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The Artist's Corner: Introducing NRN's new artist column

Gregarious greetings! Welcome to The Artist's Corner. Herein you will learn about interesting

happenings in the local art world --- and it's a delightfully alive world at that. Our city underground is populated with writers, painters, sculptors, musicians, on and on into ad infinitum. Did you know that? Well, if the answer is "not really," here is my hope that this column may inform, entertain and inspire you! Well, first thing is first — the thought of the day, courtesy of your ever deranged, local creative:

All Art is Local

It is the responsibility of the average citizen, that microscopic specimen which composes the nation, like a particle to an atom, to keep art alive.

It is often said that all politics is local, and so it is. Likewise with all education, culture, religion,

etc. If the United States of America is a living body, it is the people whom make up its vital parts: the legs, feet, arms, hands, torso and head. If any of these conglomerations of the people should become afflicted with bouts of apathy and shirk their cultural duties, the bodily health of

the country shall suffer, as if from disease.

We must, at a local level, continue to support the funding of music and art classes within our public schools if we are to expect a future nation truly appreciative of creative expression and the arts. We must find ourselves resolute to live and breathe the arts within our own daily lives, just as a citizen may read this newspaper and upon discerning the information, cast his or her vote in an upcoming election. In short, all art is local!

Speaking of local art, I believe it's time for this week's...

** ARTIST'S SPOTLIGHT **

Today we are meeting with artist Josie Coen, a photographer. Josie lives a mere stone's throw from our fair city and specializes in macrophotography (pictures of people or things skillfully

taken from an extremely up-close perspective). She kindly invited me to her home and allowed me a peek at some of her work. Immediately, I noticed her photographs tend to communicate a

vision not commonly apprehended by the average sight-seer. Her photographs of delightfully

vibrant orchids, dangerously beautiful purple thistles, a bumblebee hunkered down collecting

nectar, the in-depth intricacies of a tree trunk, and other assortments of diverse natural wonders

reveal to us mysterious worlds which are always here and yet rarely ever witnessed.

Josie's incredible pictures of real things in nature make us stop and ponder if what we are seeing is in fact, real. I highly recommend everyone go and experience Josie's macro-photographs for themselves. One may have a chance to do so 7-10 p.m. Sept. 7 at Amery Ale Works in Amery. This will be a creative extravaganza, as there will be three whole floors dedicated to art. Josie's pictures will be on the first level, writers and poets will read aloud their writings on another, and finally a painter will be showcasing his work on the top floor. You

certainly won't want to miss this Artful Evening!

My dear fellow citizens of New Richmond, I hope you have enjoyed reading this week's column

and shall leave you with a quote from Kurt Vonnegut, which I hope inspires you to pick up a pen, brush, camera, or whatever the creative medium may be:

"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy

poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."

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