Art Exhibit at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato

Oil painting by Amber Rahe, Mankato

Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council’s Artist Grantee Exhibition is on display January 11 to February 17, 2016 at the Ylvisaker Fine Arts Center, Bethany Lutheran College, Mankato. Oil painting by Amber Rahe, Mankato.

Thirteen local visual artists and forty-seven pieces of art will be on display in January and February, at the sixth Annual Artist Grantee Exhibition funded by the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council (PLRAC) and the McKnight Foundation at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato. The group exhibition will be held at the Ylvisaker Fine Arts Center and will feature twenty-four Artist Grantees from 2014. The PLRAC has a 23-year history of funding individual artists with grants using funding provided by the McKnight Foundation and has awarded a total of 293 artist grants since 1992.

“What’s unique about the exhibit is that other artists can be inspired by a local artists journey in their career, learn about how they used their artist grant from Prairie Lakes to achieve their career goals and see the final product of that endeavor”, noted Brenda Byron, PLRAC Executive Director. A Brochure for the exhibit which includes artist biographies, how they used the grant and a list of artwork can be viewed at:

Forty-seven pieces of art work will be displayed in the exhibit including: fabric aprons by Yvonne Cory, Easton; batiks by Susan Hayes, Montgomery; bronze sculptures by David Hyduke, Kasota; ceramic sculptures by Leslie Laidlaw, Mankato; oil paintings by Margie Larson, Mankato; acrylic paintings by Humerio Mendez, St. Peter; drawings by Melody Mickelson, Madelia; oil paintings by David Olson, Madison Lake; pastel drawings by Joellen Preston, Mankato; oil paintings by Amber Rahe, Mankato; acrylic paintings by Robyn Sand Anderson, New Ulm; paintings by Nicholas Schleif, Comfrey; an art installation by Dana Sikkila, North Mankato; and wearable dresses and fiber work by Amy Sinning, Mankato.

An opening reception will be held on Sunday, January 17th for the public to attend from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. “For the grants they’ve received, the artists have already had to do a public presentation,” Byron said. “But this will give the artists a chance to present together and we’ll be able to feature our writers and performers.” The program starts at 1:15 p.m. with the visual artists discussing their work, followed by two literary readings. At 2:15 p.m. two writers will do readings: Melody Mickelson, Madelia and Nell Musolf, Mankato. At 2:35 p.m. Wilbur Neushwander-Frink of Mankato will share why she writes plays about disability issues. At 3:00 p.m. we will see an excerpt of a play created by Esther Hoffmann, Mankato and at 3:25 a play created by Greg Abbott, North Mankato. Then from 3:50 to 4:50 p.m. the public will hear three musicians perform: banjo player Ryan Acker, Mankato; string bass player Carolyn Borgen, New Ulm; and Joe Tougas, North Mankato playing guitar along with Ann Rosenquist Fee performing songs from “The Best of Hank and Rita: A Barroom Operetta”. Photos of artists in the January exhibit are on the first two pages of our January 2016 Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council Newsletter. You can view it at:

“We are pleased to have the exhibition at the Ylvisaker Fine Arts Center at Bethany College and it’s been great to work with Art Professor Bill Bukowski to coordinate the exhibit”, noted Brenda Byron, PLRAC Executive Director. The exhibition will be on display through February 19th and gallery hours are Sunday-Thursday 1-9 p.m. and Friday & Saturday 1 to 8 p.m.

What we’d also like artists to know is that they can apply for a grant to advance their career” noted Brenda Byron. “They can apply for a lot of different kinds of projects.” Grants of $1,000 are available to artists for a Career Development grant and can be used for supplies, workshops, training, or equipment; and the next deadline is January 15, 2016. “Our mission is to assist artists and arts organizations and provide financial support through grants,” Byron said. “When we have artists involved in our communities, they help bring creative energy and vibrant arts activities to the community. We think the Arts help the economy in small towns and bolster the self-images of our communities.” Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council (PLRAC) provides grants for arts activities including dance, music, theater, literature, and visual art classes and exhibitions. Upcoming grant deadlines for PLRAC are February 1st for the Arts and Cultural Heritage Grant of $8,000; and the first of each month for Small Arts Projects of $2,500 by community groups and Arts-In-Education school residency grants. Grant program information and applications are available at or contact Brenda Byron, Executive Director, at the PLRAC office in Waseca, 1-800–298-1254 or The PLRAC serves a nine county area in south central Minnesota.