willmar area arts council




Community Canvas

   We are so excited about our latest project - Community Canvas.  The canvases have been returned and we're ready to put them on display for the community to enjoy - and enjoy them you will!  We have 249 canvases displayed by age groups - youngsters under 12, young people 12 - 18, and people over 19.  The unveiling is Sunday, August 30 at the Barn from 2:00 - 4:00 pm.  Come enjoy some popcorn and lemonade, see what your friends and neighbors (and maybe you?) have created, and vote for your favorite pieces.  The canvases will be on display in the Event Center at the Barn for the month of September so if you can't make it on the 30th, you still have time to view this extraordinary collection.

Painted Traffic Signal Boxes 

   The Arts Council is seeking artists to participate in a public art initiative in the City of Willmar.  This project involves using existing city infrastructure as a canvas for public art.  Our goal is to enhance the appeal of the City by adding works of art to the traffic signal cabinets along First Street.  Artists will have the option of either painting directly onto the cabinet or creating a digitally enhanced image which will be transferred to a vinyl wrap and professionally installed.  We are looking for proposals which will enhance community ride and uniqueness of the City.  Some possible subjects are the arts, our history, cultural diversity, recreational opportunities and/or natural beauty.  To view cabinets that have been done in other communities, Google "Painted traffic signal boxes."

   In the first phase of the project we are asking artists to submit their resume and four to six images of their work.  From this pool of applicants a committee made up of Arts Council Board members and representatives of the City of Willmar Public Works Department will select twelve artists and have them submit a detailed drawing and description of what they would put on a cabinet.  We will pay these twelve artists $200 each for this work.  From these twelve submissions the same committee will select eight artists.  We will then apply for a Legacy Grant from the SW MN Arts Council.  When we receive that grant we will commission the work and pay each artist $1,000 to complete the cabinet.  More details will be made available to the chosen artists in each phase.

   Interested artists are asked to submit their resume and images by September 7, 2015.  Please submit them by email to willmararts@gmail.com.  The twelve chosen  artists will be notified by Sept. 1 and their proposed art will need to be submitted bgy Nov. 1, 2015.  This activity is made possible with funds from the Laura Welle Memorial Fund and by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the SW MN Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.  For more information please contact the Arts Council at 320 235-8560 or willmararts@gmail.com.

Don Sherman Exhibit at WEAC

 The Willmar Area Arts Council’s current exhibit in the gallery at WEAC is works by Don Sherman of Ortonville.  Don’s career spans more than 30 years as a commercial photographer, a teacher in high schools and colleges, and an artist doing painting, drawing, ceramics and digital media.  This exhibit is titled “Realizing Change in Life and Landscape."  This is how Don describes it:

 This exhibit, Realizing Change In Life and Landscape,  is about art, aging, and health.  I follow patterns of change in my rural community; changes that affect the quality of life, the environment, and growing older.  I concentrate on the elderly, and on the beautiful prairie landscape of western Minnesota.  Through the experience of nature and its life cycles, I learn about blooming, sustaining, letting go, and rejuvenating.  Art can help people face disability, remove obstacles, and become more whole.

Each piece I do starts with looking for an interesting story, whether it’s in conversation with someone in a nursing home, or looking for meaning in the countryside.  From there, I begin an observational drawing that serves as a base for experimenting with many types of media.  I use scribbling, doodling, sketching, rendering and illustrating to expand the image, in a mix of traditional and digital methods.

 The exhibit is up through September 29, 2015.


Willmar Area Arts Council Mission
Ron Adams Shroud of Mom The mission of the Willmar Area Arts Council is to increase regional awareness of the arts in West Central Minnesota by providing a number of initiatives: grants to individuals and organizations to advance art-related endeavors, opportunities for local artists to promotetheir work, informational resources to enhance the arts, and workshops that reflect the diverse heritage of our area. We acknowledge the support of our partners in assisting us to promote the arts by donating time and money as we work to advance the arts. Lastly, we invite you to attend our many activities and participate in some of the artist events in our region. We welcome your ideas, participation, and suggestions to advance our organization!



Willmar Education and Arts Center
  Check our "Gallery" page to see what's up in the gallery.
"This activity is made possible in part by a grant from the SOUTHWEST MINNESOTA ARTS COUNCIL (SMAC) with funds appropriated by the State Legislature and the McKnight Foundation."

southwest minnesota arts and humanities council (SMAHC) 

"Funded in part by the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission."
Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Ecomonic Development Commission