[STAFF EDITORIAL] Engage with your community: support local artists


Annika Kim

TRIPLE SELF-PORTRAIT. Art is an essential part of life. Take the time to support local arts and keep your community vibrant.

100% agreement

Sometimes words aren’t enough. Whether it be sound, music or paint, all forms of art can tell stories that serve as catalysts for social change and express emotion that shapes our world. Pieces may comment on particular societal times or express an artist’s own emotion and thought.

Art is a form of expression, so visiting museums and connecting with art all around means local stories can be learned through a new medium. Artists nowadays experience struggles creatives throughout history faced; and their art can still be something to connect with. Though stories of famous artists’ experiences offer lessons, works closer to home offer lessons that are more meaningful. Maybe it’s a piece about the harshness of winter that only Minnesotans could understand or a reflection on the history of the land the work stands on.

Vincent Van Gogh’s art sells for millions, yet he was virtually unknown while creating his works. Van Gogh struggled with severe mental illness and his art expresses that fact. His works offer insight into his story of struggle, one similar to struggles people face today, offering a mutual understanding between artist and viewer which serves as a glimmer of hope for those who are struggling.

Producing art is another way to connect with local artists. Learning how to paint or even taking a class with friends can offer insight into an artist’s life but also can be an enjoyable indoor activity away from freezing temperatures. FOCI arts and Chicago Ave Fire Arts offer classes on glassblowing and other forms of art that use heat like neon art or metal sculpture.

With social gatherings limited, income has been a challenge for local artists. Instagram and Etsy are places where many independent artists sell their work. Murals are one other form of art that’s free and local. The Greetings from Minnesota mural is located on the state fairgrounds and a colorful mural of Bob Dylan is in downtown Minneapolis. Local art has another benefit: whether it be small or large, purchasing works from smaller artists means both cheaper prices and unique paintings, photographs, or prints.

Museums like the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis Institute of Art, The Museum of Russian Art and Weisman Art Museum offer great collections of a variety of works, and the Guthrie Theater offers other forms of art to view.

Maybe art sparks a memory of a boring visit to a museum while on a field trip, but art is much more. Viewing art as depictions of narratives or reading an accompanying artist statement can redefine the boring museum trips of the past and provide an enjoyable lens into creatives’ lives throughout time. Art is crucial to society and making an effort to support local artists ensures a happy and vibrant community. Take time to visit local exhibitions and museums displaying art from local artists.