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Look up: Banners bearing artwork grace Zumbrota's Main Street

One of the 27 piece of artwork that will be displayed on a street banner and also up for auction for the "Art on Main" event in Zumbrota.1 / 2
One of the 27 piece of artwork that will be displayed on a street banner and also up for auction for the "Art on Main" event in Zumbrota.2 / 2

If you drive through Zumbrota, make sure to look up. New streets banners showcasing 27 local artist's works will be flying high over Main Street starting next week.

Art on Main is a fundraising project by the Zumbrota Area Arts Council to help pay for renovations at the historic State Theatre. To launch this event, ZAAC will hold a reception from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday May 19 at the town hall meeting room at Zumbrota City Hall.

Each banner and its original artwork is available for purchase through an online auction. The banners will go up on the light poles throughout the community the week of May 20 and will remain on display through mid-September.

ZAAC purchased the State Theatre in April 2012. A list of restoration projects has been generated and topping the list is making the upstairs restroom handicap accessible. ZAAC replaced the roof last summer. The theatre is used for concerts hosted by Crossings at Carnegie, movies shown on a silk-screen and also other community events.

Local business owner and ZAAC member Roxanne Bartsh first suggested the street banner project, modeled on an event she saw while at her cabin in Cable, Wis.

"I just thought this would be great to do in our town. Zumbrota is becoming more known for the arts including performances and plays," Bartsh said, "It is going to be just a beautiful site."

ZAAC committee member Stacy Drenckhahn remembers her first reaction to Bartsh's banner idea. "I said, ' want to do what?'" Drenckhahn said with a laugh.

With some insight from organizers from the Cable area, Bartsh and the committee were able to embrace their idea, making the project easier to launch. "Art on Main" is a collaborative effort of about 40 members of the arts and business communities.

Artists from the wider Zumbrota area including Rochester and the Twin Cities donated a piece of work, creates specifically for the fundraising event. No theme was given to the artists - their work just needed to fit photographically on a banner.

The doanted original art comes in a variety of mediums such as oils, watercolors and fiber art including basket weaving, quilting, and felting.

"The arts council is so excited about how this came together," Bartsh added. "We pulled together a group of people - a fantastic group - to get the work done, and takes a lot of work for a first-time project like this."

Look for the artwork of one side of the banner and the other side will have a local sponsor.

"I had all sponsors on board in less than a week," Bartsh said of the 27 sponsors, "I didn't even have to sell them and that just speaks to our community."

Bringing arts to the community is a plus for businesses as well, Bartsh went on to say. When people come to town they eat, shop and experience the arts making the community better place.

Besides seeing the original works on the banner, you can see the actual pieces on display at the city hall, library and rotating among local businesses through the end of September.

"I think this is going to be really exciting," Drenckhahn adds, "It's a pretty huge deal."

Throughout summer, the public can bid on the original works and the banners, through ZAAC's website, at All proceeds will go to ZAAC State Theatre Fund.

The bidding continues as a live auction during the closing reception Saturday Sept. 21, during the area's annual Art Splash tour.

For more information, call Crossings at Carnegie at 507-732-7616 or contact

At a glance ...

What:Art on Main

When: 2-3:30 p.m. Sunday May 19 reception

Where: Zumbrota City Hall

Cost: Free

More info:

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