Essential Art Celebration

 Visual Arts Minnesota will present its 14th Annual Essential Art Exhibition & Celebration, which will be the only adult juried art show presented by the organization during this upcoming year.

This annual exhibit has been a great opportunity to exhibit 1-2 pieces of art from top artists from throughout Minnesota. This year, Visual Arts Minnesota would like to see it as not a competition, as in year’s past, but as a celebration of excellence in the visual arts!

The exhibition will run from January 6 – February 16, 2014, with an art reception on Friday, January 10, from 6:00 – 8:00pm. The reception will feature a performance by local performing artists, as well as a presentation by the jurors, with an award ceremony.

Artists who submit work are invited to participate in a critique the day of the reception, from 3:30pm – 4:30pm.

Awards given in 2D and 3D Categories

1st Place $500

2nd Place $250

3rd Place $125


About the Jurors:

This year’s jurors includes creative and marital team, Lisa Bergh and Andrew Nordin. Andrew and Lisa have created Rural Aesthetic Initiative, a project that folds together their own studio practices, collaborative projects, curatorial work and community arts programming interests. The Rural Aesthetic Initiative has been the recipient of two Minnesota Legacy Grants. Including their current project, The Traveling Museum, which will bring contemporary art experiences to communities and locations throughout outstate Minnesota.

Andrew Nordin studied art at Ridgewater College in Willmar, Minnesota and both Painting and Graphic Design at St. Cloud State University. He received his MFA in pictorial arts from San José State University in California. Growing up in the farmland areas of southern Kandiyohi county and spending his youth exploring the lakes area in both summer and winter has informed his aesthetic: ruggedly crafted works that mix landscape elements with the language of painterly abstraction. Andrew is the Gallery Manager and art instructor at Ridgewater College. In addition, he is an adjunct instructor at St. Cloud State University, where he teaches digital art, drawing, and painting.

Lisa holds a BFA in printmaking from the University of Arizona and an MFA in Spatial Arts from San Jose State University. Lisa’s work moves from 2-d works on paper, small sculptures to installations, which are all informed by the ideas of the body and the cerebral; memory and abstraction and an ongoing curiosity in space, display and presentation. In addition to her own studio practice Lisa is an adjunct instructor at Ridgewater College and St. Cloud State University.

In the summer of 2007 Andrew and Lisa created ARThouse a phantom, residential exhibition event space located in their New London home. Through exhibitions and site -specific projects, ARThouse works to nurture and support the creative endeavors of artists and deepen public understanding of contemporary art.

The use of a married creative couple may create an interesting dynamic in the art discussion. They are highly educated in their field, and can offer a valuable perspective to the exhibition.


The artwork accepted into the exhibit will be primarily 2D and 3D work, featuring paintings, drawings, sculpture and ceramics. Artists from throughout Minnesota will be invited to submit, and approximately 35 pieces will be featured.

By having a reception in the Paramount Theatre, we will be able to discuss the art exhibit winners, in a large scale. The presentation will be a large scale slide show allowing for the audience of artists and supporters, to see and understand the point of view of the juror (which is always subject to opinion and discourse.)

Deadline for Submissions:

Preregistration for the exhibit is now open. You may submit your information at any time. You can mail in your payment, or bring it in with submission.

Online Submissions, but “in person” juried pieces may be dropped off at the Paramount Theatre Conference Room 10am – 4pm, January 2nd.

Online Submission that will be juried on a computer screen due by 11:59pm January 2nd. If you are not delivering a piece for the jury process, please expect to deliver the work on Saturday, January 4, between 10am – 4pm, if accepted.

Jury process will be Friday, January 3, from 10am – 2pm. Please do not contact VAM until after 3pm for acceptance inquiries. Email for any questions.

Accepted work can be picked up Monday, February 17th, 10am – 5pm. We will not store work, so please make arrangements to have work picked up during these hours.

Work not accepted into the exhibit, can be picked up Sunday, January 5th and Monday January 6th. We will not store work.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Central MN Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.