Thursday, March 23Welcome

A Year in Review: Looking Back at Local Arts and Entertainment Stories in 2022 – West Central Tribune

WILLMAR — The last 12 months have been filled with art exhibitions, orchestral and band concerts, plays, and stories of artists sharing their talents with the community. Midwest Minnesota has a very vibrant art scene for him, and 2022 was just one of the perfect examples of all that it had to offer.

Last year was the year when many arts groups and events returned to normal. After nearly two years of turmoil caused by the pandemic, residents and visitors are once again able to enjoy art events in a way they haven’t seen since 2019.

For the first time in two years, events like the Spoon Gathering Weekend organized by the Milan Village Arts School and the Wilmar Area Arts Council’s Studio Hop welcomed artists and art lovers. The West Central Singers are also back on stage this year after being forced to cancel 2020 and his 2021 season.

Witney Music owners Robert Whitney and Jeanne Whitney pose for a portrait at their Wilmar-based music store March 7, 2022.

On March 7, 2022, Whitney Music owner Robert Whitney talks about the Mongolian stallion hair his shop uses to repair bowstrings. Continue to serve the local music community.

Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

Whitney Music reaches the end of the song

Musicians in the Willmar Lakes area had to say goodbye to an important part of their community this year. For 27 years, Whitney Music, owned and operated by Bob Whitney and Jean Whitney, has provided a one-stop shop for buying, repairing and learning to play musical instruments. The couple decided it was time to close the retail store. An online auction was held to sell off the remaining inventory of approximately 1,900 items, including instruments of all types and sizes.

It wasn’t all sad news. The Whitneys kept the repair shop alive and continued to provide the community with a talented team of instrument repairers.

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Rug Weaving rugs can be as simple or as complex as the weaver wishes. Vertical wrinkles, vertical wrinkles. The horizontal lines of the weave, the weft threads, create the pattern of the piece. The Milan Village Art School has opened a textile studio in an old Milan school. Included here are his six different floor looms for the craftsman to use and learn.

Shelby Lindrad / West Central Tribune

Milan Village Arts School opens textile studio

The Milan Village Arts School has an impressive collection of floor looms and this year decided to open a textile studio in the old Milan school, now owned by the Greater Milan Initiative. In addition to providing space for weavers to use their looms, the studio also provides a place to practice other textile arts such as quilting and traditional embroidery. MVAS also hopes to increase the number of textile art classes it offers.

Kandyyohi County Historical Society Opens New Genealogical Library

The Kandyyohi County Heritage Searchers, a genealogical research group, opened a new home this year in the Kandyyohi County Historical Society extension. The Genealogical Resource Library, funded and equipped by Harold Jo Larson and Mary Jo Larson, provides genealogical researchers with resources to search for information on family history in Kandyyohi County. The library offers binders and card catalogs to help genealogists discover branches of the family tree, including births, deaths, important events, and cemetery records.

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Harold and Mary Jo Larson donated funds to build and equip the Genealogical Resource Library of the Kandyyohi County Historical Society, the new home of Heritage Search.

Shelby Lindrad / West Central Tribune

International Glitch Art Exhibition at KK Berge Gallery

Creators and fans of the contemporary art medium called glitch art converged at Granite Falls on September 2nd for the ‘Glitch Art is Dead’ international exhibition. Art and artisans from around the world exhibited at the Granite Falls Arts Council KK Berge Gallery curated by local artist Miles Taylor. More than 100 artists exhibited works including framed stills, videos and art installations. These works show the beauty that can be found in technological glitches, such as the static electricity of television images and frozen computer screens. Similar exhibitions have been held in Poland, Croatia, Paris, Minneapolis and others.

Fairytale characters sing and dance at the dress rehearsal for Shrek the Musical at the Barn Theatre, Saturday, June 4, 2022.

Fairytale characters sing and dance at the dress rehearsal for Shrek the Musical at the Barn Theater on Saturday, June 4, 2022. Shrek is just one of many stage productions taking place in the region in 2022.

Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

In 2022, a wide range of plays were presented to audiences, from musicals to mysteries to dramas. Wilmer’s Barn Theater staged “At the Golden Pond,” “Clues from the Musical,” “Shrek the Musical,” “Murder on the Orient Express,” “Odd His Couple,” and “Miracle on 34th Street.” .

At Renville, Friends of the Arts took a break from the usual musicals and comedies to present longtime actor and FOTA member Bev Raske’s beloved drama Bountiful’s Journey.

Wilmer High School’s “Aida” and “Moana Jr.” were performed on the school stage. “Peter and the Starcatcher” at Wilmar Middle School, Wilmar Community Christian School.


Lucy O’Loughlin Tokheim created her first comic book while enjoying the quiet surroundings of her rural studio. She expected a lot of time to work on the project during the pandemic, but with online sales soaring, she and her husband, Jean, are busier than ever with her stoneware creations in Tokheim. I noticed

Tom Chaveny / West Central Tribune

Author celebrates first book

It’s been a good year for first-time writers, with at least three local stakeholders celebrating the publication of their first book.

Willmar’s Mary Seifert will debut her cozy mystery series Katie & Maverick Cozy Mysteries in 2022 with the first four books — “Maverick, Movies & Murder,” “Rescues, Rogues & Renegade,” and “Tinsel, Trials.” & Traitors” and “Santa”. , snowflake, strychnine. “

Also releasing a mystery series was Zack Thelen-Liebl, a native of Wilmar who now lives in Stillwater. He completed and published the first book in his planned trilogy, Chasing Shadows: Genesis, under the pseudonym Zachariah Jones. A murder mystery with paranormal and horror elements.

In the area of ​​graphic novels, Dawson’s Lucy O’Loughlin Tokheim has published a comic about Saint Sunniva, Norway’s first patron saint, The Princess and the Boat Boy, Heroes of the Primstav.

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Bev Raske, Diane Drager and Paul Knapper take the stage during a dress rehearsal for “Trip to Bountiful” presented by Renville Friends of the Arts on April 30, 2022. FOTA celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, joining other arts organizations celebrating milestone birthdays.

Shelby Lindrad / West Central Tribune

Several arts organizations have also celebrated milestone anniversaries in 2022.

The Sacred Heart Area Historical Society is celebrating 25 years telling the story of Renville County’s Sacred Heart Area. Founded in 1996, it’s housed in the old Ebenezer Lutheran Church building, with a research library in the basement along with exhibits ranging from schools to the military.

Musically, the Wilmer Area Symphonic Orchestra has been performing orchestral music for the masses for 65 years. In 1957 the founder started in the living room of Dr. Lawrence and Margaret Opsahl and now he performs several shows a year at the Willmar Education and Arts Center. As well as playing classical music, he is also known for presenting scores for popular movies.

At The Stage, the Renville-based Friends of the Arts Group has hosted stage plays and other arts events in western Renville County for 20 years. Led by a passionate group of art lovers and performers, FOTA’s mission was to provide community access to all types of art, from visual to stage.

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An audience listens to the Wilmer Area Symphonic Orchestra perform “Animalia Concert” at the Benson Performing Arts Center on Saturday, October 8, 2022. WASO celebrates his 65th anniversary in 2022.

Macy Moore / West Central Tribune

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