HCHY Arts Council looking for new members

HCHY Coordinator Shel-don Rieke is looking to recruit student to the new Art Council. The group has a series of art based projects lined up starting this summer with the New Ulm Library book drop off site.

NEW ULM — Healthy Community Healthy Youths (HCHY) is looking to recruit students to a new Art Council this summer.

Brown County students in 7th through 12th Grade are welcome to join the group. Students who are in 6th grade now, but will be in 7th grade in the fall are also welcome. Members of the Art Council will help design and paint different projects around the county, starting with the New Ulm Library’s book drop-off.

HYCHY Coordinator Sheldon Rieke said Art Council was intended to start last year, but the

COVID pandemic delayed projects. Students were able to paint the wooden ship at Washington Learning Center in 2020, but other projects had to wait. As COVID restrictions are relaxing, Art Council should be able to push new projects forward.

Rieke said there are seven core student in Art Council, but they are looking for more as projects line up.

The New Ulm Public Library book drop off will be getting an upgrade by the Healthy Community Healthy Youths (HCHY) Art Council this summer. The concrete block will be repainted to resemble a book shelf.

The New Ulm Library book drop-off is the first project. Rieke hopes to get it started after school lets out.

The library dropbox area is a large concrete block located outside the library. Art Council’s task will be to brighten the grey concrete up with some colorful designs. The plan is to paint the dropbox to resemble shelves of books. The dropbox itself will be painted to look like a little monster. Patrons will open the monster’s mouth to deposit books.

One of the fun aspects of the project is determining which books to paint on the concrete. Rieke said they have some flexibility on the books they depict. They will likely include classics like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. The works of Wanda Gag are also expected to appear in the book mural.

This is only the first of many projects planned by the Art Council. Several area schools have requested projects. Several projects involve painting the school’s mascot on a wall or sidewalk. There are other projects where Art Council is asked to help design projects.

Students with an interest in the arts are encouraged to sign up for Art Council. Students without art experience are also welcomed to join. Rieke has a degree in Art and is willing to teach students as they work.

Art Council is also looking for other projects. Any business considering an artistic upgrade is encouraged to contact Art Council. The group is a non-profit that is trying to give back to the community.

Rieke said it is also a chance for students to have a lasting impact. Years later, students will be able to see finished projects they worked on and be able to say “I did that.”

Art Council is open to all 7th through 12 Graders in Brown County and will work on projects in all Brown County communities. Students looking to join can contact HCHY through their schools or email hchynua@newulmte.net


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