The first “Drop in Art Night” at the K.K. Berge building last Wednesday was comprised of an eclectic crowd of about a dozen area individuals. There were water colors, linocuts and carving––but above all else, the evening was ruled by conversation.
“You don’t have to feel like an artist to be here,” said local artist and Renville County West Art Teacher, Tamara Isfeld. “It’s a place to make that connection to people and the community and to just share with each other.”
The need for introductions was the norm as most who were present, even those who had lived in the far from sprawling metropolis for years, had not been acquainted.
The welcomes were warm and the discussion grew lively. A few delved into art projects, but the majority spent their time within an impromptu circle of chairs where the collective simply talked.
They spoke of who they were. What they did. What they’d like to see in the community. And with the exchange it immediately made apparent was just how thirsty the community had been for such a setting––a place where individuals did not meet based around sports. Not alcohol. Not children’s activities... Not that there’s anything wrong with those things. It’s just that some don’t hold these common interests, and at times it can seem that’s all there is.
Developed as a collaborative effort between Isfeld and Bert Raney Elementary Art Teacher Katie Lewandowski, “Drop in Art Night” was created to provide “one night a week where local community members can connect with creative neighbors, share ideas, or just hang out.”
The evening turned out just as advertised, and at least through April and May the art nights will be held every Wednesday at the K.K. Berge building from 8:00 p.m. to midnight.
“At the end of the night, it’s not about what have you created, it’s about the sense that you are being creative,” said Isfeld.
“I’ll have art supplies or you can bring your own, and there’s Wi-Fi ... Just come with a positive attitude and have some fun.”