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The Anderson Center's July 24, 2021, celebration will include past Minnesota Poet Laureate Joyce Sutphen, musicians Chastity Brown and Jillian Rae, and many more.

The community is invited to join artists and poets, musicians and writers at the Anderson Center on July 24 for an open house in celebration of its 25th anniversary. 

The historic Tower View grounds, from the top of the iconic tower to the far reaches of the Sculpture Garden and from the studios on the lower lawn to the unique entertainment space in the restored barn, will be abuzz with activity from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

“It’s a major accomplishment for a mid-size arts organization to reach 25 years,” said Stephanie Rogers, the center’s executive and artistic director for the past three years. 

“This really is a community celebration,” she added. “None of the current staff and board would have reached this milestone without a firm foundation laid by the founding committee, previous staff and board members, and strong community support.” 

Everything about the day is planned to celebrate both Tower View’s history and the Anderson Center’s commitment to showcasing creativity and innovation. 

People are welcome to stroll the grounds, exploring buildings and spaces, visiting artist studios and galleries, wandering through the sculpture garden and climbing the historic 100-foot tower. 

Artists and activities

Artists will be engaged in a range of creative activities, Rogers noted, including resident artists B-J Norman, Art Kenyon, Lynn Brown and Lindsay Cherek Waller; glassblower Gale Dahlberg; sculptors Max Cora and Gita Ghei; ceramic artists Angela Foley, Jeff McDowell and Julie DeVetter, and painter Cynthia Weitzel; plus the Universal Music Center, Sum Some Studio, Minnesota Weavers Guild and ArtReach. Printmaker Richard Stephens will be at work in the granary. 

New sculptures can be seen in the 11-acre sculpture garden, including Pete Driessen’s limestone “Wing Dam” installed just this week. Co-founder Robert Hedin will be on hand to conduct tours in the World War II Jeep. 

In the education building people can explore “Long Story Short,” a retrospective art exhibition featuring works by some of the center’s illustrious residents and studio artists. A large new deck in the rear will be open. 

Visitors can pause to hear live music – Universal Music Center students, Jillian Rae, Chastity Brown and Brent & Sheena – on the lower lawn. Rogers pointed out that Sheena Tisland is a teacher at Tower View Alternative High School.  

Poets and writers will read from their works in the restored barn, including July artists in residence Teo Rivera-Dundas, Gretchen Marquette, Keith S. Wilson and Clare Boerigter. Featured at 1:20 p.m. will be former Minnesota Poet Laureate Joyce Sutphen. 

Barn activities will culminate at 2 p.m. with the cutting of the Anderson Center birthday cake. Sue Gens, executive director of the Minnesota State Arts Board who has described the center as “one of the unique treasures of this state,” will make comments. 

Tower View, which was built between 1915 and 1921 as the home of Dr. A.P. Anderson and his family, has been restored and brought back to life as an artist community. The campus is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. 

More than a retrospective

During the Anderson Center years it has supported more than 800 artists in residence and provided outreach opportunities to more than 50,000 local participants, Rogers said. “We’ve done it with support from more than 1,600 contributors.” 

Among its achievements, she added, is the development of a relationship with Tower View Alternative High School, which has been located on campus for more than 30 years.  

The center is a nonprofit organization supporting arts and ideas, she stressed. “Part of how we do that is by bringing other organizations with similar goals together,” as professional artists work in collaboration with the students and other tenants. 

The anniversary will be more than a retrospective, Rogers said.  

“The Anderson Center’s unique programming and the Tower View historic site are huge assets to the Red Wing community and the entire state. With 25 years of successful programs and a growing reputation for great events in a beautiful setting, the Anderson Center is poised to become an even more popular and impactful organization in the coming years. 

“The board, staff and I are working together to continue the Anderson Center’s growth into a place that responds to the local community, brings national and internationally-known artists in all media to Red Wing, and fully utilizes a stunning and expansive campus year round.” 

Admission to the party is $5 for the general public, free to members and anyone 18 and under. Preregistration is encouraged by going online to www.andersoncenter.org or calling 651-388-2009. Free parking will be available in the west lot near the sculpture garden. 

Ruth Nerhaugen is a retired Republican Eagle reporter who occasionally writes stories. People may reach her through the newsroom at rtnews@orourkemediagroup.

(1) comment

Joan Halgren

The Anderson Center at Tower View is a regional treasure. It offers so much joy and peace to all--thanks to its supporters, staff, and artists! You help bring peace and love to our world. [beam]

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