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Art Center kicks off annual All-Member Show

The Albert Lea Art Center’s annual All-Member Show opened this week and will continue through Feb. 20.

The show takes place every year in January and gives members the opportunity to showcase what they have worked on in the preceding year, said Beth Tostenson, artistic director.

She estimated 15 artists will showcase art in the show, and each artist could bring up to three pieces to display. There is everything from collage and acrylic to wood burning, pen and ink, water color, oil, pottery and fabric.

Tostenson said the COVID-19 pandemic has been an interesting time for artists.

She said while for herself, she didn’t feel like herself at the start of the pandemic, after a while her creativity flourished and she started creating quite a bit.

“It’s a good outlet mentally,” she said. “Once I started painting, it saved me mentally.”

The Art Center is open from noon to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays.

Tostenson said the nonprofit arts organization is open fewer hours than it typically is because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It hopes to expand those hours in the future.

Face masks and social distancing are required.

The exhibit was made possible through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board.

Tostenson said the Art Center is busy planning other events for the year after COVID-19 limited events in 2020.

There will be a Funky Chair Affair fundraiser happening in conjunction with the organization’s She Shed Tour June 18 and 19, and then the Art Center’s annual Art & Garden Tour will take place July 16 and 17.

She said the organization continues to look for new members and members who would be interested in serving on committees.

The Art Center is at 101 S. Broadway in downtown Albert Lea and can be reached at 373-5665.