What We Need is Here is a vibrant community of artists that explores the role of art in creating a vision of a better, more sustainable world. The group meets monthly for an ongoing series of discussions organized by and for member artists. Each year the artists choose and reflect upon a compelling theme while learning from guest speakers, from visits to relevant local venues, and from each other. Their study culminates in an annual gallery exhibition at the Phipps Center for the Arts.
Committed to engaging the community in conversations about sustainability, What We Need is Here was established in 2008. The group was originally organized by former Phipps Visual Arts Director, Anastasia Shartin, who reached out to local arts, environmental and community organizations as well as farmers, boaters, the University of River Falls, US Fish and Wildlife and the DNR - to all who might want a voice in expressing their connection, concern, and love for the St Croix Valley Region. The participating artists seek to keep these conversations moving forward as they continue to push boundaries and explore new opportunities towards a more sustainable future.
What We Need is Here became the title of this network of people who researched what it means to sustain a place and all that is cherished within. Today, What We Need is Here is a group of new and returning artists who continue to actively explore these values.
We wrestle with translating experiences into meaningful art, are mindful of the materials that we use, and are an amazing sounding board for each other’s artistic expression. —Barb B.
I cherish the RELATIONSHIPS I’ve cultivated with fellow artists. —Krista S.
It has provided inspiration in my work, it has expanded my knowledge of art and taught me to combine and work in different mediums, and, most importantly, it has taught me to look at my audience and the community who will be seeing my work. —Gloria A.
To me, a group like WNNH is what an art center is all about – a gathering place to support artistic expression and growth. —Theresa H.