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MCTC Graphic Design Student Brings Visual Arts Project to His Rural Home

Stan Grubbs,  MCTC graphic design studentGrowing up in the small, historic town of Taylors Falls, Minn., Stan Grubbs didn’t have the opportunity to experience the arts through traditional means like theatre, dance or other visual media including drawing, painting, sculpture or photography. Instead, he spent countless hours following his father through the woods alongside the St. Croix River taking in the sights and sounds of nature.

Stan was encouraged by his parents to search for opportunities beyond his hometown. Determined to pursue a higher education, Stan enrolled at Minneapolis Community and Technical College where he studies graphic design. Once in Minneapolis, he found himself skateboarding through the city streets where his passion for art was unleashed. “Art was everywhere,” said Stan. “The art on buildings, in parks and in galleries opened my eyes to a visual world I’d never seen before.”

When Stan discovered artist and photographer Wing Young Huie was coming to MCTC’s campus, he jumped at the chance to get involved. He helped faculty members coordinate the visit which engaged students, staff and faculty across the College. Wing Young Huie’s photographic projects are known for documenting the socioeconomic and cultural realities of American society, much of it centered on the urban cores of Minnesota.

Stan was inspired by Wing Young’s work and it fueled his desire to bring visual art to his current hometown of Pine City, Minn. Encouraged by MCTC’s faculty, he applied for and received an East Central Regional Arts Council Public Art Project Grant, which supports public art projects throughout the state of Minnesota. Stan partnered with Pine Center for the Arts to bring Wing Young to Pine City for a series of public workshops. His goal was to use photography to spark dialogue among community members around the themes of identity and assumptions. Workshop participants were tasked to take photos and contribute to a collection of photography representative of the theme. The project culminated with a community gathering and projection of the photos on a building in downtown Pine City. “I was inspired by the thoughtful work of the community artists and honored to bring the experience of art to a rural town,” said Stan.

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