New art gallery opens on Broadway
Published 10:23 am Thursday, July 17, 2014
After more than a year of planning and organizing, the Freeborn County Arts Initiative has finally stepped into the public spotlight.
The Arts Initiative’s first show and open house was Wednesday from 5 to 7 p.m. at its galleries at 224 S. Broadway.
The Arts Initiative was formed in 2012 by Susanne Crane, artist and owner of the historic Bessessen Building in downtown Albert Lea, where the Arts Initiative’s galleries are located in the rooms formerly occupied by the Albert Lea Arts Center.
Email newsletter signup
Teresa Kauffmann, one of the founding members of the Arts Initiative, said that its work is completely separate from the Art Center.
Elisha Marin, member of the Arts Initiative fundraising board, said that Crane was the catalyst to pull everyone for the initiative together.
He is also an artist. Marin had two paintings in the open house show and is also a musician and poet.
Marin said he’s known Crane for about three years. He said that some of the artists who make up the initiative met through Crane.
Kauffmann said Crane is letting the Arts Initiative use the back gallery free of charge.
Even though the Arts Initiative is somewhat new, Kauffmann said its Facebook page is gaining likes and Marin said the open house went well. The crowd that came to the show was diverse and included students, people from out of town, senior citizens and young families.
This was something Marin seemed especially happy about since smaller towns usually don’t overtly value the arts like bigger cities, such as the Twin Cities, he said.
“It’s really amazing,” Marin said.
Looking to the future, Kauffmann said the Arts Initiative had some more shows in the works.
Marin said some of the more developed ideas are a body art show, which isn’t something normally seen in rural Minnesota. The show would feature tattoos and something new that Marin said people probably haven’t seen before.
Marin’s girlfriend, Marla Klien, is a professional photographer from the Twin Cities and said she was interested in doing a solo show in the gallery. He mentioned some musicians he knows from the Twin Cities were interested in performing at the Art Initiative’s galleries.
That is one thing that Marin stressed — the Arts Initiative aims to create a positive and creative environment for all types of art, he said.
In fact, some of the artists involved with the Arts Initiative aren’t typical visual artists, such as poets or carpenters, Marin said.
The Arts Initiative has about 25 members, Kauffmann said. The art at the show ranged from painting to sculpture to woodwork.
Kauffmann said she hopes the galleries on Broadway can be a venue where the Arts Initiative can learn and grow.
Marin echoed that sentiment and said his goal is to see the community come together in a positive way by means of art.