Arty Party comes to Worthington on Thursday, March 2

Featured artwork from the Nobles County Art Center will be displayed in the lobby during the party, and the Art Center will be open extended hours on Thursday.

Turtle mural
Worthington's turtle mural, displayed near Sailboard Beach for 15 years, was heavily damaged in a windstorm, and plans are to redo the artwork during an Arty Party Thursday evening at Memorial Auditorium.
Photos contributed by Gail Holinka

WORTHINGTON — Artists, arts organizations and the art-loving public are invited to attend Southwest Minnesota Arts Council’s Arty Party from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 2, at Worthington’s Memorial Auditorium Performing Arts Center.

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The Arty Party is a celebration of the art amenities available throughout the 18-county southwest region. SMAC selected Worthington for its party, which will include a musical performance by the Great Plains String Quartet — Melanie Loy, Beth Habicht, Sue Simonson and Karen Pfeifer — local recognition of Melanie Loy for her recent Prairie Disciple award, and an opportunity for attendees to be involved in painting sections of the new turtle mural sponsored by the Worthington Arts Commission to replace the damaged mural at Sailboard Beach.

The original mural was created by community members during the Windsurfing Regatta about 15 years ago. A windstorm in 2021 toppled the mural and damaged it beyond repair. The Worthington Arts Commission voted to recreate the mural after numerous neighbors and citizens inquired about when it would return.

Throughout the evening, Round Lake Winery will have wine and beer for sale, and Lupita’s and the winery will offer appetizers.

Featured artwork from the Nobles County Art Center will be displayed in the lobby during the party, and the Art Center will be open for extended hours on Thursday, from noon to 5:30 p.m., for individuals to stop in and see the current exhibit.


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“I think it’s nice that we’ve been selected out of all the cities in Nobles County,” shared Gail Holinka, representing the Worthington Arts Commission. “It’s an honor and a privilege to showcase the art in our community.

Holinka has prepared the turtle mural for people to work on during the Arty Party.

“It’s exciting for us to redo the mural that was damaged beyond repair,” she said. “We try to maintain our public art in Worthington. Our goal is to bring more art to Worthington and (add to) our public art.”

SMAC staff will be on hand during the Arty Party to listen to the community's arts needs and share how the organization can assist the arts in southwest Minnesota. The event is free to attend, with the exception of select beverages available for purchase.

Worthington artists and art projects have received thousands of dollars in grants over the years from SMAC. Grants also help fund the community’s annual celebrations, music programs, theater and visual arts.

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Julie Buntjer became editor of The Globe in July 2021, after working as a beat reporter at the Worthington newspaper since December 2003. She has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism from South Dakota State University.
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