December 21, 2022 at 4:28 p.m.
510 Art Lab, LARKs offer 30-day art challenge
Fifth graders at Holy Family School in Sauk Centre are starting their year with an artistic program – and other students and community members are welcome to try it out. The 510 Art Lab in Sauk Centre, with the support of the local Ladies Acts of Random Kindness, are starting 2023 with a 30-day art challenge, and participants can be entered in a drawing for prizes.
“We still have a handful of sketchbooks and colored pencil sets available, but you do not need these to join us,” said 510 Art Lab member Gwen Kranz. “You can use any paper and writing utensils that you have at home. We even have a few people who don’t live in the area and want to participate; one member said she is inviting her nephew who lives out-of-state to do the challenge with her, a way for them to connect daily and share their art.”
The idea for the program began when the 510 Art Lab was looking for a way to encourage people’s creativity in a low-pressure, non-judgmental environment, allowing them to better explore their artistic abilities. At Holy Family School, JoAnn Kohorst – who is also a member of Sauk Centre’s LARKs – was looking for a way to help the Art Lab in a way that would also benefit the school where she teaches.
“I approached Gwen Kranz,” Kohorst said. “I asked, ‘What can we do as LARKs? We’d like to promote the 510 Art Lab.’ I wanted to do something that would expose more people to the arts, and Gwen suggested the 30-day art challenge. I also thought I could incorporate this activity into a project for our fifth graders.”
Usually, the fifth graders at HFS read a novel each month; during January, they will instead participate in the art challenge.
The public is invited to join by stopping by the 510 Art Lab during their open hours and picking up a sketchbook and pack of colored pencils. Any students, regardless of where they go to school, are encouraged to join the challenge as well.
Starting Jan. 1, a drawing prompt will be posted daily on the 510 Art Lab’s website, www.510artlab.com, as well as their Facebook and Instagram pages, and participants create their art based on that prompt. Day one will involve filling a sketchbook page with geometric shapes and adding color and design to the shapes from there; Kranz is keeping the rest of the prompts as a surprise.
“There are no limits in this challenge,” Kranz said. “One of the prompts suggests trying another medium like markers or paint. Anything goes, and the prompts are only to help you get started, but if they spark another idea, you should follow that vision. No one is being judged and you only share your ideas if you feel like it.”
When it comes to awarding prizes, the artwork will not be judged in any way; instead, participants are entered in a drawing if they either email their daily creation to [email protected] or share it on social media and tag the 510 Art Lab. The more shares, the more chances an individual has at winning; participants who are 18 and under will be eligible for a 91-piece art kit, and adults will be in the running for a LARKs-sponsored three-month Art Lab membership.
The 510 Art Lab is proud to partner with people, groups and organizations to promote art in the community.
“We are also humbled by the generosity of these groups to help us do this,” Kranz said. “Even though memberships and donations are what keep the Lab open, we love to promote art and creative inspiration to those around us. There are many studies proving the positive mental health benefits that engaging in art can have on individuals and communities. Whenever you can help your neighbors be better and feel better, that’s something to be proud of.”
For the LARKs, they are glad to do their part in helping the 510 Art Lab succeed.
“Exposing kids to the arts is a wonderful thing,” Kohorst said. “Art can be for everyone.”