By Stephen Wiblemo
DASSEL, MN Dassel area residents may have noticed some new color recently added to the back of Saints Field’s right field fence by the Dassel History Center and Ergot Museum.
The Dassel Area Historical Society (DAHS) unveiled five murals created by five local artists Aug. 30. Together, they commemorate different landscape scenes from around the Dassel area.
Carolyn Holjie, director of the Dassel History Center, was one of the people involved with the original planning of this project, and she said the idea was pretty simple.
“Initially, we thought it would be lovely to have something nice-looking outside of the history building,” she said. “But, we are also interested in lifting up local artists, and using public art to enhance the community.”
This is what got the project going. From there, they contacted the five local artists that created the five murals Bob Wilde, Joan Peterson, Bonnie Utecht, Curt Forsen, and Lynda Peterson. Wilde was also the coordinator for the artists during the project.
There was a theme that Holjie wanted the artists to follow, but other than that, they were pretty much free to do what they wanted.
“The theme was Dassel area landscape,” Holjie said. “Each artist took their own style and technique, their own subject matter, and did their mural. And then, we placed them together.
“They are individual pieces. They follow the landscape theme, and they also ended up with some seasonal themes involved, too.”
The murals are weather resistant, and have been permanently installed to the back of the fence.
This project was made possible, in part, by a $3,311 grant from the Southwest Minnesota Arts and Humanities Council. Emily Brezni, a 2007 Dassel-Cokato graduate, was a volunteer intern at the Dassel History Center in 2009, and helped with researching the project and applying for the grant.
The DAHS also supported the project with a matching $3,311 grant.