Perpich Student Work Featured at Owatonna Art Center
January 11, 2024
Work by Perpich Visual Arts and Media Arts students will be on display at the Owatonna Art Center starting January 14, 2024. The exhibition features work from 15 current students and will run until February 25, 2024. The gallery opening is January 14, 2024 from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
The unique opportunity came to be through the travels of Anne Johnson, Admissions Director. While in Owatonna, Anne connected with Silvan Durben, Creative Director of Owatonna Art Center. Durben is a supporter of the work that Perpich Center does and, as he and Johnson were exploring ways to collaborate, he offered space for the student exhibition. “I am so grateful to Anne Johnson for building this connection with the Owatonna Art Center and their director, Silvan Durben,” said Kathryn D’Elia, Studio Arts Chair and Visual Arts Instructor. “Our school is focused on supporting and building up thinking artists from not only the Twin Cities, but across the state. It feels wonderful to be branching out and sharing some of the work created with the communities where so many of our students are from.”
D’Elia invited current Perpich students to assist with curating the exhibition. A mix of junior and senior students in Visual Arts and Media Arts outlined how they wanted to represent Perpich in the community. “They decided that they wanted to show the range of what students create at Perpich with the diversity of medium used, but also show a wide range of the concept and approaches explored in their art-making,” said D’Elia. The students selected artwork and discussed how each choice fit into that criteria. After the work was selected, the students also planned for the layout of the works in the space. “The steps of laying out and installing a show is an important part of the student experience at Perpich.” For this, the students arranged scale versions of the work and planned for color story and flow of work between types of media, and decided how the composition of each piece flowed into and informed the next.
Anne Johnson is so happy about this opportunity in Owatonna for several reasons. “First, it’s an honor for the students whose work is on display, as it was chosen by their peers to represent Perpich,” said Johnson. “Next, there’s the real-world experience of setting up a gallery. And for the friends and families of our Perpich students who can’t readily make an exhibition at Perpich [in Golden Valley], they may be able to make it to Owatonna. Finally, what a tremendous outreach opportunity to spread the word about Perpich Arts High School. The impact of this show may be felt for years, as future students apply and say they learned about Perpich by seeing the artwork at the Owatonna Arts Center.”
Work by Macey Carlson (Visual Arts 2024) is included in the exhibition. “This is exciting to be a part of because we get to represent Perpich, and the variety of art styles, techniques, themes, and topics we explore in class,” said Carlson. “Through this show we get to share what we’re trying to do as artists of the future. It feels really good to show work outside of an educational space and outside of social media. It changes the context to share the work physically in a space with the benefit of an artist statement.”
Grace Mathews (Media Arts 2024) has work selected for the show. “When I got the email about my piece being selected for the show, I was really excited and I felt seen,” said Mathews. “My specific piece was really just about having fun, meeting new people, and having them step out their comfort zone because not everyone models. I wanted to take someone, who as far as I know, doesn’t have any modeling experience, and help them relax or help them understand what I’m looking for in the photos. It helped me gain a little bit of confidence and I learned how to be stern so that you can get the job done and get the fashion photo result I wanted.”
Chloe Laun (Visual Arts 2024) is included in the exhibition. “It feels really cool to be able to have a piece that is in a gallery show outside of the school because it feels like I’m able to get a foot in the door somewhere,” said Laun. “Yeah, it’s a really cool thing to be able to get some more outreach.”
Julia Pauly (Visual Arts 2025) has work selected for the show. “This was a cool opportunity. It was really exciting for me,” said Pauly. “I’ve definitely bragged about it to my family a lot. I’m really excited to go to the show.”
Rebecca Bullen, Arts High School Principal, is impressed with this opportunity. “Our Admissions Director, Anne, is always coming up with ways that not only expose people to Perpich, they are opportunities for our students to share their voices,” said Bullen. “As a Studio Arts Chair, Kathryn provides an opportunity for students to learn and lead as young artists. This exhibition brings all worlds together and is an amazing opportunity. I am so proud of our team and their commitment to creativity, connection, and student leadership!”
The Owatonna Arts Center exists to enrich the cultural fabric of the region by offering high quality artistic programs, welcoming and nurturing talent, and providing educational opportunities in Owatonna, Minnesota.
Josh LaFollette of the Owatonna People’s Press wrote a front page article about the exhibition. Read the article here.