Zephyr Theatre Offers Rare Glimpse into 20th Century Artist Donato Frisia’s Renowned Paintings

Photos courtesy of The Zephyr Theatre.

The Zephyr Theatre has partnered with the family of 20th century artist, Donato Frisia, to present a collection of his rarely-seen famed paintings.

Local relatives of the late Donato are offering a rare look into the artist’s celebrated works – allowing the community at large to experience firsthand the positive impact the arts have throughout the greater Saint Croix Valley.

The public is invited to enjoy a collection of works by Donato Frisia on Saturday, June 10 from 11-5 p.m., and on Sunday, June 11 from noon to 5 p.m. at the Depot building, 600 North Main St.

Admission is $20 per person and will help support the mission of The Stillwater Zephyr Theatre.

Donato Frisia was born Aug. 30, 1883 to a family of artists in Merate, Italy. Donato ran away from home at age 16, studied art in Rome, and returned to Merate in 1904.

He enrolled in the Brera Academy in Milan in 1905 and in 1910 received accolades for his painting The Blind Cellist.

Donato married Maria Galli in 1913 and the couple settled in Merate, Italy where they raised their five children, including the youngest daughter who now lives in Stillwater.

Donato’s love of nature is reflected in his many landscapes and he was also a talented portrait artist.

Many of his portraits are of his family, especially his wife Maria, who was a devoted partner, muse and model until his death on Dec. 13, 1953.


The vision of The Zephyr Theatre is to bring professional theatre to downtown Stillwater, and to become a must-visit destination for audiences and artists in the greater Saint Croix Valley and beyond.

The Zephyr Theater will produce live theatre performances, as well as music, dance, education and artistic opportunities for kids and adults of all ages.

The nonprofit is in the process of securing capital to purchase the old Zephyr Train Depot in Stillwater with plans to convert it into a 330-seat theatre and multi-use performance space directly benefiting the community and local businesses.

To learn more about the Zephyr Theatre, its fundraisers and the classes already being offered, go to stillwaterzephyrtheatre.org.