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Deck the halls with Tower View

Holiday music, art, poetry and local books will take center stage at the 18th annual Holiday Celebration of the Arts, which will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 9 at the Anderson Center.

Activities will be spread throughout the entire Tower View campus, from the main residence to the education building, the historic barn and the artist studios on the lower lawn.

Participants include more than 50 local, regional and national painters, sculptors, potters, jewelers, fabric artists, photographers, weavers and printmakers, along with writers and musicians.

"It will be one of the finest shows we've had in years," said Robert Hedin, co-founder and acting director of the Anderson Center. "It's the perfect gift opportunity."

People who come to the show to do some Christmas shopping will find a wide assortment of gifts, including original ceramics, rugs, quilts, wood carvings, paintings, pottery, photographs, sculptures and more.

Music will add to the festive atmosphere, Hedin said.

Two of Red Wing's favorite vocal groups will perform in the restored barn's performance loft. Ovation, an elite Red Wing High School group, will sing at 1:30 p.m., and the Red Wing Singers, a community chorus, will perform at 3:30 p.m.

In addition, Neal Topliff will perform on the grand piano in the barn, while Lynn Dulak entertains with holiday favorites in the permanent gallery in the lower level of the education building.

Books and poetry

At 2:30 p.m., visitors will want to find their way to the main residence — a Georgian Revival house built in 1917 — for a poetry reading by Minnesota Poet Laureate Joyce Sutphen and Hedin, a Red Wing poet.

Locals will be spotlighted at book signings. Hedin and Red Wing photographer Chappy Achen will autograph copies of their new limited edition book, "This Place Called Home: Red Wing and The Upper Mississippi Valley."

The newly released book is filled with Hedin poems and Achen's black and white photographs.

Also signing copies of her books will be Red Wing writer Jacqueline West, author of the award-winning "Books of Elsewhere" children's series. More recently she wrote a Young Adult novel and a play, plus she is a published poet.

Throughout the afternoon people are invited to wander the Tower View estate, a Minnesota landmark for more than a century; it is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The iconic tower will be illuminated.

"It should get everybody who attends in the Christmas spirit," Hedin said.

At the artist studios, visitors will find resident artists at work. Demonstrations will include glass blowing, printmaking, painting and pot "throwing."

The Potters Gallery on the lower level of the education building will be the site of a new exhibit, "Five Pieces" (see related story).

Also on the lower level, people are invited to tour the center's permanent art collection, one of the finest collections in rural Minnesota.

Two new pieces will be unveiled — a sculpture by Judy Onofrio, who will be the 2018 A.P. Anderson Award recipient, donated by Betty Beck; and a piece by New York's Mark Kostabi, "The Morning Gossip," which will be on longterm loan.

Just down the hall, there will be food and a cash bar in the café. Beverages also will be available in the barn loft.

Several local organizations will have tables at the celebration, including the Universal Music Center, Hobgoblin Music, Red Wing Photography Club and Red Wing Arts.

The celebration is made possible in part through grants from the Jones Family foundation, McKnight Foundation, Minnesota Cultural Heritage and Legacy Fund, Minnesota State Arts Board, and Excel Foundation.

A small admission fee will be charged at the door. For more information, call 651-388-2009.