2021 Art deTour

June 18, 19, and optional 20th, 2021

We know the last year has had varied impact on artists. Many of you are taking a deep dive into your artistic practice, while others struggle to create anything. We all have had our own ways of coping with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and we extend our hearts out to you. No matter what you have or have not accomplished in the last year, we want to invite you to participate in the 2021 Art deTour. Art deTour planning is well underway and applications are being accepted until Mar 1, 2021. Now is the time to get those applications sent in to this fantastic studio tour in the Alexandria, MN area. If you prefer to share a space with someone rather than open your studio to the public, many locations will have space to accommodate additional artists. We encourage every artist in West Central MN to apply. Several other artist events have managed to take place over the last year safely despite the circumstances and limitations the pandemic has presented; we are confident that we can host this event safely as well. There will be sanitation stations at every location and masks will be required. Please use your own judgement with your comfort level, but know that we are planning with shoppers and artists’ safety as a top priority! The artist application can be found at https://alexart.org/art-detour-2021/

Art has a unique way of bringing people together. We look forward to chatting about our art with fellow artists, neighbors, and visitors from near and far during this event. It is a unique opportunity to ask artists questions and see their studio spaces. Each year we try to make it a little bit better so if you have ideas please share them with the board. This year we will have exciting extra events taking place throughout the weekend including pottery wheel throwing demos, kiln opening, and fun kids’ printmaking class! More to be announced as plans are finalized! You don’t want to miss out so put June 18-20 on your calendar and keep an eye out for more details in March!

What is the Big Deal about Art?

“What is the big deal about art?”, some people might wonder (my husband being one of those.) If you think about it, though, almost everything that touches your life has gone through the mind of an artist from the designer of your toothbrush and favorite coffee mug, to the designers of our cars and the architects of our buildings. The advertising or programming we consume have all had artistic manipulation as well. Because it is everywhere, we have made distinctions such as commercial art, graphic design, and fine art. But at its core it is all art, and its purpose remains the same—to communicate without words directly from soul to soul. 

My perspective is that the fewer steps there are between the artist and the consumer, the stronger that communication is. That’s why I believe it is so important to have original works of art in my life that have come directly from the hand of the artist. And why, as an artist I am gratified when someone values my art enough to purchase it for their own pleasure. If you have not yet purchased a work of art directly from an artist because it just “spoke to you” I challenge you to give yourself that opportunity and to listen for that spark of communication.

Hello, I’m Noni Bjorklund, Vice President of the Alexandria Art Guild. We’re a fairly new organization, begun just about two years ago in January of 2018. Our mission is to support the visual arts in our community primarily by cultivating relationships amongst the artists and then finding ways together to increase the presence of our art in our community. Our dream is to put Alexandria on the map as an arts destination. Membership is open to anyone who shares this vision, whether artist or art supporter, amateur or professional, beginner or master.

It may come as a surprise to many of you that there are dozens of professional quality artists living and working right here in our Lakes Area. Beyond that there are hundreds of art enthusiasts, dabblers, and hobbyists. It is our goal to bring them out of the shadows into the public view and awareness.

Here are some of the ways we are accomplishing our mission:

  • We meet on the third Wednesday evening every month for socializing, networking, and topical discussions. These meetings are open to any interested person. More information can be found on our website and facebook page.
  • We collaborate with the Central Lakes Symphony Orchestra by various members of the Art Guild displaying their work at some of the CLSO concerts. 
  • We organized the Art deTour in June of 2019 which was our first of hopefully many annual studio hops. Dates for the Art deTour 2020 are June 12-13. So put it on your calendar.

You can find out more about us on our website: alexart.org, follow us on Facebook, and join us at our monthly get togethers.

If you share our vision and would like to see a thriving arts community right here in Alexandria, please consider giving a donation to the Alexandria Art Guild. You can do this directly on our website, or visit with me and my colleagues at one of our social meetings.

Noni Bjorklund, Vice President

The Science of Sound

Congratulations to CLSO on The Science of Sound project! Beautifully illustrated by AAG member Faythe Mills, this children’s book will be available for free to kids pre-k through 5th grade when they attend the Feb. 9 concert The Science of Sound. You don’t want to miss it!

Call for Artists

Greetings to all area visual artists from the Alexandria Art Guild! We are preparing for our studio art event, the Art deTour to be held June 12,13 and 14, 2020. Last year was a great success with over 25 artists at 13 locations. We are committed to an aggressive marketing effort, which will reach outside the Alexandria area to bring interested buyers to our area.

We are now taking applications and looking for new participants. If you would like to participate, please fill out the application form found at http://www.alexart.org/art-detour-2020-registration/ , add your check and return to Alexandria Art Guild c/o Naomi Bjorklund, 316 Nokomis Street, Alexandria, MN. Or pay online and email your completed form to alexartguild@gmail.com. You do not have to have an art studio in the Alexandria area to participate; we will help you find a place to display.

Even if you are unable to participate in the Art deTour, please consider joining the Alexandria Art Guild as a member. The dues are $40 a year and can be paid through our website at http://www.alexart.org/join-us/ and learn more about the benefits of becoming a member. We are looking forward to hearing from you.

It is the best time to join!

Have you recovered from the holiday bustle? I know it takes me a couple weeks to feel like our household is back into the swing of things after the holiday break. Now that it is well into January, I can start thinking forward to the year ahead and all those art related goals I want to accomplish… and I’ve got plenty! Let this be a PSA to you (and myself) to break those lofty goals down into bite sized pieces. Doing something small every day really will result in surprisingly big things over time. Trust and enjoy the process.

Thinking ahead about the coming year, it is time to renew or join AAG! Members enjoy many perks and connection to a vibrant artist community! So don’t wait. January is the perfect time to renew or start your membership so you don’t miss out on any new opportunities. Head over to Join Us to see what AAG can do for your artistic endeavors. http://www.alexart.org/join-us/

Next Wednesday, Jan 15, at 5:30pm is our next social at the Depot so feel free to bring your dues with you. You also have the option to mail your membership application and dues, or now you can pay online. Payments are processed via PayPal but you don’t need a PayPal account, just your bank card. We hope having these options makes it easier to join AAG.