AS SOMEONE WHO GREW UP with minimal exposure to the arts, I feel not so much deprived as deeply appreciative of creativity. I consider myself an artist—of images and of words. To write and to photograph, oh, the joy.
I feel gratitude for all the creatives out there who share their talents, whether in published works or performances or art exhibits or whatever in whatever space they choose.
Recently I discovered a new-to-me center for the arts in New Ulm, a southern Minnesota city known for its German heritage and so much more. Like the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame, the Hermann the German Monument, August Schell Brewery, the Wanda Gag House, the Glockenspiel…small town shops and eateries and, well, enough attractions to fill a weekend.
During a brief Saturday afternoon stop in New Ulm, my first must-see destination was The Grand Center for Arts and Culture, housed in a former historic hotel in the heart of downtown. The building itself drew my interest with its appealing signage and lovely architectural details.
A front face plaque summarizes its history. You’ll find such historical info throughout this downtown on plaques, benches and even picnic tables. I appreciate the easy access to history.
Inside the arts center, the first floor features a gift shop brimming with great art and, across the hall, The Grand Kabaret, for entertainment/the performing arts. Downstairs, the basement houses Cellar Press, a letterpress and printmaking studio, which I didn’t see (but must).
A steep flight of stairs leads to 4 Pillars Gallery and studio space on the second floor. The compact gallery, with abundant natural light flowing into the room, feels intimate, inviting, ideal for showcasing art.
Caitlin Lang of Springfield and Sam Matter of New Ulm are the current featured artists in a joint mixed media exhibit, “Intentionally Accidental.” Their show runs through April 3.
What a joy to see the work of these two young artists. Lang specializes in portraits and Matter describes his art as “a small scene from my heart to the viewer.” I love that poetic description.
And I love this center for arts and culture, a must-see in New Ulm.
FYI: The Grand Center for Arts & Culture is changing its hours starting March 23 and will be open from 11 am – 4 pm Tuesday – Saturday.
Please check back for more photos from the arts center.
© Copyright 2021 Audrey Kletscher Helbling