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Artscape ready to view

The judge for the Grand’s Artscape gallery show, Dana Sikkila, closely examines all of the works in the exhibit before selecting the top works. Sikkila said her favorite works were those featuring a level of tension within the art.

NEW ULM — Artscape 2020 has been hung with care at The Grand Center for Arts and Culture and will be open for public viewing Friday following a virtual opening reception at 5 p.m. today.

Artscape is The Grand’s annual Juried Art Show. Each year artists are asked to submit newly created work to be displayed in the Four Pillars Gallery. Unlike other exhibits, each year a local artist is asked to curate and judge the exhibits. The top submissions in the adult and student category receive cash awards.

The Executive Director of The Grand, Anne Makepeace, said she was pleased with the entries received this year. The Grand received 90 submissions, which was higher than expected considering the pandemic.

Of the works submitted, The Grand can display 62 unique works: 46 adult works and 16 youth pieces.

Dana Sikkila, the Executive Director of 410 Project in Mankato, served as this year’s show judge.

Sikkila said when selecting the works to include in the show, she wanted to showcase a range of concepts, mediums, and perspectives.

“I was looking at works where people take unique perspectives,” she said. The goal was to find art with unusual imagery, texture and strong technical abilities. I want art that is looking at things differently.”

The show features multiple mediums, including paintings, photography and sculpture. The subjects of the art range from real landscape and images to the surreal.

In awarding the top honors Sikkila said she also was looking for visual tension in the work. Her top choices all featured tension and twisting of the material and medium.

“It is always difficult to judge these shows but it is interesting,” Sikkila said. “I think this show features a wide scale of work and a lot of professionalism. It is always inspiring.”

The winners of the show will be announced during the Grand’s Facebook live streaming event that begins at 5 p.m. today. Starting tomorrow, visitors can vote for their favorite work. Each visitor can vote once in the adult and youth category. The adult and youth pieces receiving the most votes will receive the People’s Choice Award.

The Artscape exhibit will be on display at The Grand through Dec. 31.

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