Exhibitions and Programming
Our gallery features artwork by professional and emerging artists from across the country. In addition to our bimonthly scheduled exhibits, we also host a wide variety of special events from pop-up shows to open mic nights and documentary screenings to street concerts.
We are the only arts nonprofit in Freeborn County that offers all programming at no cost. That’s right, everything we do is FREE to the community! No admission, no tickets, no fee.
Check out what’s in store below!
2017 Gallery Exhibitions
January-February: Portals Group Exhibition
Portals: Windows and Doorways into Other Worlds
The first exhibition of 2017, Portals is a juried theme show including a wide range of artistic media. The exhibition opens January 17th, 2017 and runs til February 25th, 2017 with an artist reception on Saturday, February 25th from 2-4pm. All artwork to be considered must be dropped off at the FCAI gallery on January 13th between 3-6pm unless other arrangements are made. Please contact Info@FreebornCountyArtsInitiative.com with questions.
March- April: ReBirth: Out of the Ashes - Michelle Kaisersatt Solo Exhibition
ReBirth: Out of the Ashes is a culmination of soulful work influenced by recent life changing experiences
Clay artist Michelle Kaisersatt embraces each day at her rural Minnesota studio, designing and creating handcrafted ceramic and bronze cast vessels. If she is not at her studio, she is sharing her passion for clay with enthusiastic students at surrounding schools, clay centers, and at her own studio. Asked how Michelle would describe her work, she admits that’s a bit of a challenge, due to the uniqueness of her vessels. However, she offers “nature-driven, celebratory, organic and classic” all, as good descriptors. She adds “These vessels reflect a deep respect for life and of how we live and how we love.”
May-June: Horses for Sophie
The Horses group exhibition was conceived to honor our little eight year old friend, Sophie Stultz, who was tragically killed last summer, by an automobile, while biking with her friend. Sophie was a Kid’s College student and trained gallery docent, with ambitions to become both an artist and a journalist. She loved to draw horses.
We, at the Arts Initiative want everyone to know how much we miss her and, like all of her friends and family, we will not forget her. Sophie’s favorite artist Dee Teller, of Faribault Minnesota, will be featured, and is offering a commemorative print at a greatly reduced price in Sophie’s honor. Many artists from the community have created equine art specifically for this remembrance exhibition. The Kid’s College kids will show their horse themed artwork, in the hallway, in tandem with the FCAI Horses exhibition.
The poster design for this show features one of Sophie’s favorite horse drawings created at Kid’s College near the end of her brief life. This drawing shows spirit and energy that expresses her nature beautifully.
July-August: Process by Reggie LeFlore
The FCAI is pleased to present Reggie LeFlore, an urban, street artist from Omaha, Nebraska, who will transform our gallery with an installation of street art.
Reggie is a visual artist who composes with the concepts and philosophies of Street Art and Graffiti culture in mind, using a combination of aerosols, stencils, acrylic paints and graphic design elements to produce human portraiture and illustration. The aim of his work is to dismantle the negative elements often associated with Street Art culture, as he paints with colors and techniques that express vibrancy and a complex degree of work, extending beyond the misunderstood concepts of “tagging” and “vandalism”.
Reggie’s show will be at the Arts Initiative Gallery from July 18th – September 2nd, 2017, with an artist reception from 6-9pm on July 22nd.
Reggie has participated in three of our recent group exhibitions including Going Places, the Wind Energy Pop-Up show and Who Dun-it? He is versatile in his subject matter which often includes portraiture and textual elements. His distinctive layering technique and dynamic color choices create explosive drama and he does not shy away from quasi-political themes or issues of social justice.
Reggie’s work can be found online at www.RAL86.com
September-October: Indigenous Group Exhibition
Featuring a group of regional Indigenous artists, this exhibition will feature modern takes on ancient indigenous tradition. Coming to the Arts Initiative Gallery September – October 2017.
November-December: Evergreen All Member Group Holiday Show
From pop-up shows to open mic nights and documentary screenings to street concerts, we’re committed to bringing quality arts programming to our community.
We’re always adding new events, so check back often for updates!
2017 Special Programming
The Traveling Benches - Find them around Albert Lea!
The Freeborn County Arts Initiative is proud to present the Traveling Benches: a series of 8 art benches designed by local artists and placed throughout Albert Lea. This event was made possible by a grant provided by the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation.
We’re proud to be active members in our community! Join us on Sunday, July 30th as we partner with several other community groups at the Save Morin Park Celebration Rally. Featuring an all-local lineup of Dabo Flai, Jeshua Erickson and Company, Elisha Andrew Marin, and The Activists, we’ll be raising money for the construction of a shelter at Morin Park.
6:30pm on July 30th, 2017 at Morin Park
Open Stage: July
Back by popular demand!
We had an excellent night at July’s packed Open Stage night!
7:00 pm on July 21st, 2017
Open Stage: Summer Series
Back by popular demand!
After the successful Unquiet Night, we’ve decided to host a series of open mics at the Arts Initiative monthly throughout the summer.
7:00 pm on June 16th, July 21st, and August 18th, 2017
Kids College: Swanfeather Book Release
Our affiliate after school arts enrichment program Kids College hosted a book release party for their second publication, Secrets of Swanfeather. The Swanfeather series is a collection of short stories written by the students of Kids College. The book is available for purchase on Amazon. Check out their website for details!
