Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Brad Donner "The People"

 Brad Donner

 "The People"

December 9th - January 22, 2021

In 2019, Brad Donner was awarded an Emerging Artists Grant from the Prairie Lakes Arts Council. 

He chose a project that he thought would challenge, and help him to grow as an artist. “The People” is the title of his project and his upcoming exhibit at the Waseca Art Center. 

The mission of the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council is to encourage and promote arts creation, appreciation, and education through grant programs and services to enhance the quality of life for Minnesota residents in Blue Earth, Brown, Faribault, LeSueur, Martin, Nicollet, Sibley, Waseca and Watonwan County.

Donner chose to depict the lives of North American Indigenous people, and even though he completed his project in April this year, he had always intend on adding to his original eight piece grant project - creating a much more comprehensive body of work - it’s now a collection of twenty paintings and graphite drawings, some completed recently. He intends to exhibit in several different venues in the future; "It truly is a labor of love" says Donner.

“It has been a busy year for me, there have been a lot of changes, and different paths for me to follow. Circumstances, though challenging and difficult, have given me the opportunity to paint full time. This year, with the challenges we all face with the Covid19 pandemic and social distancing, has been difficult for us all.” It’s made it challenging for artists to show and sell their work. “This has been the greatest challenge for me, but it has also afforded me an increased amount of time to do my work,” He notes. 

Donner’s favorite thing about being an artist is to be able to show his work and see others enjoy it. “That is the greatest of rewards, so I hope you come and see my work, and I hope you enjoy it.” 

Donner believes as we all endure these challenges, adapt and work through things - that eventually, and in some way, “blessings will come our way. I have felt that this year.”


 Donner has always had a love for the natural world around him, so it was only natural for him to draw and paint the wild places and things that he loves. “When I was young, I was fortunate to live in an area where nature was right outside my door. I spent countless hours exploring the woods, rivers, and creeks near my home.

   As long as I can remember, I have always had a pencil in my hand, drawing and sketching even when it got me into trouble in school. Thankfully, I had a wonderful group of teachers who gave me instruction and encouragement. My mother made sure that I was exposed to art, and enrolled me in many art classes at the Community Art Center in my hometown of New Ulm, Minnesota. There I was instructed in a variety of mediums and techniques. I was so fortunate to grow up in a community with such a rich heritage - one that embraces the arts -  and to have a great Community Art Center to inspire and teach me. It has fostered a great love and appreciation for the arts that has lasted a lifetime,” Says Donner. 

It is for that reason, that Donner is honored to serve as a board member in the Waseca Arts Council, and to “have the opportunity to pay forward what was given to me - to the Waseca Area.”  Donner adds, “I am in awe of the quality of work that I see on exhibit by artists in Waseca and the surrounding area. We are truly blessed to have such a beautiful art facility in our community, and I look forward to see it grow and thrive in the future.”          //

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

6x6 Art Sale / Fundraiser

6x6 Art Sale/ Fundraiser 11/11/20

The popular original artwork sale is back at the Waseca Art Center. Artists from across the globe have participated in this event in the past. Andrew Breck, WAC Artistic Director said that “we have seen a slight decline in the quantity of the donated artwork due to not hosting community events dedicated to making art for this fundraiser. The quality of work this year is exceptional. With the success of the artwork sale last year it was inevitable that we would host this fundraiser again.” 

Last year the Waseca Art Center raised over $1000 with that money going into art education, art programming and other art related events - as well as created funds to match sales from the Waseca High School Art Team who then were able to participate in The Memory Project which is a global art exchange program.

What is the 6x6 artwork sale?

The Waseca Art Center has been soliciting artists to participate since the last event. Artists of any age and skill level are asked to donate up to four 6”x6” pieces of artwork; some people send their work in frames, some are ready to hang on the wall and some could be framed or pinned to the wall. Artwork sells for $25 each. This year a presale will be held on www.wasecaartcenter.org beginning Thursday, November 5th - you are purchasing your artwork in advance, however, you are not able to select which piece you want. Anyone who purchases in advance will be put in a drawing and those individuals will be drawn at random, the first name to be drawn will have the first chance to select which piece they would like. After the presale selections - the remaining art will be available for $25 each on a first come,  first serve basis. 

