Arts Council cycles art around Granite Falls with Artcycle – West Central Tribune | Candle Made Easy

GRANITE FALLS – What’s that coming down the streets of Granite Falls on three wheels with a big white box in front and a bell ringing? It’s the Granite Area Arts Council’s latest idea to bring art to the community – the Artcycle. The imaginative art project on wheels premiered last September during Squid Fest and will now be on the move bringing fun and easy art projects to the young masses.

Tamara Isfeld, President of the Granite Area Arts Council, took the Artcycle on its first ride during Squid Fest 2021 in Granite Falls.

Post / Granite Area Arts Council

“You can’t avoid attracting attention,” said Tamara Isfeld, President of the Art Council, teacher and artist. She also had the honor of doing its first lap on the Artcycle.
The aim is to draw attention to the art.

The idea arose from brainstorming sessions among arts council members. The GAAC has called 807 Prentice Street in Granite Falls its home for about a decade, but the arts council and its gallery may still be a mystery to some in the community. The hope is that the Artcycle will erase some of that mystery and make people more comfortable coming to GAAC and participating in its program.

“It brings art into the community instead of letting it come to you,” said Dani Prados, GAAC board member and new Central Arts Ambassador for the Southwest Minnesota Art Council. It was also Granite Falls’ first artist residency in 2021. “It’s not really scary when someone pulls up on a bike and says, ‘Hey, do you want to do some art?’ “

The GAAC was able to get a grant from the Southwest Minnesota Art Council to purchase the bike from Icicle Tricycles. However, instead of ice cream, the large box on the front contains art supplies. The bright red color of the bike is also hard to miss.

Tamara Isfeld helps two kids with art projects at Squid Fest 2021 in Granite Falls

Tamara Isfeld helps two kids with art projects from the Artcycle at Squid Fest 2021 in Granite Falls.

Post / Granite Area Arts Council

“It’s fun,” Isfeld said. “There’s something good in that box.”

There are usually markers, watercolors, pastels, and other simple art supplies that don’t make much mess and are easy to clean. The Artcycle will also provide materials needed for simple projects that will hopefully inspire participants.

The Artcycle is aimed at children and the projects will be simple, short and fun. GAAC wants to ensure children have access to art year-round, including during the summer holidays.

“Art is an integral part of life and should not be neglected,” said Prados. “It’s not a luxury item. It is how we express ourselves, our identity.”

Art is also a great way to bring people together, regardless of their background or artistic ability. It can also be a way to inspire people to get involved in the community in other ways, including helping build the next generation of leaders.

“You can meet a lot of different people and it feels good,” Isfeld said. “The rules are: Be creative.”

The Artcycle will be a mobile endorsement for GAAC and its gallery. The council wants people to feel welcome and comfortable in the gallery and to participate in its events, exhibitions and other programs. The Board hopes that the Artcycle will be a bridge between the community and GAAC.

“Like a flagship, but more bike than ship,” Prados said. “It has a visible presence in the community and reminds them that we are here.”

Granite Area Arts Council Artcycle

The Artcycle will hopefully bridge the gap between GAAC and its community through fun art projects.

Shelby Lindrud/West Central Tribune

If the cycle is as successful as the council envisions, there is always an opportunity to expand the program to include more bikes or go further afield than just around Granite Falls. The Artcycle is a tangible snapshot of GAAC’s mission statement, and the Council aims to continue living that statement from the seat of the bike and beyond.

“The organization’s slogan is ‘Building Community through Art,'” said Prados. “Everything we do is for that purpose. We try to attack that goal from as many angles as possible.”

2022 is the Artcycle’s inaugural season, and the Council plans to use it at various community events, in addition to stops at parks and other gathering places. Isfeld and Prados hope the community will come out to accommodate him.

“Stay tuned. It’s just beginning,” said Prados. “Keep an eye out for Artcycle sightings.”

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