Our eyes were opened due to the talents that spring up from our prairie roots at the Southwest Minnesota Arts & Humanities Council 2012 Celebration at Milan, Minnesota on October 28, 2012. The community welcomed us with open arms as we toured their city, shops and art studios within the main street and the two former school buildings which are now used to provide art opportunities and studio space for local artists. I was amazed at the diverse talent that prevails in this little prairie village. Pottery, weaving, fiber arts, silversmithing, blacksmithing, photography, mixed media, framing and painting which also includes rosemal, a decorative Norwegian painting style (I apologize if I’ve left an art form out.) may be found within this quaint community. Milan Village Arts School is a tremendous asset to their community and surrounding areas.
We found the museum on main street especially interesting as it is the passion of one man for his community. The old photographs with their unique frames of depth with inside lighting added a unique twist for the viewer. Walk through a doorway from the museum and you will find a quaint little shop called Billy Maple Tree that sells items made by local artists as well as handmade items from around the world through the SERRV project. SERRV is a nonprofit organization with a mission to eradicate poverty wherever it resides by providing opportunity and support to artisans and farmers worldwide.
Outside the building we found the ArtOrg 2012 project which involved learning about the printmaking process using a steamroller method. The images below are from this “hands on” experience. We can’t turn down an opportunity to learn by doing!
The final result – Tah – Dah!!!
Throughout the afternoon and evening we were were able to listen to local area musicians and take folk dancing lessons thanks to Tamarack Dance from Duluth, MN. A special performance by visual artist and musician, Malena Handeen, who was presented the Prairie Star Award at the evening banquet was icing on the cake, so to speak. Who would have thought an accordian could be so cool with a blend of gutsy blues, hip hop(?), ballads and folk. I’ve just added attending a Maleena Handeen concert to my bucket list and I’m putting a Malena Handeen album purchase on my Christmas Wish List.