Since 2013, Surprise Sculpture has provided arts education opportunities for local students. For six weeks each summer, Lanesboro Arts staff and volunteers – many of whom are professional artists – lead participants in constructing large-scale, site-specific sculptures for public spaces using a mixture of upcycled, recycled, and fine art materials. The program serves over 150 rural youth and adults from Lanesboro, Harmony, Preston, Rushford, and beyond each year.
Surprise Sculpture works towards building children’s art making skills as well as emphasizing collaboration and group decision making. Each project affords students the opportunity to learn about various principles and methods of art making. Attendees are routinely asked to work in large or small group settings, working together to create work that is for the community to enjoy rather than projects that are taken home at the end of each class.
1. Providing free, high-quality arts education experiences to rural youth;
2. Encouraging community pride and heightened cultural identity through public art;
3. Teaching creative problem solving, inter-generational learning, and community service through hands-on art-making;
4. Bringing awareness to, and celebrating, community assets and traditions;
5. Increasing the beauty of overlooked places in the community, encouraging walkability, and fostering public interaction.
The hands-on production of these large sculptures takes place mainly in Lanesboro Arts’ St. Mane Theatre, which was recently renovated as part of the Lanesboro Arts Campus campaign to include a bright classroom and studio space for education programs.
If participants have any questions – please contact Kara Maloney – Lanesboro Arts Education Lead at firstname.lastname@example.org
This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.