Tori Smith – Staff Writer
Founded in 1979 as the Arts and Heritage Council, the Arts Center of Saint Peter has been a long-standing establishment in the community for many years.
After the 1998 St. Peter tornado that took out the historic school building where the Arts and Heritage Council was originally located, the Arts Center re-organized and in 2000 opened their new facility at 315 South Minnesota Avenue.
“The purpose of today’s Arts Center of Saint Peter remains to promote education, interest in and support for the fine arts through exhibitions, performances, and outreach,” according to the Arts Center’s website (artscentersp.org).
The Arts Center includes clay and fiber studios, a gallery, and a gallery shop where visitors can purchase creative works by more than eighty local and regional artists and authors. The clay and fiber studios offer “meditative, challenging, and rewarding art-making experiences for learners of all levels,” according to the website.
The Arts Center of Saint Peter also provides a multitude of classes for the public including bookbinding, marketing, weaving, and writing among much more. The gallery features local, regional, national and international artists for exhibitions and/or performances.
Now until May 29, the Arts Center will be featuring the Layered Realities exhibit, a collection of recent work by full-time St. Peter-based artist Bryan Holland.
Holland has worked professionally as an artist, a graphic artist, and a college professor and has over twenty years of painting experience. His work has been in many exhibitions including solo, regional, national juried, and invitational exhibitions.
In just the past six years he has been featured in 13 exhibits including the 2018 A Symphony of Wings exhibit at the Cactus Gallery in Los Angeles, CA, The Other Art Fair (TOAF): Dallas (Saatchi) exhibit in Dallas, TX in 2019, and the 2020 Juried Figure Show at the Minnetonka Center for the Arts in Minnetonka, MN.
In the Layered Realities exhibition, Holland created a series of box sculptures that invite viewers to interact with various pieces.
“I wanted to take this type of work a step further by creating a level of interactivity or adjustability, where the viewer can manipulate components to change how the work is viewed,” Holland said in his artist’s statement.
He originally envisioned using found materials from thrift stores or garage sales for the sculptures, but when the pandemic hit, he was forced to change plans. As the stores he would normally frequent for materials began to shut down, Holland decided to incorporate less found art and more elements of his own construction.
In addition to these sculptures, the exhibit will include paintings and mixed media incorporating themes of animals, mythology and the environment.
The Arts Center of Saint Peter won’t be an unfamiliar place for Holland.
“For many years, Bryan rented studio space from the Arts Center until he purchased his own studio building in 2018 or 2019,” Arts Center Executive Director Ann Rosenquist Fee said.
Holland will be taking part in the radio show “Live from the Arts Center of Saint Peter” on Thursday, April 29 from 1-2 p.m. on KMSU 89.7FM. The show, hosted by Fee, includes artist talks about current exhibitions, conversations about the artist’s creative process and influences, and music chosen by the artist/interviewee.
“Since [Holland] is a former tenant of the Arts Center, we’ll probably go in-depth into how his process and the work itself has changed since he moved to his own studio space,” Fee said.
The show will be archived for two weeks at kmsu.org.
Now that finals week is rapidly approaching, the Arts Center may be the perfect spot for students to visit and relax while viewing some amazing pieces of artwork.
“We like to think we’re a great place for students to clear the mind, get some peace, and maybe soak up some inspiration,” Fee said.
Students may find particular inspiration in Holland’s Layered Realities exhibit and his ability to blend art and graphic design.
The gallery is free and wheelchair accessible to the public. Doors are open Tuesday through Friday from 1-5 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday 1-5 p.m.