Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Embracing the arts at a former Carnegie library April 27, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 7:37 AM
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Crossings at Carnegie, an art center located in Zumbrota sits across the street from Quality Siding and Window Inc. and ACE Hardware and just down the block from the State Theatre and a picturesque white-steepled church.

IT’S TYPICAL Carnegie library with steep front steps and double columns and a gracious, arched doorway fronting a brick building.

But today in Zumbrota (and since 2001), the 1908 Classical Revival style building houses an art center. Crossings at Carnegie, with a gallery and gift shop, with a clay studio and with classes in theater, writing, art and more, and with an array of concerts, centers culture in this southeastern Minnesota community of 3,200.

Colorful yarn wraps a front exterior stairway railing.

Saturday evening I climbed the steps into this privately-owned art center for the first time, into a space that visually overwhelmed me. With elbow-to-elbow people squeezed into the former library and with art crammed everywhere, I admittedly escaped twice—down stairs to the basement and down stairs to the outdoors.

The charming exterior front door leading into Crossings.

An estimated 1,500 visitors walk through the art center doors each month, according to the Crossings website, rating this as one popular spot for shoppers, art lovers, students of the arts and more. Saturday night drew a crowd as Crossings celebrated its 11th annual Poet Artist Collaboration. I was among the 26 participating poets. Click here and here to read two previous blog posts about this event.

I noticed art leaning on the piano as musician Matthew Rivera played the piano at Saturday evening's Poet Artist Collaboration XI gala reception. He also strummed the ukulele later.

In the midst of mingling and weaving and escaping, I tried to notice details like the yarn wrapped around a railing post, the colorful exterior signage, art propped upon the piano, the misspelled sign welcoming dogs…

In the end, I decided to return in the solace of a non-event day to this place which celebrates the arts with such exuberance.

A welcoming misspelled sign on a front window at Crossings.

Vivid colors and outdoor art define Crossings as an art center.

FYI: Click here to learn more about Crossings at Carnegie, 320 East Avenue, Zumbrota.

© Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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