The art center prepares for an event to celebrate the completion of the renovations – Albert Lea Tribune

The art center is gearing up for an event to celebrate the completion of renovations

Posted 5:39 PM on Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Like the plethora of superhero movies that came out to build the backstory before “The Avengers” was released in 2012, all phases of work and repair that were done at the Albert Lea Art Center in the center -city of Albert Lea are finally complete and the final product is on full screen.

“We now own our own building,” said Beth Tostenson, artistic director of the Art Center. “We made the final payment on our building, got our new roof at the end of June, and now we’ve had the carpet installed.”

The building has been repainted, the toilets are finished and the center is finally assembled.

To celebrate, the center is hosting an event to recognize the generosity of the community and what they have done to help.

Board member Bonnie Wedge said the project was a long time coming and, according to Tostenson, the entire project took four years from the time the art center moved into its building.

Bonnie Broitzman, another board member, particularly liked the opening of the center and described the building as a place where large and small groups could gather. Wedge liked the visibility of the location.

“We want the community to know that we’re there for them and they’ve been there for us,” Broitzman said.

The celebration will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. on October 14 at the Art Center, and there will be snacks, refreshments and a cash bar. Everyone is invited to the free event.

Anyone interested in the improvements or wanting to talk to members is welcome to visit the site.

“Anytime you open the doors and get refreshments and have a good intention for people to come together, it’s an opportunity for them to see what’s here for the community,” Broitzman said. “It really is a community hub effort for creativity and sponsorship of things that people love to do with their hands.”

She also called the center a “wonderful” addition to the area, and Tostenson hoped the building would serve as a place for artists to show their work for years to come.

Besides the large exhibition area, the center has a classroom and a gift shop where artists can bring their works to sell. Tostenson said the artwork changed regularly.

“We really expanded into a full area,” Broitzman said. “…the community can really be encouraged to show their work.”

Tostenson declined to say how much the entire renovation cost, but Wedge added that it was done in segments and was made possible through the generosity of the community.

“For me, it’s permanent,” Broitzman said. “It’s now a community center focused on creativity and the arts, and it’s just a wonderful addition to a town of this size.”

Tostenson hoped the art center would exist for years, and Wedge said it was wonderful to see the project come to fruition.

“When you see where we started and where we are now, it’s absolutely transformational,” Wedge said. “It’s incredible.”

Anyone interested in becoming a member should stop by the Art Center and fill out an application. There are membership fees.