Sarah Stultz: Joining, understanding people through art

Published 8:45 pm Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Nose for News by Sarah Stultz

I had the privilege of interviewing a local artist Friday for our next issue of Albert Lea Magazine. The conversation got me thinking about my love of art, and how I have taken a hiatus from creating my own art for what has been probably the last two decades. 

When I was younger, I took numerous art classes and loved creating. In college, I had even started out with intentions to get a minor in art but that never came to pass. 

When I wasn’t creating art, I have always loved viewing art, whether it be at museums or in everyday life. I considered myself an artsy type — the type of person who enjoyed hanging around coffee shops (even though I don’t drink coffee), simply because I liked the environment and the types of people you’d find there. 

In high school once for an assignment, we had to give a persuasive speech about something, and I decided to give a speech about what art is and how art can essentially be anything around us. Art is a creative work in the original sense of the word, but it can also be simply a way for someone to express themselves. It can be how you decorate your home, your gardens and even how you dress. 

I have also always been fascinated with street art, how people portray their cultures or backgrounds and how people use art after devastation or loss. About six months after the death of George Floyd, we took a detour to Minneapolis to take in a little more of what happened there after we had traveled up to the Twin Cities for something separate. As we drove the streets nearby 38th Street and Chicago Avenue, I was amazed at the art that I saw that lined the streets, and how many have used art as an outlet.

In Albert Lea since working at the newspaper and covering numerous art exhibits over the years, I have enjoyed being witness to some great artists and artworks.

Though not all have used my preferred art methods, I have appreciated them and have a profound respect for those who create — and especially for those who can create works that spark discussion.

I am thrilled that Albert Lea is beginning to embrace more public art in the community, and I know it is something that warms this little heart of mine. I eagerly enjoy awaiting what’s next in store. 

Until I pick up a paintbrush or a pencil again, I will continue to be inspired by those who are moving forward in the art world. Even though I am not creating with you right now, I appreciate your passion for the arts and for the impact it can have on our society.

“There are two distinct languages. There is the verbal, which separates people … and there is the visual that is understood by everybody.”  — Yaacov Agam  

“If you hear a voice within you saying ‘You are not a painter,’ then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.” — Vincent Van Gogh

Sarah Stultz is the managing editor of the Tribune. Her column appears every Wednesday.