Alsgaard-Lien’s exhibit opens Sept. 17

Landscapes by Agnes Bobbie Alsgaard-Lien will be exhibited Sept. 17 through Oct. 8 at Washington Street Arts Center, 202 Washington Street in Vermillion. These paintings, created over the past 15 years, were inspired by landscapes in Mexico, Ireland, Italy, Minnesota, and South Dakota. The exhibit will be open for viewing Sept. 17, from 6 to 9 p.m., Sept. 24, from 7 to 9 p.m. with a reception where the public can meet the artist, and Oct. 8, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

A native of Sioux Falls, Agnes graduated from Lincoln High School. Known to friends as Bobbie, the artist considers herself lucky to have attended a school system that valued the arts and always included art in the curriculum. The first time my artwork was exhibited in South Dakota was in a traveling High School Art show, the exhibition traveled to Rapid City, Aberdeen and to the State Capital in Pierre. I remember working on this piece for weeks and when it was selected for this tour I was proud, but also knew that in the right bottom corner of that painting was not quite right! I still exam my artwork with this critical eye, she said.

After completing a BFA at the University of South Dakota, Alsgaard-Lien worked in the Vermillion public schools and for Head Start for a number of years before moving to Worthington, MN in 1986 to teach art at Minnesota West Community and Technical College where she has taught for more than 20 years.

She returned to Vermillion in 1990 and earned a masters degree, focusing on painting, adult education and art history. Alsgaard-Lien said, The paintings are my translation of a three dimensional space placed on a two dimensional surface. I have always visually explored shape, texture, color and space with the purpose of creating artwork that speaks to viewers about the three dimensional space.

Alsgaard-Lien has received many awards. She was the first woman and the youngest artist to receive the Prairie Star Award to honor a distinguished artist who best exemplifies the highest qualities of an arts discipline reflective of artist living and working in the 18 county Southwest Minnesota Arts and Humanities Council (SMAHC) region.

In 2010 she honored with an Arts Legacy Grant, distributed by SMAHC through the Minnesota State Legislature. This grant allowed her to travel to six counties in southwest Minnesota, painting landscapes at county parks. After a year, when the series was completed, a painting was bequeathed to each county for display in its court houses. Some of the paintings in the upcoming exhibit are from this series.

For further information, contact Norma Wilson, president, Vermillion Area Arts Council, 605-624-9279.

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