MARSHALL - Now that they're across the street from each other, the Marshall Area Fine Arts Council's arts center and the Southwest Minnesota Arts and Humanities Council's art gallery are coming together Thursday for artist receptions.
MAFAC is displaying the art of local artist and Southwest Minnesota State University art professor Pat Hand, and the work of Rushmore artist Bobbie Alsgaard-Lien is being exhibited at SMAHC. Both receptions will be from 5-7 p.m.
Alsgaard-Lien's work that is on display at SMAHC is titled "The Places I Have Been," which includes pieces that were created during her last 10 years of travel. She went to Mexico, Ireland, Italy and 33 county parks in Minnesota.
Photo by Cindy Votruba
Pictured are pottery pieces created by Pat Hand. Hand’s exhibit is at the Marshall Area Fine Arts Council’s arts center. Artwork by Bobbie Alsgaard-Lien is on display right across the street at the Southwest Minnesota Arts and Humanities Council’s art gallery.
"My family always encouraged me to be creative and I was a terrible accordion player," Alsgaard-Lien said.
So she decided to be visually creative. Her first experience with art was in first grade when her teacher had a contest for a cookbook cover. Alsgaard-Lien drew something original, while a classmate traced a picture from a coloring book. The classmate won the contest.
Alsgaard-Lien said the high school system she attended in Sioux Falls, S.D. was incredibly supportive of the arts.
"That was very exciting for me," Alsgaard-Lien said. Her work once was chosen to be part of a traveling arts exhibit while she was in high school, and it traveled around South Dakota.
Since she started, Alsgaard-Lien said it's been amazing to watch how the arts have grown in the Midwest. At one time, there was nowhere to exhibit, except for Omaha, Neb. or Minneapolis, she added.
"It's wonderful to have people interested in the visual arts," she said.
"Hand-Me-Downs" is the name for Hand's exhibit, which includes pottery, sculpture, textiles, graphite drawing and oil paintings.
Hand, who grew up in Arlington, Va., was both interested in visual art and music. She got her bachelor of arts degree in applied music and then a bachelor of science degree in art education, completing both at SMSU. She then earned her master of fine arts degree in studio art, with a sculpture emphasis, at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville.
Hand has taught in some capacity at SMSU since 2001. In her artist statement, she said a quote from a teacher of hers has stuck with her - "your art should be who you are."
"Thomas D. Gipe said this once while I was a graduate student of his at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville," Hand said in her artist statement. "It made an impression on me which has remained throughout the years since that time."
Alsgaard-Lien was a commercial artist for a year before she realized that she didn't like it. She got her undergraduate degree in pottery but found herself drawn to acrylic painting.
"I always liked the flat surface," she said.
Alsgaard-Lien said painting is a way for her to communicate.
"There's so many ways you can communicate visually," she said.
When she went to such places as Italy, Ireland and Mexico, Alsgaard-Lien said she brought along something else to capture the moment.
"Instead of taking a camera, I take my paint," she said. Alsgaard-Lien said that while she travels, she'll slip into a corner with her watercolors or acrylics and paint. "I draw all the time."
Alsgaard-Lien said she does not paint from photographs.
"It's more of an interpretation because I want their feeling," she said. She said she wants to add more excitement and depth to the surface.
In her artist statement, Hand said she hopes her artwork may be an outward, visible expression of who she is as a person.
"With this in mind, influences that become evident in the work include music, visual art...craft processes, history and faith in God," she said in her artist statement. "Imagery, such as tools and musical instruments contain their more immediate surface value and identification, but they may also have deeper levels of meaning related to my personal journey through life and the fine arts."