NAG Member Jan Shoger wins Northfield’s 2015 Living Treasure Award


by Philip Spensley

The Arts and Culture Commission of the City of Northfield is pleased to announce Jan Shoger as the recipient of its 2016 Living Treasure Award.  The award annually honors a Northfield area resident who makes an outstanding and lasting contribution to the city’s identity and quality of life through and behalf of the arts and culture.

The award will be presented to the Shoger at a public ceremony to be held on Thursday, January 28th, 2016, at the Grand Event Center.  Everyone is invited to attend the celebration, which starts at 7 pm, and to share in the expression of appreciation for her many contributions to the community.

Former Professor of Art at St Olaf College who served not only her department as chair, and as St Olaf’s Steensland Gallery Director, she also crossed the river to serve as an interim Director of Exhibitions at Carleton.  Her work has been exhibited in galleries and art shows throughout the twin cities as well as across the state and is held in a wide variety of private and institutional collections from here in Northfield to as far away as Japan, and for such work she has won numerous awards.  Heavily involved in the Northfield Arts Guild, she has been a builder of the original shop and gallery as well as exhibiting, curating, and teaching.  As well, she was a founding member of the Northfield Craft Guild.  As an arts educator, she has contributed her expertise and her creative spirit throughout the community: pre-school, K-12, college, adult, retired persons, specific populations such as the A+ (Auitistic Plus Spectrum) Art Club, and to other art teachers.  According to Carol Rutz, one of her nominators for the award, “Jan Shoger’s name has become synonymous with “art” in Northfield and her art and teaching part of the public cultural fabric.”

In naming Jan Shoger for its 2016 Living Treasure Award, the Arts and Culture Commission asserts without reservation that “because of Jan Shoger’s past and continuing service to Northfield, through and on behalf of the arts and culture, the community is richer, Northfield is a better place, and we’re fortunate and grateful to have them in our midst.”

Shoger will officially receive the award, presented by the Mayor, at a special celebratory event to be scheduled in January 2016 at the Grand to which the publlic is invited and which is generously supported by a variety of local area businesses and by Carleton College.

As recipient of the award, throughout 2016 Shoger will serve as Ambassadors for the Arts in Northfield, as well as continuing to pursue her own personal artistic endeavors.

Previous recipients of the Living Treasure Award have been Ray Jacobson, renowned sculptor and Carleton professor emeritus, whose fountain graces Bridge Square and whose “Harvest” statue can be found along the river walk; Myrna Johnson, founder and long-time artistic director of the Northfield Arts Guild Theatre; Cora Scholz, music educator, who co-founded and for many years led the Northfield Children’s Choir; Paul Niemisto, founder and thirty-some year conductor of the Cannon Valley Regional Orchestra, and founder and organizer of Northfield’s International Vintage Band Festival; Patsy Dew, photographer, theatre director, actress, and builder of arts programs especially for youth through the Northfield Arts Guild, and for seniors through the Northfield Senior Center; and DeWayne and Theo Wee, accomplished and award winning keyboard performers, and teachers and accompanists to many local and area musicians and community groups.  The Arts and Culture Commission thanks each one of them for their lasting contributions to Northfield’s cultural vibrancy.

~By Philip Spensley, Chair of the Arts and Culture Commission