Stop in to the Waseca Art Center to view the 6x6 artwork on display in our front window. Hours of operation are Wednesday from 10am-4pm and Thursday - Friday 12pm-7pm. Four local artists are also on display; the Waseca Art Center is a non profit organization hosting free art galleries and is always open to everyone. The 6x6 Sale will begin at 6pm at the Waseca Art Center.

Thursday, July 23, 2020



By David Hamlow 

// David's work will be on view beginning August 6th 12pm - 7pm 2020 //
WAC Temporary Hours beginning August 6th: Th-Fr 12pm - 7pm

Although I am best known for large installations made from package refuse resulting from my own consumption, my work has always been about the simple actions of daily life: how their repetition and mundanity render them invisible, and how, by making artworks that measure and accumulate evidence of daily action, its breadth and scope becomes apparent, making it possible to reassess its cost and impact. In the past these measurements were made through fairly traditional two-dimensional media: drawings, photographs and videos. 

This project was a way of reconnecting to those roots, but in a way that speaks to one of the realities of our current daily lives: social media.  As with all my projects, the impetus was a daily action I wanted to measure and observe, in this case the maintenance of my yard and vegetable garden. 

The rules are simple: if I am in my home any part of the 24-hour period of a day, I need to take one photograph from the same vantage point from the south window of my bedroom, down into my yard and garden below. If I am away from my home for more than 24 hours, the photograph can be taken anywhere I am, though often I prefer a picture from whatever room I slept in that day. 

The photos are captioned with the current date, day of the week and time of day along with the following hashtags: 

#oneaday:  This tag sends the photograph into a sea of over 80 thousand daily photograph projects posted by people from around the world. 

#stylefarmerdailyphoto: stylefarmer is my Instagram ‘handle’. This hashtag collects every photograph in the series, starting with the first on 1-01-2015. 

#sfdp2020 (or whatever year it was when the photo is taken):  This hashtag collects all the photos taken in the year. The goal is to have one photograph from every day of the year (a goal I have yet to achieve). 

Missing a photograph is usually a sign that I have become busy, anxious and preoccupied. Every day I return to the project, renewing my commitment to be present to the single day in which I am living. The project motivates me to take note of the natural world that is literally ‘in my back yard’, and be a present witness to its subtle, incremental changes, while also holding me accountable to my garden and yard, urging me to get out in the spring and plant my vegetables, tend them and watch the miraculous changes that unfold before my eyes each season. 
#WAC #wasecaartcenter #mywaseca #ruralart #art

Art & Soul

Art & Soul
by Mary Annette Walchuk

“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” 
--Pablo Picasso 

I don’t know about you, but my soul has certainly felt dusty lately! Daily life in the time of the coronavirus is difficult, uncertain, and so often overwhelming. Most days I am worn out just trying to focus enough to get through the workday. But then—at the end of the day—I turn to art to take me away from my worries and refresh my soul. 

The world of art is fairly new to me. Three years ago, I walked into the Waseca Art Center to see a friend’s show of paintings. While there, I was asked by Rachel, the director at that time, if I was an artist. Surprised by the thought, I laughed and said no. After some encouragement from my husband, I said, “Okay. I’m a photographer”—not an easy thing for me to say out loud even though I have been taking photographs for many years. That encounter led to an invitation to hold my first-ever art show—an exhibit of photographs at the Waseca Art Center, funded by a grant from the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council and the McKnight Foundation. 

The exhibit was titled “Walking My Shadows”—a reference to the shadows that follow me daily, depression and anxiety. I had found that taking walks and capturing the beauty of nature with photographs helped keep my shadows from taking over my life. When I shared the photos on social media, friends told me the photos also helped them. Holding the exhibit was the next step in sharing.

As I was preparing for the show, my life took an unexpected turn. In addition to enjoying the art of photography, I also discovered the joy of drawing with colored pencils. Something about the feel of the pencil in my hand and the physical act of putting color on paper took me into a world where I was totally unaware of my companion shadows for a while. The more I drew, the more I was free from the feelings of depression and anxiety. I realized what a gift this is and since then I have allowed myself to draw often—every day, if possible. If I feel the shadows approaching, I know to grab a pencil and paper and allow them to shoo the shadows into the background. I am learning to listen to my mind and my body. I am now off of my antianxiety medication and my antidepressants and I no longer see my therapist. Although I know there may be times when I might need these again, art is what is keeping me mentally healthy even during this difficult period of coronavirus.

