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‘Forest Through the Trees’ show now open through Arts Initiative website

With warmer weather on the horizon, the Freeborn County Arts Initiative is focusing on an element in nature in its newest digital group exhibition.

The “Forest Through the Trees” show opened Tuesday on the arts organization’s website and will continue through April 30. The gallery, at 224 S. Broadway, is not open at this time because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Artist Susanne Crane said for the show, the arts organization accepted any artwork on the theme of trees. While some artists focused on leaves or specific elements of trees, others focused on the whole tree, while yet others explored the idea of forests.

“It really varied from person to person,” she said.

Artist Elisha Marin said there are nine artists represented from throughout the Midwest with work ranging from drawing and painting to quilts, photography, stereoscopic photography, collage and mixed media.

He highlighted up-and-coming fiber artist Kathy Weed of Northfield, who incorporated free motion machine quilting — which he said takes hundreds of pieces of fabric and makes quilted mosaics and collages. Marin also recognized Luke Sundblad, a new artist for the initiative, who has two pieces in the show of stereoscopic photography, which is also known as 3-D photography. Commercial and editorial photographer Marla Klein features some digital collage.

The show can be found online on the Arts Initiative website at www.fcai.us.

Crane said the organization plans to reopen the gallery for its next exhibit in May, which will feature her solo exhibition commissioned by the Minnesota State Arts Board.

In July and August, Weed will showcase her work.

In addition to its digital galleries during the pandemic, Marin said the Arts Initiative is also seeing success with its new ArtWatch podcast, which is an artist interview series featuring working artists from all over the world.

It has been made possible through the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Southeast Minnesota Arts Council and Freeborn-Mower Cooperative Service’s Operation Round-Up Program. The podcasts can be found online at www.artwatch.us or on the Freeborn County Arts Initiative Facebook page.

It has a new episode airing next week.

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