A new partnership between Minnesota State Community and Technical College and the Otter Tail County Historical Museum will provide college art students with an opportunity to share their work with a wider audience in the Fergus Falls community.
Visual art instructor John Charles Cox said, beginning in the spring of 2016, the Fergus Falls museum will host the Visual Art Capstone Exhibition featuring artwork by students in M State’s Associate of Fine Arts degree program.
“This is a huge opportunity for the students, as they will show their work at the museum level,” Cox said. “As such, this kind of opportunity is fairly rare for students at a two-year college. This is important to the evolution of our students – our artists – because, generally speaking, students in Bachelor of Fine Arts or Master of Fine Arts programs show their work at similar venues, and it provides our students with even more experience.
“To elaborate, exhibiting at the Otter Tail County Historical Museum will provide our students with familiarity in terms of exhibition expectations, processes and execution – familiarity that will serve them as they continue their studies and exhibitions at and beyond the BFA and MFA levels. Furthermore, an artist at any stage of his or her career should be excited to show work at a museum.”
Museum Executive Director Chris Schuelke said museum staff welcome the chance to give students an opportunity to curate an exhibition in an actual museum setting.
“We also have a long tradition of partnering with local educational institutions,” Schuelke said. “When this opportunity with M State presented itself, I felt it would benefit the students and perhaps bring a new audience into the museum.”
M State’s Fergus Falls campus offers AFA degrees in visual arts, music and theatre.