‘There is going to be something for everyone’

Published 9:00 am Sunday, February 16, 2020

Freeborn County Arts Initiative opens first gallery of the year


The Freeborn County Arts Initiative is kicking off its 2020 gallery schedule with “Artist Soup,” a group exhibition of artwork that brings all styles and types of work together, the organization stated in a press release.

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“We decided that we wanted to share a wide variety of work for this exhibition, and start off the year with something fun,” said Arts Initiative Vice President Erin Sandsmark in an email. “We have so many artists in this community that make beautiful things, and we wanted to create a showcase of all of that creativity.”

The show features 56 pieces from 15 different artists, ranging in mediums from different types of painting to photography, pottery and beadwork, among others.

“What we want the community to know is that the show has a wide variety of mediums and there is going to be something for everyone,” Sandsmark said. “… This would be a great show to come in and check out what we are all about at the Freeborn County Arts Initiative.”

A show description stated the Arts Initiative board voted unanimously for the concept of the show, and pieces were judged based on composition, technical ability and interest.

The first show of the year opened to the public Tuesday, starting later than past years as the Arts Initiative was busy installing its new floor throughout January and part of this month, and also installed molding above where pieces typically hang, as well as along the baseboards of the gallery. A new hanging system was also installed. The show was designed as a popup as a result to accommodate the installation. Luckily, artists participating in the show were flexible with the opening date, according to Arts Initiative member and Bessesen building owner Susanne Crane.

“Artist Soup” will be the first chance for the Freeborn County Arts Initiative to showcase its new flooring. – Colleen Harrison/Albert Lea Tribune

“All of the artists have been wonderful,” she said.

Crane added that a sitting area was also decorated in the space for people to sit and relax.

All the improvements are meant to breathe new life into the space, and help with the Arts Initiative’s goal to bring enjoyment to its viewers.

Crane said it all coincides with the goal of the “Artist Soup” show.

“It is a very engaging, colorful mix of all different kinds of ideas,” she said.

“This time of year, we need something bright and cheery sometimes.”

The “Artist Soup” show opened to the public Tuesday, and can be viewed during the Arts Initiative’s open hours —  1 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, and 4 to 7 p.m. Friday — through Feb. 29. There will be a closing artist reception from 1 to 4 p.m. Feb. 29.


If you go

What: “Artist Soup”gallery show

When: the show is up through Feb. 29, with a closing artist reception from 1 to 4 p.m. Feb. 29

Where: Freeborn County Arts Initiative, 224 S. Broadway Ave. in downtown Albert Lea

How much: viewing the gallery is free


About Colleen Harrison

Colleen Harrison is the photo editor at the Albert Lea Tribune. She does photography and writes general-assignment stories.

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