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ISSUE 118 VOL 13 PUBLISHED 3/11/2005

Arts guild involves students

By Stephanie Soucheray
Variety Editor

Friday, March 11, 2005

Located on Division Street in downtown Northfield, the Northfield Arts Guild (NAG) stands as a long-running testament to the importance of community-based art programs.

Since 1959, this non-profit arts organization has been a beacon of support and encouragement for local artists of all ages. Offering concerts, classes, exhibits, play productions and workshops, NAG serves Northfield and the greater community by remaining true to its mission of encouraging local artistic expression. Run largely by local volunteers, NAG receives most of its financial support from individual families and local businesses. NAG has always had a commitment to integrating students from St. Olaf and Carleton colleges. This outreach expands Northfield’s artistic network.

“I think that having student involvement from the colleges broadens the artistic mix of Northfield,” Sheryl Joy, the office manager at NAG, said. “Certainly the colleges provide art opportunities for students … but we expand possible places for students to connect with non-students, giving them more experience with inter-generational art than they would have staying on campus.”

The guild has art programs, mostly different classes, for kids ages three and up. Students from both St. Olaf and Carleton find internships and employment with NAG, assisting with these classes’ instruction.

Students are not only involved in the teaching of classes at NAG. “We have the ‘Emerging Artists’ exhibition annually, “ Joy said.

‘Emerging Artists’ runs May 6-27 and features the work of fifth-year art interns from both Carleton and St. Olaf. The exhibit has proved very popular in years past and is a great way for Northfield residents to view the work of budding artists in the community. Upcoming events at NAG, which occupies two buildings in downtown Northfield, include the “Northfield Area Schools Art” exhibition, featuring the work of local K-12th graders. The community playhouse, located in a renovated church, is producing “Blithe Spirit,” a 1944 comedy and the longest running play in British history. The play opens in April, the same month as NAG’s “Auction for the Arts,” a live and silent auction featuring 50 local artists.

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