Art is: Art Center eagerly anticipates move

Published 9:00 am Saturday, July 21, 2018

Art is by Bev Jackson-Cotter

Bev Jackson Cotter is a member of the Albert Lea Art Center, 226 W. Clark, where the photographic exhibition, Share the Light, by Tim Rietz of Austin will be on display through Aug.11.

Several years ago, I listened to a gentleman talk about change. He started out by asking, “What are the three things we can count on?” Everyone answered, “birth, death and taxes” and then we all laughed a little. He disagreed with us. His response, “birth — yes, death — yes, taxes? no.

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There are many ways to avoid taxes if you are dishonest, clever and have a dishonest and clever accountant.” Then he changed his tune and responded, “birth, death and change.” No one argued.

Change is a significant part of our lives, day by day and year by year. We cannot avoid it — graduation and new career, an illness or injury, a new product on the market that is a must-have, a new home — even the weather. Everything that happens to us means change.

Bev Jackson Cotter

So, too, in our art world.

The Albert Lea Art Center is eagerly anticipating a major change. In early September we will be taking up residence at 101 South Broadway. And we are excited! In 2019 this arts organization will be celebrating its 60th anniversary of bringing creativity and the visual arts to our community. We will celebrate in our new home. We are really looking forward to the new location with larger spaces for our galleries, class/meeting room, store, office and storage areas and more visibility. We’ll keep you informed about our progress. For the present time, please know that the ideas and plans are multiplying like crazy and soon will be organized into a workable system.

ALAC has a 60 year history, but art has forever been a part of our lives. Here the changes have been phenomenal.

Approximately 15,000 years ago, an artist carved the stone Venus of Willendorf, a small, rounded female fertility sculpture now in a museum in Vienna, Austria. About that same time, natives living in or near the Lascaux Caves, Dordogne, France created life-size images of animals on cave walls. The time required to do the artwork signified changes from a nomadic lifestyle to settled communities.

Then, 3,500 years ago Stonehenge, England, was created. It is a collection of stones weighing thousands of pounds each, arranged into a circular area reflecting possibly the purpose of worship and the changing seasons.

A thousand years later, the Egyptians were decorating their temples with drawings and hieroglyphs that tell us today of the changes in burial customs.

In 200 B.C., the beautifully decorated House of the Silver Wedding was built in Pompeii, Italy, and thanks to historic preservation — visitors are able to admire the artistry and craftsmanship that was involved in its building in spite of its burial in ashes during the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD.

Even oil painting as we know it today has changed over the ages. In the most recent past, we have moved from realistic portraits and outdoor scenes to impressionism, cubism, surrealism, expressionism, abstract, back to realism the list goes on and on and on.

Now, creative photography is preserving the changes on our planet — the earth from outer space, the incredible pictures of Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii.

Creativity is one continuous changing process. Change is good — for us and for art. While ALAC cannot promise you cave drawings and chubby, little stone sculptures, we can promise beautiful, unusual and fun art experiences in our new home.

I’ve wandered a long way from the excitement of the Art Center’s change of location. I hope you’ve enjoyed the journey.