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.

Don’t forget about…

Wake Up Alexandria is just a couple days away and Alexandria Art Guild is the lucky recipient of this month’s Non-profit hosted by The Written Gift at Anderson Funeral Home. Please join Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce Friday, December 20 7:30 to 8:30 am to support AAG and network with area businesses. Don’t forget about the Ugly Sweater Contest for a chance to win Chamber Bucks! See you there!