With the year 2018 nearly behind us, it’s a good time to look back at our accomplishments. Here are ten highlights of the year:
I’m delighted to report that I’ve received an Emerging Artist grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC) to produce a new photography exhibit. The project that I will fund with this grant is an extension of my earlier Light Chaser exhibit held at Gallery 24 in April, 2018. As part of the grant, I’ve set these goals:
First, I have the goal of producing at least ten new photographic works related to my theme. My current vision is that these will be black and white photographs shot with film, and self-developed. I have the materials and experience to do this already. The content of the photographs will feature landscapes, sun, moon, and stars, and will interpret written passages from historical scientific figures. Second, I have a goal of conducting two family-friendly workshops for parents and children in which I encourage them to mingle art and science with resources they already own or have at home. Third, I have a goal of holding an art reception capstone event that features my photographs and builds upon the experience of the workshops. Finally, I have the goal of building a companion website for my project that features the art and science results of the attendees of my workshops and reception, allowing the project to live on past the terms of the grant.
My capstone exhibit will be at the Rochester Art Center in July, 2019. Stay tuned for more info as the project progresses.
One of my favorite colors in nature is the yellow of the goldfinch. When we visit Janet’s relatives in Brainerd, we have the chance to see a lot of them at her aunt’s house. She has a couple of feeders that the goldfinches love.
I took a walk this afternoon through the Rochester pedestrian skyway system to our City Hall building so I could renew my disclosure form with the City. In my role on the Civic Music Advisory Board, I am essentially an unpaid employee of the city (some people call that “volunteering”, of course). What distinguishes my situation, however, is that I serve under the same requirements for honesty and integrity as paid city servants. So, it is necessary and good that I disclose any financial or other relationships I have with businesses that operate within the city, so that my participation on the Civic Music Advisory Board does not conflict in any unfair or improper way.
Janet and I are lucky to be living in a town that not only has a vibrant arts culture, but has an arts culture that let’s us in! My limited experience with artistic communities in other cities gave me the impression that the community was hard to break into. Not in Rochester.
It’s a regular habit for Janet and me to take time after work on Thursdays in the summer months to walk Thursdays on First and Third. If you are not familiar with TOF, it is a weekly outdoor market and street fair, occupying a portion of downtown Rochester’s First Ave SE and historic Third Street, and put on by Downtown Rochester MN. Weather permitting, it runs every Thursday from the beginning of June through the end of August.
Under our current presidential administration we are facing the likelihood of loss of federal funding for the arts through entities like the National Endowment for the Arts. In Rochester, MN, where there is a strong arts presence, these cuts will have a profound impact. Recently, we participated in a community awareness event where citizens and musicians from the Rochester Symphony Orchestra and Chorale gather to sing an impromptu Hallelujah Chorus to show that we are opposed to cuts in funding for the arts. See a short video here.
Saturday was a full day, starting with a visit to the Rochester Downtown Farmers Market. They are conveniently located at the Olmsted County Fairgrounds, with ample parking, and now cozily located in Building 35. Even on a brisk December day the atmosphere (and temperature) is warm and friendly.