WORTHINGTON - An Artmobile that would travel around Worthington and set up mobile art workshops could become a reality this spring.


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“It’s like the ice cream truck, but we’ve got art supplies,” said Gail Holinka, chairperson of the city’s Public Arts Commission, which is spearheading the project.


The Artmobile would show up at events and community celebrations, setting up shop for anyone who wants to create their own art. It would make some impromptu appearances around the city as well.


The project’s first year would be funded by a grant from the Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership, which received an up-to $3 million award from ArtPlace America’s Community Development Investments program in 2015. The commission will know by Feb. 8 whether or it gets the grant; Holinka is pretty confident it will.


The Worthington City Council on Wednesday approved the final steps necessary for the project by agreeing to pay for insurance on the Artmobile bus.

Holinka said she hoped to drive the Artmobile to its first event in April, during a gathering of artists at the Memorial Auditorium. At the end of the Artmobile’s first year, the art will be displayed at a community show at the Nobles County Art Center, Holinka said.


A major goal of the project is to increase community engagement, especially among underrepresented community members.


“We have a lot of diverse artists in our community that we just don’t know how to find,” Holinka said. “We’re hoping this outreach can bring people to us.”

The Artmobile would work with the Southwest Minnesota Opportunity Network (SMOC) to engage the community on public transportation options within the city. Artists would create works of art to identify bus stops around the city, and some workshops would have a dual goal of educating people about Worthington’s bussing options.


Holinka said she wants the Artmobile to be sustainable beyond its first year. That could mean getting grants from other organizations, or charging to show up at events.

“We know it will be a hit, and we know people will say, ‘can you come to our event,’” Holinka said.