Albert Lea Art Center opens all-member show

Published 9:01 pm Tuesday, January 10, 2023

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Exhibit includes the art of 16 artists from various mediums

The Albert Lea Art Center just opened its annual all-member show.

“It gives our members the opportunity to show us what they have done all through the year,” said Beth Tostenson, artistic director at the center.

Sixteen artists are displaying 45 pieces in various mediums, including acrylics, oils, pen-and-ink, fiber art, felting and weaving, collage, pottery and photography. Members were allowed three pieces.

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Two new members are displaying work for the first time: Jacob Schlichter and Nicole Morrison.

“Jacob is a photographer who does astrophotography,” said Charlene Marley, arts administrator at the center. “He joined our membership a couple months ago, and the quality of his photography is really up there.”

According to Marley, Morrison is an acrylic artist who uses layered acrylic techniques. She is also on the board of directors.
There isn’t a theme to the show because work is what members were creating throughout the year.

“People are comfortable doing what they know,” Tostenson said. “There are people that only do still lifes that wouldn’t be able to do [other mediums].”
Calls for art went out at the start of December, something Tostenson said members were used to and prepared for.

“It’s the first exhibit of the year,” Marley said. “It showcases the variety of mediums that our membership uses, and it showcases a lot of artists at one time, where other gallery shows are just one specific artist.”

According to Tostenson, many of the artists looked forward to the event, and noted that for people who didn’t do a lot of art, the event provided an opportunity for them to be part of a show.

“We have artists who are brand-new, we have artists who have grown and become more professional in their art,” Marley said. “So this gives our membership artists an opportunity to display their work, where they wouldn’t have a lot to do their own gallery show. It shows that to the public.”

Marley estimated the all-member show has been a staple at the center for at least a decade.

“Come in and see the creativity, the different techniques, the variety,” Marley said.

Above all, she wants people to get an “inkling” to start creating art of their own.

“We hope everyone enjoys it,” she said.

Some of the pieces will be for sale. Contact Marley if you’re interested in purchasing one.

Tostenson, Marley and volunteers set up for the show Saturday, and it will run through Feb. 16. There is an open house from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday. The open house is free to attend.

“We took down our Christmas decorations, and we hung art,” Tostenson said.

The center is also looking for volunteers. Anyone interested can contact Marley at 507-373-5665.