As the seriousness of this pandemic became more and more apparent, I had trouble doing anything, even drawing. I had no energy—no inspiration, but I knew I had to use art to get through this. So I picked up a pencil and drew—and drew and drew and drew. Because I felt so discombobulated, I ended up with six drawings in progress at the same time, each requiring a different level of concentration to fit my current mood. And I am continuing to draw and paint and take photographs. I am creating joyful drawings that focus on what is good and positive in my world, I am creating coronavirus drawings and paintings that represent my feelings during the pandemic, and I am taking photographs of the amazing nature around me and sharing them on social media to counterbalance the increasing negativity with something positive and beautiful.

And now, because Andrew encouraged me to continue to share my art, I am preparing for another show at the Waseca Art Center. “Then Sings My Soul” will be a celebration of so many things that bring me joy—nature, music, art, color. The show was scheduled for this August, but because of the pandemic, it is uncertain when it will happen. But I continue to draw, knowing that eventually I will be able to show my art in the Great Hall Gallery. And knowing in these uncertain times the certainty that creating art will wash the dust of daily life off my soul so it can continue to sing!           //

Mary was scheduled to exhibit in August at the Waseca Art Center - we will update you when her show will be available - WAC
#WAC #wasecaartcenter #mywaseca #ruralart #art

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Activities Spotlight: Event Horizon Variety Show

What does a quintessential small town like Waseca need? Some Variety!! And we've got that coming up in spades with the Event Horizon Variety Show, this Saturday, August 24th, from 7-8pm. If you need something fun and a little different to spice up your Saturday evening, join us for some *eclectic entertainment.* 

WAC wants you to shrug off the idea that art centers can be boring and stuffy with a night of rampant, all-out talent and entertainment. One night, two hosts, this Variety Show will have music, skits, comedy, spoken word, and trivia. 

And best of all, it's FREE. 

Our hosts, Esther Marcella and Michelle Roche, are variety show veterans. Esther, speaking from personal experience, is a fantastic phone interviewee. But more than that, Esther hosted the Spice of Life Variety Show for 9 ½ years. Co-host Michelle Roche is another southern MN actress and comedian. Michelle previously worked on “Play with Your Food,” a show where fine dining and comedy meet. 

On the subject of variety, Esther says  “The Spice of life show was basically a spoken word artist, a comedian, a dance number, and a musician. And I would do skits in between the different co-hosts. I always tell people, ‘if you don’t like the show, wait five minutes’ because of there's always something different.” During Event Horizon, Esther will also be performing skits from her one-woman show, “Suffering for Nothing.” 

And it will be an evening full of talented performances from the likes of Slam Poet Jennifer Brunick, who released a poetry Cd with Esther entitled "Immaculate Hickey." Also performing is Jayden Luikens, an actor and vocalist from Savage, MN. His acting credits include Herr Schultz from Sondheim's Cabaret and Kent from Shakespeare's King Lear. In his free time, he enjoys being a craft artisan and singing in barbershop choruses. You can find some of his art in his virtual workshop: https://www.facebook.com/FoamArmory/

In addition to this performance, there will also be trivia interludes so audience members can expect a true sampling of entertainment. Tips are appreciated and mature audiences are encouraged. Please join us for an evening full of talent and entertainment this Saturday.

We hope to see you there!

Stay WACky,
The Staff 

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Hello from the Waseca Art Center

Welcome to the very first blog posted by the Waseca Art Center, otherwise known as WAC. We're a nonprofit, community-based organization dedicated to promoting access to the arts for all. At WAC, we put on events, concerts, and educational art classes as well as use resources from our grants to create community outreach programs. Our mission is to encourage artistic exploration and community in the greater Waseca County Area. Starting this blog means we have just one more way to connect with people. We're on Facebook and Twitter (Links Below), so feel free to check us out there as well! While our social media sites are dedicated to sharing upcoming happenings, we're excited to use this blog to show people what WAC is up to on a more in-depth level. 

This blog will be privy to interviews with artists, volunteers, and community members, without which WAC would not be able thrive. So look out for upcoming blogs about events, artists of the month, member and volunteer spotlights, and local/statewide art happenings, and maybe even the occasional oped! We hope this blog will help open our organization up even further and encourage people from all walks of life to engage with the arts. Our doors are always open.

Stay WACky
- The Waseca Art Center

Brad Donner "The People"

  Brad  Donner   " The People " December 9th - January 22, 2021 In 2019, Brad Donner was awarded an Emerging Artists Gra...