • Accepted into the 26th (2018), 27th (2019)' and 31st (2023) Annual Juried Art Show at the MacRostie Art Center

  • Invited to have a solo exhibition, Declarations of a Teenage Art Queen, at MacRostie Art Center at the age of 16 in 2020

  • 3 pieces accepted into the Lyric Center's Open Water Exhibit in 2023

  • 3rd Place 2nd category winner in the 31st Annual Juried Art Show at the MacRostie Art Center in 2023

  • Featured Artist for the exhibition, Northern Landscapes at the Reif Gallery in Grand Rapids Minnesota in 2024.




  • NEA-ARP Working Artist Project Grant "Beauty with a Blade" through ARAC to create 3 palette knife paintings in 2022

  • Individual Artist Grant for "Ordinary Moments of Extraordinary Beauty" through ARAC to create 7 oil paintings of familiar scenes for an artist-hosted exhibition in August 2024.



Self-published a tutorial book titled "How To Draw Pet Portraits With Copic Markers"




  • I learn from books, videos, and a lot of trial and error. I began studying in 2017 at age 14.

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