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Art sought for display in new Event Center

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WORTHINGTON -- As the new Event Center takes shape, there will be a possibility for public art to be displayed in the common areas.

"They were hoping to maybe ask us for some help in finding public art for the space in some of their corridor walls," said Gail Holinka, who serves on the Worthington Public Arts Commission. "Future projects may include getting something out in their wedding park area. They have both inside and outside space that we might consider. With the time frame of opening in the middle of May, that kind of limits us as to what we can do right away."

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The Event Center is slated to be completed in the coming months, which has created a call out to local artists.

"Basically, they wanted something with Worthington flavor, so that's when we put the call out for public art for local artists to submit themed scenes or Worthington events," Holinka said. "Paintings, drawings, photography, if they do graphics or computer art -- they can enhance or digitally manipulate, if they choose.

"We were also thinking of the prominent people of Worthington. This event center is going to be visited by all kinds of people for many different types of events."

The call is for artists who are currently producing art, as well as collections of historic pieces.

"Worthington has had some prominent artists who have come and gone and people have collected some of those pieces," Holinka said. "We have been approached by some people who want to maybe sell part of a collection that we could consider. We could ask for families, if they would be interested in doing a memorial, they could let us know what they were thinking of."

The deadline for the art is next month.

"The deadline for that is March 15," Holinka said. "We'll look it all over, the committee will get together and preview it all and try to make some selections. In April, we will let the artist know if their work was selected to put into the space."

The commission first began by meeting with the architect to find out where there could be space for the art to be displayed. There could be a place in the outside spaces for a sculpture or something more permanent.

"We like artists of all ages to know they are able to participate," Holinka said. "I've even told my students at the high school and college level that 'there is this opportunity for you. If you get out in the community and take some interesting photographs or if you like to paint or draw or anything like that, you're welcome to submit your work, too.'"

Holinka is hoping for the cultural diversity of Worthington to be shown in the artwork.

"With our diversity, I'm hoping people of other cultures submit work," she said. "I think it's important for us to see that Worthington is not all about just paintings we typically paint in the states here, but maybe what they do in Africa and some of the different kinds of patterns things they use."

Another option the commission is looking into is the Nobles County Art Center loaning pieces.

"A community that has a lot of public art is a nice community to be a part of," Holinka said. "Because you're appreciated not only for being a member of that community, but what you can give to it. I think the arts is a great way for them to contribute."

For more information, contact Holinka at gail.holinka@isd518.net or Mindy Eggers at meggers@ci.worthington.mn.us, or find them on Facebook.

Daily Globe Community Content Coordinator Aaron Hagen may be reached at 376-7323.

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