Central Square contributes to the quality of community life through a variety of arts programs while preserving its historic building.
Imagine a room—spacious, fully equipped, bright and welcoming. Now populate that room with students of all ages, each eager to explore the art of oil painting. Or watercolors. Or writing short stories. Or knitting, photography, acrylics, basket weaving, jewelry making, graphic design, poetry or pottery or drawing or cooking or quilting.
That’s the vision that Art in the Square, a local group dedicated to community arts education, is transforming from idea into reality.
On Thursday, Nov. 14, Art in the Square is asking for the community’s help to reach a goal: to raise enough money on Minnesota’s Give to the Max Day to begin the renovation of room 207 and an adjacent faculty lounge on Central Square’s second floor into a fully functional, permanent community art classroom, including 12 drafting tables and chairs and the capability to power each workstation.
What is Art in the Square?
Art in the Square is a new group within Central Square that is devoted completely to promoting arts of all kinds in the community. Some classes that have already been offered include pastel drawing, oil painting techniques, and T-shirt necklace making. Other classes the group would like to see offered are cooking, wood carving, makeup art, book making, animal portraiture, making fishing lures and flies, hosting inexpensive children’s birthday parties, felting, a summer concert series… the list goes on. “When getting creative, the possibilities are endless,” according to the group’s online description.
Active Art in the Square members include Nancy Olson, Marit Salveson, Mary Smith, Cathy Behrens, Willow Feigum, Rikki Sneddon, Mona Gregerson, Sandy O’Brien, Doris Judson and Jean Franson. Each person comes to the group with unique talents and interests; their common ground is a passion for the arts and a drive to create educational opportunities for the community. The group’s goal is simple: to get people involved in the arts.
The Art in the Square group meets every other Tuesday at the Central Square office at 3:30 p.m., and Cheryl Larson, executive director at Central Square, said they’re always looking for more people to join.
Bringing the pieces together
Art in the Square is working hard toward its goal and has already applied for a Legacy Grant through the Lake Region Arts Council (LRAC). 100 percent of the money raised on Nov. 14 would be dedicated to getting started on building the community art classroom.
And rather than sit back and wait for donations on Give to the Max Day, Art in the Square decided to do their own giving on that day. The community is invited to a full slate of free events at Central Square on Nov. 14 from 3:30-7:30 p.m.
Nov. 14 Fall Fundraiser event details
• Author talk and book signing: Author Dorian Dalta will be at Central Square Nov. 14 at 5:30 p.m. to talk about his book, The Bonesaw Trail, sign copies, and chat about being an author. This event is free and the community is invited to come and enjoy some time with him.
• Silent auction: Art in the Square is holding a silent auction beginning Nov. 12, with final bids made on Nov. 14 at the Fall Bazaar. Larson said she’s had wonderful donations from Zorbaz, Duffy’s, Wagner Hardware and JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts to name a few. The silent auction even includes a car, with all money going toward the Art in the Square fund. “It’s a 2001 Buick LaSabre, clean as a whistle,” said Larson. She said the car was valued at $3,000 and the auction price has been set at $2,250.
• Vendors: Vendor tables will be set up in the stage area at Central Square on Nov. 14 for people to browse and enjoy. Larson said more vendors are welcome and should contact Central Square at 634-0400 if interested. “Vendors don’t have to be art-related,” said Larson. For example, she said Curves of Glenwood will be one of the vendors you’ll see.
• Meal and concessions: For a free will donation, people attending the Fall Bazaar on Give to the Max Day will be treated to a beef stew and biscuit dinner, complete with beverage and dessert. Concessions will also be available throughout the event, said Larson.
• Art fair: In Central Square’s 2nd Floor Gallery