Art by local artists on display at North American State Bank
The North American State Bank in Willmar recently opened its doors at its state-of-the-art new facility on South First Street. The structure's exterior features earth tones and horizontal lines representing the region's plains, complemented by la...
The North American State Bank in Willmar recently opened its doors at its state-of-the-art new facility on South First Street. The structure's exterior features earth tones and horizontal lines representing the region's plains, complemented by large blue tinted windows that mirror our area's numerous lakes. Along with the building's many innovative features, including being a "green" energy space, the bank's owners decided to adorn the interior with original art created by local artists.
On Dec. 15 the bank held an open house to give the two dozen-plus artists whose work is featured inside a chance to see how their work has now become a part of this financial center.
The bank's interior lends itself perfectly to the exhibition of art, with its open balcony area above the atrium and its glass-front office spaces. Several pieces displayed on the second floor, including Mary K. Thompson's large Barbados market scene, Joanne Meierhofer's pastel of a French market and Craig Edwards' giant trio of pots, can be easily seen from the spacious atrium and teller station. A series of linoleum-block prints by Redwood Falls printmaker Nan Karr Kaufenberg can be spotted from across the balcony when looking into the staff dining room. Bill Gossman's pottery, along with Janet Olney's woven baskets on the fireplace ledge, give that area a homey feel, while Suzanne Napgezek's large painting "Cranes in the Mist" placed next to the main lobby's fireplace effectively ties the bank to its prairie roots.
My own drawing "Lawn Mower Man" is displayed in the vault where the safe deposit boxes are kept. This portrait of the one-time Kandiyohi County Courthouse custodian with his trusty mower at his side now stands watch over the vault. It has become a joke that my drawing was so valuable that the bank had to display it inside a vault. I was just relieved they did not display it inside of the janitor's closet.
In addition to the main collection featured throughout the financial center, the bank also includes a showcase on several tiered panels in the bank lobby where changing exhibits will be highlighted. The first of these exhibits is by six photographers from the Little Crow Photography Club entitled "Our Barns."
I have little doubt that all the artists displayed feel the same pride I do to have my work on permanent display in such a beautiful space. At the same time, it is a terrific way for a business to show its support to the arts, which reflects a connection to the community's hopes and dreams.
Ron Adams is a photographer at the West Central Tribune and a local artist.