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Minnesota West to host art fest

WORTHINGTON -- Come Monday, about 100 college students from across the state will descend upon Worthington to participate in the Minnesota Community and Technical Colleges Fine Arts Festival.

The festival, sponsored by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, is an annual event with hosting duties rotated among the campuses, according to Minnesota West Community and Technical College art instructor Bobbie Alsgaard Lien.

"It's been happening for 25 years, and it's just hosted at different schools, always by community colleges, but it's sometimes held at resorts or four-year schools," Alsgaard explained. "We've done it once before in my career."

Planning for the three-day festival started about a year ago. A full slate of workshops will be offered, and the students will also be treated to some special events, such as a welcome dinner, movie at the Northland Cinema and evening of karaoke. They will be lodged at three Worthington motels.

But the real emphasis is on art, and Alsgaard and her crew of organizers have lined up presentations by some of the region's most innovative artisans.

The featured artists are:

NANCY LOSACKER: The Vermillion, S.D., artist will work with students on mirror mosaics and sculptures.

TRICIA MIKLE: Mikle, an art teacher at Worthington High School, will offer a workshop on a self-portrait collage created with Photoshop CS2.

LEON BETZ: The owner of Lee's Frame Shop in downtown Worthington will teach the art of fused glass.

MARY PETERSEN: Petersen, of Luverne, will share her watercolor techniques, which include using larger brushes and juicy washes.

CHRIS NOWATZKI: Also of Luverne, this well-known pottery artist will focus his presentation on Asian brushwork.

GAIL HOLINKA: Another teacher in District 518, Holinka's presentation will be on the Adirondack Share Chair project that she and Alsgaard initiated several years ago and networking in the community through the arts.

RUTH AND JOEL MCKINNEY: This couple from Walnut Grove will create metal medallions with the students.

GRETA BODOGAARD: A fiber artist who lives in Rapid City, S.D., Bodogaard was apprenticed in northern Norway in the arts of dyeing and weaving. She will share those skills, as well as the process of felting.

DAVID STROM: An artist who lives in Windom, Strom's presentation is titled, "Drawing as a Second Language."

T-shirts with the festival's logo on the back will be for sale, and the students will be encouraged to create their own original artwork for the shirt front.

Although most of the festival events are only for the registered students, there is one event that is open to the public. An exhibit of the workshop presenters' artwork has been hung at the Nobles County Art Center, 407 12th St., Worthington, and a public reception with the students will be from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Monday. The gallery at the Minnesota West campus also features a special exhibit -- pottery by Michael Hill of Vermillion, a well-known artist who exhibits all over the United States.

Alsgaard is pleased with the variety of offerings that have been put together for the festival and emphasized that she had a lot of assistance with the planning and support from the college.

"Tricia (Mikle) has been absolutely my saint, as well as my student, Libby Little, and Gail (Holinka), too," she said. "It's been a really big team effort."

Beth Rickers

Beth Rickers is the veteran in the newspaper staff with 25 years as the Daily Globe's Features Editor. Interests include cooking, traveling and beer tasting and making with her home-brewing husband, Bryan. She writes an Area Voices blog called Lagniappe, which is a Creole term that means "a little something extra." It can be found at  

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