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Students explore multimedia art

Bryn Christenson's collage is among the completed multimedia pieces on display at the student artist reception planned at the Riverbend Market Cooperative in Red Wing.1 / 2
Meghan Wipperling's train photo is among the completed multimedia pieces on display at the student artist reception planned at the Riverbend Market Cooperative in Red Wing.2 / 2

Students in Red Wing High School teacher Mrs. Kristin Bray's Drawing and Painting 2/3 class began by taking photographs around Red Wing, then used those photographs as inspiration to create multimedia artworks.

Hundreds of photographs later, "the students created wonderful depictions of the city and in the process, really valued taking the time to really see and appreciate the beauty of Red Wing," Bray said, "The results are spectacular."

The final pieces can be seen at a first-of-a-kind opening artists' reception Monday Jan. 2 at the Riverbend Market Cooperative -- recognizing student artists and their Red Wing artworks.

"The students have really had a lot of fun with this very challenging and time-consuming project," Bray said.

The first step for them was taking those photographs.

"I think this generation of youth is so busy, so used to seeing via technology," she said. "This was a rare opportunity for them to be assigned a project where they needed to take their time to truly see the world around them and this beautiful city we live in."

Things and places they see every day and have for years were now the subject matter in their artwork - just viewing them in a new way.

They were asked to turn in only 18 photographs - most turned in between 50 and 100.

"I turned in 180," said student Bryn Christenson.

"It was fun!" Marisa Toivonen said, "I've never done that before -just take pictures of random things. It was so fun."

The second part of the assignment was to make one unified artwork that incorporated at least nine different pieces of art in at least four different artistic medias on black board.

Students used watercolor, acrylic paint, charcoal, photography, graphite, colored pencil and pastels.

"It was a chance for these Advanced Drawing and Painting students to really discover and present who they are as an artist," Bray said.

With the new concept of an opening reception on the palette for the creative students, Bray hopes they grow as artists and also as people.

Eager art students were grateful for the uniqueness of the assignment.

"I appreciate that this was something different," student Kayla Eckblad said, "It forced me to do something that I wasn't necessarily comfortable with. I like painting and I like my subject matter to be trees, so this was very beneficial to me to grow artistically."

"For me, as their teacher, I feel so proud when my students finish a piece and I want to share it with as many people as I can," Bray said.

"I'm so grateful that Downtown Red Wing and Riverbend Market Cooperative have been so supportive of our department and these young artists," Bray said, "We live in a wonderful community where the arts thrive and these students are the future of that."

Displays include work from: Bryn Christenson, Kayla Eckblad, Nakia Fritz, Dani Matthies, Liz Nelson, Emily Schwartau, Marisa Toivonen and Meghan Wipperling.

Student artists will be available during this reception to discuss their artwork and experiences, and we encourage area business members, community members, school staff, friends and family to stop in and support these young artists.


When: Monday Jan. 2 from 5-6 p.m.

Where: Riverbend Market Cooperative, 417 Main St., Red Wing

Cost: Free

Stacy Bengs-Silverberg

Stacy Bengs has been a photojournalist at the Red Wing Republican Eagle since 2010. She holds a bachelors degree in journalism and art from the University of Minnesota.

(651) 301-7880