Anderson Center is place where people enjoy artsThough it's located at the edge of town, Tower View Estate is at the heart of the Red Wing arts community.
By: Ruth Nerhaugen, The Republican Eagle
Though it's located at the edge of town, Tower View Estate is at the heart of the Red Wing arts community.
All year round, the public may visit the Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies at Tower View to mingle with artists, writers, musicians and scholars at celebrations, performances, workshops and other activities.
The historic estate where inventor A.P. Anderson - who developed the process for puffed rice and puffed wheat cereals - conducted his experiments is today the largest artist community in Minnesota, offering monthlong residencies from May through October.
During that six-month season, 35 to 45 people from around the world who work in all sorts of fields - painters and photographers, sculptors, musicians and other artists - share the campus with writers and poets, and with people in scientific fields. They offer classes and workshops and do presentations for thousands of area residents at schools, civic organizations, senior centers and detention centers.
In addition, working artists have galleries and studios year-round in several buildings, including a historic farm building that was converted into a print shop.
The Anderson Center, located on Highway 61 at Highway 19, is no ivory tower reserved for artists. Every year, thousands of people come to Tower View for events or just to see what's going on.
Visitors are invited to:
• Check out the Sculpture Garden, one of the largest in southeastern Minnesota. Filled with one-of-a-kind original works by artists including Michael Bigger, Zoran Mojsilov, Siah Armajani and Charles Biederman, the garden is in a field west of the public parking lot.
• Tour the grounds, where the historic buildings have undergone major, award-winning restoration. See the outdoor kiln, glassblowing facility, blacksmith shop, printmaking facilities and press-in-residence.
The Red Wing Environmental Learning Center, a year-round outdoor educational program, has its own building on the grounds.
• See the permanent art collection, featuring works by Picasso, Chagall, Dali and other 20th century masters. Call ahead at (651) 388-2009 to arrange a tour.
• Visit the education building and look over the art exhibits including displays of pottery and paintings. On the lower level, find the Red Wing Archeology Field Station and the Sheldon Theatre Scene Shop.
• Plan a visit in mid-July to attend the annual Summer Celebration of the Arts, which has music, art, dance, literature and other entertainment - including a chance to climb to the top of the iconic tower.
• Come back in early September for the yearly Celebration of Minnesota Children's Authors and Illustrators. The state's finest children's book writers and illustrators read, chat and autograph books.
• Do your Christmas shopping at the annual Holiday Celebration of the Arts in early December.
• Attend a class or retreat.
The Red Wing Alternative High School also is located on the Tower View campus.
The center is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to noon Friday. Call (651) 388-2009 or visit the Web site at www.andersoncenter.org.