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NEA Big Read in the St. Croix Valley

In 2022, the St. Croix Valley was chosen as an NEA Big Read community for the 9th time. The NEA Big Read in the St. Croix Valley is a one book, one community program that brings together residents from throughout the lower St. Croix Valley in Minnesota and Wisconsin around a common book. Programming in 2023 will be centered on themes found in Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant: A Memoir by Roz Chast.

Watch for additional program information in February 2023.

Call for Artists: Art on Caregiving, Aging, Death and Dying

ArtReach St. Croix is seeking artists who have created work around the themes of caregiving, aging, death and dying to be part of an exhibition as part of NEA Big Read in the St. Croix Valley.

NEA Big Read in the St. Croix Valley is a regional month-long program that features multi-disciplinary art events, including visual arts exhibitions, focused on themes found in the selected book. This year’s book is Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant: A Memoir by Roz Chast.

Chast, a long-time cartoonist for the New Yorker, tells the story of her parents’ final years through cartoons and prose. As an adult child who reluctantly becomes a caregiver for her aging parents, Chast’s memoir reflects a common story in all of its pity, love, resentment and bewilderment. It is filled with humor, cringe-worthy moments and unavoidable things that many are likely to face.

Art on Caregiving, Aging, Death and Dying will encourage artists and viewers to consider the emotions, struggles and joys that surround an aging population and the loved ones called on to be caregivers. It will also give space to grief and remembrance for loved ones no longer with us.

All forms of creative work are encouraged. All media, subjects and styles are welcome including—but not limited to—painting, fibers, printmaking, sculpture, glass, pottery, jewelry, mixed media and photography. All applications will be reviewed by members of ArtReach’s Visual Arts Committee to ensure the appropriate mix of work for the exhibition.

Artists living and/or working in the St. Croix Valley are encouraged to submit applications. Artists can submit up to three pieces of work for consideration. Artists are encouraged to submit a brief statement about their work and how it reflects caregiving, aging or death and dying, but it is not required.

This is ArtReach St. Croix’s ninth year hosting NEA Big Read in the St. Croix Valley.

ArtReach St. Croix’s Royal Credit Union Foundation Galleries, 224 N. 4th Street, Stillwater, MN 55082
This exhibition be on view in half of the gallery space in our historic 1858 house and will run concurrently with an exhibition of original work by Roz Chast.

Dates to know:
February 21: Art Submission Forms Due
February 28: Accepted Artists Notified
March 27: Artwork drop-off, 10am-3pm*
*If this date does not work for you, please contact the gallery to make other arrangements.
March 30: Opening Reception and NEA Big Read Kick-off Event, 6-8pm
March 30-May 6: Exhibition on view

How to submit art:
Please complete this online submission form or send the completed printable/PDF form via email (to [email protected]) or drop it off at the gallery during normal gallery hours.

NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. NEA Big Read in the St. Croix Valley is presented by ArtReach St. Croix in conjunction with core program partners including Valley Bookseller, Stillwater Public Library and other library branches located between St. Croix Falls, WI, and Hastings, MN.