4:00pm on May 19th, 2017
A Simpler Way Documentary
A Better Way Documentary Screening
We’re all about sustainability here at the FCAI, so join us at the gallery for a free showing of A Simpler Way.
7:00pm on April 7th, 2017
January-February: Going Places Group Exhibition
The Freeborn Co. Arts Initiative is pleased to announce its new offering for January-February 2016 entitled Going Places. This mixed-media, juried exhibition includes artists from around the country ,our region and even local to Albert Lea. According to artist Susanne Crane who helped in founding the FCAI, this show is for all those people who are not snow birds, who wait out the winter and keep things running after the others have fled the cold. She said, “We (the FCAI) wanted to give people an imaginary trip to many fantastic places, both real and imagined, all without having to leave town and in the warmth of our new gallery”.
March- April: Aerial Photography - Adam Glowaski Solo Exhibition
Fly With Us – A Solo Exhibition by Adam Glowaski
March 8th – April 23rd
Artist’s Reception – March 24th at 5-8pm
Adam Glowaski resides in Ventura, Iowa. A graduate of Iowa State University, he has built much of his photography and videography business, Box5 Media, in the corporate marketing industry. Photography was a hobby that started in high school, and his passion for aviation was born at an early age after seeing films like Top Gun, prompting him to later learn how to fly and obtain his pilot’s license. Over the past several years, Adam has turned those passions into a profession, refining his skills to take pictures that other photographers aspire to. Access to the airplanes and experiences has all been through the incredible network of friends and acquaintances met from being a part of the tight-knit aviation community. Adam is thankful and feels blessed for all those that have allowed him to be a part of this aviation world, and wouldn’t have been able to capture these moments in time without those people
July-August: Ming Chiao - Group Exhibition
Ming Chiao, or Minnesota Bridge, signifies a link between East and West. The name reflects a connection to the numerous lakes and mighty rivers in Minnesota.
Ming Chiao is a chapter of the Sumi-e Society of America, a non-profit educational organization founded in 1963 by Motoi Oi with the mission:
• To foster and encourage an appreciation of East Asian brush painting techniques through publications, workshops, lectures, and exhibitions.
• To serve as a cultural bridge between East and West.
• To furnish information to all persons who wish to learn about this art.
September-October: This Show Rocks - Susanne Crane Solo Exhibition
rocks, Rocks, ROCKS!
This Show Rocks! – a solo exhibition by Susanne Crane
September 6th – October 29th
“This Show Rocks” is one painter’s exploration of nature’s foundational building blocks.
Human civilization was built of stone. The ancient wonders of the world, the castles of Europe and the bridges that connect us, rely on the strength of stone, but according to artist Susanne Crane, rocks are most awe-inspiring when found in their natural landscape.
“I have been obsessed with rocks since I was a child, fascinated to learn the names of the stones I held in my hands. Later, I worked with semi-precious stones in jewelry settings and later still, with bricks and mortar, tile and mosaic. I also like to hike and climb and feel a very close bond with the bluffs and coulees of my childhood”, she said.
Susanne’s paintings are vast and dream-like and take you on a heartfelt journey to distant places. She has been painting for over 30 years, showing extensively in the mid-west and also leads art enrichment programs in Minneapolis and Albert Lea.
*You are invited to bring your pet rock to the building on Saturday, Sept. 10th at 5:00 to celebrate how Albert Lea Rocks!
*Show runs Sept. 6th – Oct. 29th. Artist’s reception is Sat. Sept. 10th from 5:00 – 7:00 pm.
Special features in this show include – rock gardens and cairns, some beautiful stone jewelry pieces and references to ancient wonders (some of them from our National Parks!) And according to Susanne, “some of my frames were made locally by Layne Cabinetry. They’re beautiful. They fit perfectly to the artwork.”
What’s next? – Susanne is currently working on a piece for a Smithsonian sponsored exhibition and getting ready for her MacNider show. She’s also looking forward to the Pop-Up Art event, right here in Albert Lea, at the FCAI, the first week in November.
About the poster – She said, “I don’t really play the guitar. It was play on the word “Rocks” to amuse my friends. We thought it would be fun to do a vintage looking take on a Rolling Stones magazine cover with me as a Janis Joplin-esque rock star. I’ve gotten quite a few calls about this poster art and possibly a few gigs. Maybe I’ll take up the guitar yet. They say it’s never too late.”
November-December: All Member Group Holiday Show
Guess Whodunit – FCAI’s Annual All Member Exhibition
November 15th – December 20th
For our 2nd annual all-member art show, the FCAI will test your knowledge of our membership artists. We will number the artwork (We provide a cheat sheet for those who may not be familiar with our exhibitions and/or choose not to play the game).
Study the paintings, photographs, and sculptures without their titles, prices or artist’s names. What you would call them, who do you think made them, and how much you think they cost.
Turn in your guesses at the gallery with your name and phone number. You may win a prize!
January-February: If Walls Could Talk – Romantic poetry Group Show
March-April: Pets on Chairs – Julie Fakler Solo Exhibition (w/ Humane Society)
July-August: Friends Triumphant Group Show
September-October: Body Art Group Show
November-December: Night Photography Group Exhibition