The Brighter Other Side community art project

Community members making at at Riverfront Fine Arts Festival

The Northfield Historical Society and the Northfield Arts Guild are collaborating on a joint public art exhibition titled, “The Brighter Other Side.” Starting December 6-December 23, all members of the Northfield area community are welcomed and encouraged to make and submit a small piece of art work that will be displayed mid-January through the end of February in various spaces around town. Details of the project are listed below, including where to find materials and submit your final piece.

“Alyssa Herzog Melby, the Executive Director at the NAG, and I were talking about the divisiveness that the recent election created, “ said Hayes Scriven, Executive Director at the Northfield Historical Society. “As public cultural institutions, we feel we have a responsibility to provide a space that builds community, promotes civil dialogue, and fosters positivity. This project supports this work.”

“The spark for the project was a simple one: we believe that people have more in common than this election showed and that all people genuinely want a brighter future, even if the particulars of how we get there might be different,” explains Melby.

“Our history informs our future,” Scriven says. “Our local history has helped create our community identity as we know it today, but each person in our community also brings their own history to the table as we move forward and envision the future we want to build.” The project involves one side of the paper depicting a person’s history—whatever that means to the person—in black and white. The other side shows their vision of the future in color.  The squares will be strung on a line and hung on the wall with the black and white “history” side facing out. Viewers will be encouraged to then flip the works over to view the other side’s brighter vision of the future.

Melby goes on to say that “the end goal of this project is for people to come together in this creative activity. We hope that this project provides a means for people to begin listening to ‘the other side’ and find a way to move forward.”

NHS and the NAG are working with community partners including the Northfield YMCA, the Northfield Senior Center, the Mayor’s Youth Council, The Key (Northfield Union of Youth), and others to create the pieces.  The exhibition of the collected art work will be displayed at the Northfield Arts Guild Up Gallery, the Archer House Gallery, the City Hall gallery, Northfield Senior Center, and the Northfield YMCA. The exhibition will be up by January 15 and remain up through February 28.

HOW TO SUBMIT A PIECE

  • Use a heavy cardstock paper that is 6 inches by 6 inches square. Paper will be available for pick up at the Northfield Arts Guild (304 Division St.), Northfield Historical Society (408 Division St. S), the Northfield Area YMCA (1501 Honeylocust Dr), and the Northfield Senior Center (1651 Jefferson Parkway). Each of these locations will also have materials for you to create your art work on the spot.
  • Draw your history on one side in black and white, and draw your vision of the future on the other side in color.
  • Please limit written words to (5) five per side.
  • Submissions may be anonymous.
  • All mediums welcome, including paint, marker, crayon, pencil, macaroni, collage, appliqué, etc.
  • Collection baskets will be available at the Northfield Arts Guild (304 Division St.), Northfield Historical Society (408 Division St. S), the Northfield Area YMCA (1501 Honeylocust Dr), and the Northfield Senior Center (1651 Jefferson Parkway).
  • Only one art work per person please.
  • All submissions are due by 5 pm on December 23, 2016 to one of the collection baskets.