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Appreciating art anywhere

March 31, 2012
By Cindy Votruba , Marshall Independent

To me, the arts are pretty important whether it's visual, musical, theater or other. It took a trip to France the summer after my senior year to fully learn to appreciate art for art's sake. Sure I saw some well-known pieces at the Louvre such as the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo, but it was the Impressionist art at the Mussee d'Orsay that got my attention. I totally fell in love with Claude Monet's work. It's currently my computer's background at work. That led me to take a couple of art history classes. I may not be able to draw, but I sure learned about the different art movements, like Baroque to pop art.

In high school, I wasn't even in theater. Drama got introduced to Somerset High my junior year. By that time, I was busy with work and other clubs. Plus, I was painfully shy. No way would I ever get up on stage. But I somehow muddled through two years of forensics, even made it to state in poetry. More than a decade ago, I got involved with the local community theater group - only been onstage a couple of times. One was a non-speaking gig as an extra in "Guys and Dolls."

So on Sunday, while Ross was onstage with "12 Angry Jurors," I headed up Minnesota Highway 23 to the Granite Arts Council's annual art event at Prairie's Edge. The arts council is still relatively young, about four years old, but it's making a name for itself. About 20 artists from around the area were featured - photographers, woodcarvers, painters, jewelry-makers, even musicians. I'll admit I didn't know what to expect at first, but I'm glad I went. There were also pieces of art from the Bert Raney Elementary kids and the panels created by the Yellow Medicine Integration Collaborative were also on display. The panels were crated by students from six area schools and they were just gorgeous - fiery reds and oranges on one side and cool blues and greens on the other. I could tell a lot of time, planning and effort went into them.

There was also a Bob Ross painting instructors from Granite Falls there along with her two granddaughters. She's been teaching the girls the technique and already the 12-year-old has shown great talent. The 8-year-old had one painting on display, but she's coming along nicely.

I ended up buying a necklace at the art event. It was also the only purchase I made that day as I also went to Willmar after visiting the show. I am so grateful for various arts opportunities that are right in my own backyard. I don't need to go to France or even the Twin Cities to see some great art. It can be all right here. I just have to take some more time to appreciate it.



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