Artist designs for ox sculpture sought

The Destination Downtown Coalition, in partnership with the city of Brainerd and The Crossing Arts Alliance, are bringing Babe the Blue Ox to downtown Brainerd.

Nor-Son Construction donated a Babe the Blue Ox statue that’s been at its Baxter office since 2008. After a successful fundraiser of donations from the community to secure the statue and address some much needed repairs, the art center is ready for the next step to find artists to design and paint the ox sculpture.

“We want this to be a community project that adds to downtown Brainerd's uniqueness,” the arts center stated in a news release. “The Crossing Arts Alliance will be putting together a panel to determine location/placement, finding great local artists, and jury the submissions, for who will be doing the honors of creating downtown Brainerd's latest attraction!”

This project is open to all artists residing in Minnesota. Artists may submit up to three designs for consideration. Submitted designs should be family-friendly and aesthetically appropriate for display in public places. Some examples of the family-friendly criterion include absence of violence, nudity, bias and hate.

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The artist chosen for this project will receive a $700 honorarium to help defray material costs and other expenses. Priming and sealing of the sculpture will be provided by the coordinators of this call for art. The artist will furnish all of the paint materials, and be responsible for the painting of the artwork.

Work will be juried by a committee consisting of the executive/artistic director of The Crossing Arts Alliance, members of the Destination Downtown Business Coalition, Brainerd city employees and community members.

The deadline for submissions is April 15. The selected artist will have the month of May to work on and complete their design on the ox, and the finished piece will be installed in downtown Brainerd in early June.

For more information on submission, rules and for the online submission form contact the art center at 218-833-0416, info@crossingarts.org or crossingarts.org/calls-for-art.

The Destination Downtown Coalition, in partnership with the city of Brainerd and The Crossing Arts Alliance, are bringing Babe the Blue Ox to downtown Brainerd. The art center is calling for artists to submit designs to be considered. Submitted graphic.
The Destination Downtown Coalition, in partnership with the city of Brainerd and The Crossing Arts Alliance, are bringing Babe the Blue Ox to downtown Brainerd. The art center is calling for artists to submit designs to be considered. Submitted graphic.

Jaques announces next exhibit

AITKIN — The Jaques Art Center announces its next exhibit will open Friday, Jan. 8, titled "LEGEND AND LEGACY."

The exhibit features artworks by Roger Nielsen paired alongside treasured paintings by Francis Lee Jaques from the museum's vaults.

“Many years ago, when Roger Nielsen was a boy on a bicycle, riding over to watch F. Lee Jaques paint dioramas at the Bell Museum, Jaques asked Roger to bring him some of the boy's drawings to show him,” the center stated in a news release. “This encouragement took hold, and Roger Nielsen's ensuing Twin Cities art career bears testament to the value of that long ago warm connection between the boy and the artist F. Lee Jaques.”

Wildlife art has been a central interest for Nielsen in the 70 years since that encounter, and now in this exhibition the circle has fully come around and the two artists are being shown side by side.

The vitality of Jaques' paintings is always exciting to experience firsthand, and of special interest here will be the debut of the art center's new Jaques’ painting, "Mergansers on a Pond," the release stated.

A public reception and celebration with refreshments is set noon to 3 p.m. Feb. 13.

The Jaques Art Center is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, 121 Second Ave. N., Aitkin. Call 218-927-2363, or visit Jaquesart.com for further information.

The book cover of Debra Eckerman Pitton's adventure book, "No One Left Behind: An unexpected educational adventure at Machu Picchu."  Submitted Photo
The book cover of Debra Eckerman Pitton's adventure book, "No One Left Behind: An unexpected educational adventure at Machu Picchu." Submitted Photo

BookEnds Online Edition features next event

The first BookEnds Online Edition of the new year will be 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 9, via Zoom.

Debra Eckerman Pitton is the author of the true life adventure book, "No One Left Behind: An unexpected educational adventure at Machu Picchu." In 2010, she led a group of health care students to Peru and Machu Picchu. When rain swelled the mountain rivers, flooding downstream villages, the group was trapped and struggled to remain together as they waited to be evacuated.

Author Debra Pitton
Author Debra Pitton

Pitton is department chair and professor of education at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter and specializes in instructional methodology.

The Zoom Meeting ID is 867 0338 5655.

For more information, contact the Wadena County Historical Society at 603wchs@arvig.net. Following the meeting, a recording of this program will be made available at WadenaCountyHistory.org.

BookEnds is a monthly literary event hosted by the Wadena County Historical Society, Travelin’ Storyseller and the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center. These activities are made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Five Wings Arts Council thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.