By Meg Schmitt
Hanging in the windows of Saint’s Rest in downtown Grinnell are some recent works of art, featuring familiar faces under the banner declaring “My art is…”. The poster campaign, presented by the Grinnell Area Arts Council (GAAC), is part of the “Creative Community” initiative. The GAAC Arts Director, Mary Rellergert ’13, decided to continue the series that she started in her last semester at Grinnell.
“I began the series by asking community members to nominate those whose creativity they thought deserved recognition,” Rellergert said in an email to the S&B. “I then met with each of our 10 featured artists to learn about their art and take their photo for the poster. After graduation I took over as GAAC’s Arts Director and am now looking forward to making Creative Community an annual series.”
The posters have been advertising the many skills and talents of Grinnell’s very own artists, with everyone from local sculptors and painters to quilt designers and gardeners.
“Grinnell is filled with creative talent that we wanted to recognize,” Rellergert said.
The GAAC hopes to showcase these talents to inspire the artists in all of us by showing the sheer range of what can be truly classified as an art.
“You don’t even have to consider yourself an artist! Creativity is everywhere—at the hairdresser’s, at your favorite restaurant and in your neighbor’s flowerbed,” Rellergert wrote. “It probably exists in your own home, too!”
One of the featured artists is Betty Moffett, Grinnell’s celebrated storyteller, who was intrigued by the inclusive message promoted by the campaign.
“I enjoyed … the inclusion of such a variety of talents,” Moffett said in an email to the S&B. “[It] was a splendid mix!”
By taking art beyond the confines of canvas and frames, Rellergert hopes to expand what is viewed and practiced as art, at all ages and in all environments.
“You don’t have to be featured in a gallery to make art. You don’t even have to consider yourself an artist!” she wrote.
Based on the feedback the program has received from the community, people are already starting to get the creative bug.
“One of the things that I most enjoyed about this project was people’s unanimously positive response to it,” Moffett said.