Art is the outward act of self-expression. Whether art is visual, musical, literary or performing, art is individual in creation and interpretation.

The Arts Consortium of Carver County embraces the arts, all forms of art. A beautiful painted landscape, a polished bronze sculpture, a poem or song. Throughout history art has been used to share emotion, thought, heritage, views, and dreams. The creator of art is only limited by imagination.

The audience or viewer of art can take in, interpret, enjoy, detest, ignore or hold up. If a person has walked outside, read a magazine, watched television or surfed the interwebs, they have been exposed to art.

As a nonprofit, the ACCC has enjoyed almost 12 years of supporting and bringing attention to the art scene in Carver County. A few events and installations you may recognize are the Barn Quilts, Art Wander, Art Stock, or the incredibly popular Members Gallery show and sale in November and December.

We recently moved our ACCC gift shop and gallery (our home base) to the Chaska Community Center (CCC). We bring and join efforts in promotion and execution of monthly gallery installations, offering more opportunities for our artists to offer and participate in, creating new artistic experiences in the community and strengthening our relationships in Carver County.

The mission of the ACCC is to “strengthen our community through the arts and cultivate the arts through the community.” This is fulfilled every day an artist chooses to step out and share what they have created, and every time there is a recipient to said art.

Art is subjective and can generate a good debate and discussion over a particular piece; the mission is met when art is seen, heard, watched, read or participated in.

The subjects and mediums chosen by any artist are made consciously, the reaction or response from the recipient may be calculated, but is ultimately impossible to control or predict.

The styles an artist may choose could be realistic, abstract, pop, renaissance or modern, to name a few. The subject matter could be portraiture, still life arrangements, plein air, interpretations of political or current events, or a study in color. The styles and subjects are literally limitless.

The effects of the pandemic have been evident with in-person attendance and scheduled event cancellations, with lower numbers of attendees at gallery receptions for instance, however, our artists selling their original art in our gift shop have seen positive returns and increased in our offerings.

We have taken the opportunity to expand our reach during the lockdown, rather than being held idle. The board has undertaken bringing more opportunities for artists and supporters through online learning, virtual events and filling an online gift shop that will soon be available.

The ACCC is always seeking new artists or supporters of the arts to become a member and enjoy the benefits of working collaboratively with other artists in the county.

The ACCC has 12 months of juried gallery shows open to all (members and nonmembers) to enter or view; an ever-growing assortment of classes and lessons to participate in; and our new gift shop to browse, enjoy and support.

We look forward to the summer season as we finalize plans for new artistic events and collaborations in the community, online and at the ACCC in the CCC! Please visit us at www.artsconsotiumofcarvercounty.org for more information and ways to be involved.

As a nonprofit, the ACCC does not support, endorse, or affiliate with any political party.

For inquiries or comment, please send to info@artsofcarvercounty.org.

Mary K.E. Williamson is president of the Arts Consortium of Carver County. More info at https://artsofcarvercounty.org.

Community Editor

Mark Olson, the Chaska and Chanhassen community editor who has worked in Carver County for 20 years, makes any excuse to write about local history. In his spare time, Mark enjoys perusing old books, watching blockbusters and taking Midwest road trips.

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