The arts are making a comeback this year at the Edina Art Center after being closed last year due to COVID-19 restrictions. The pandemic posed many challenges for community members who enjoyed viewing exhibitions and taking art courses at the center. The facility provides a space for artistic explorations and creativity through art-making and instruction-based learning. As restrictions lessen and more people become vaccinated, the center has exciting reopening plans for its youth and adult members.
Susan Tarnowski, general manager at the Edina Art Center, says although the center would not reopen to the public just yet, it was for summer youth art and tech camps. Tarnowski says the gallery, gift shop and pottery classes will remain closed for now. “I am, however, excited about both the ability to offer classes now and the potential for a new Edina space for ceramics and other art forms in the future.” Tarnowski says.
Going into the fall, youth classes will be held inside the art center on one level, one class at a time so there are not too many people in the building at once. The center will not require masks but will honor anyone’s desire to continue mask-wearing and will also continue to sanitize all areas of the building; “there will be an abundance of caution,” Tarnowski says. COVID safety precautions will continue for the rest of the year, but Tarnowski says the center will still be able to offer much more this fall than last year.
For youth and students, there will be two sessions of drawing classes for participants up to 17-years-old beginning in September through November. Tarnowski says she’s excited about a couple of new instructors joining the center. A cartoonist taught cartooning in the workshop this past May and will again this fall for students 9 to 14. “I’ve seen the art by this instructor and it’s so much fun,” Tarnowski says. The center will offer cartooning classes in the fall and anime classes in the spring for older youth. The center also hired a professional puppeteer who studied the tradition of puppetry in Italy; that class will be for ages 7 to 12. These fun classes are just a few of the several youth classes the center has on offer this fall.
For adults, Tarnowski says an award-winning instructor will teach a portrait drawing class and a watercolor landscape painting class. For one of the workshops, an acrylic pour class will be offered. Tarnowski says “[it’s] a wonderful way to create unique pieces of art, especially if you’re not particularly comfortable yet with brushes and pencils.” There’s also a floral designer who offers dry floral bouquet arrangement classes and will also offer a holiday floral bouquet class. Another popular class, that has been full since its start, is the abstract acrylics class; Tarnowski says this class will be offered again this fall.
Tarnowski says she is most excited for Speaking of Authors..., a monthly video recording of author interviews that will be streamed on YouTube and broadcasted on local television. This monthly video recording began this past March, and it will continue through March 2022. Most importantly, the mission of the center continues to be building a thriving community by appreciating art and culture in Edina. “As a city enterprise, we service residents, our goal is to be a service center community,” Tarnowski says. “I just so appreciate the opportunity to let people become involved in this again.”