All Work and No Play

Last week we talked about planning and preparation. If you’re anything like me, you didn’t get all your preparation work for spring completed last week. Let’s just hope it doesn’t become too cold before Halloween arrives.

All work and no play is not constructive to a balanced life.

Saturday, October 5th was a studio tour of local artists. If you’re reading this paper, and it is Saturday, October 5th, check out the tour! There is information and a map of the eight (8) studios on the MacRostie Art Center website at If it’s too late for you to go on the Studio Tour, there are many other things to do this fall to keep your mind and hands busy. Getting together with other local people is an added advantage.

People are social and creative.

As I write this, I think that maybe I should have chosen different wording. Maybe the sentence should have been, “People should be social and creative.” Possibly it should have been, “People are designed to be social and creative.” I’m sure you can think of better wording. All I know is that we do better when we come together. If you don’t agree with the creative part, well, it has been proven that when students study art in conjunction with “hard science” or “hard math” majors, their brains think better.

This makes sense intuitively if you think about an architect. Designing a building needs to be about math with angles and elements that can withstand weather and weight tolerances for people and furniture. However, if it’s just a box, with nothing creative or artistic to the design, well then, what’s the point of the Chrysler Building, Frank Lloyd Wright or the Taj Mahal? Where would we be if Leonardo de Vinci hadn’t fused art with science?

Below are a couple books about the importance of being creative – using the creative part of our brains (art).

Why Science Needs Art by Richard Roche, Sean Commins, and Francesca Farina, explores the complex relationship between these seemingly polarized fields. Reflecting on a time when art and science were considered inseparable and symbiotic pursuits, the book discusses how they have historically informed and influenced each other, before considering how public perception of the relationship between these disciplines has fundamentally changed.

Art and Science, by Elaine Strasberg, surveys the vital relationship between these two fields of endeavor in its full scope, from prehistory to the present day. Individual chapters explore how science has shaped architecture in every culture and civilization; how mathematical principles and materials science have underpinned the decorative arts; how the psychology of perception has spurred the development of painting; and more.

Being Creative and Expressing Art

The main reason the Fund for the Arts was established in 1996 as an endowment at the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation, was to ensure that our community would always have the opportunity to experience and celebrate the Arts. The Greater Itasca Area has many opportunities for each of us to participate in expressing our creative nature. We have performing art centers from the Edge Center in Bigfork to the Reif in Grand Rapids. New, beautiful murals have been put up on the outside walls of the Blandin Foundation and MacRostie buildings. Speaking of murals, even the bathroom at Brewed Awakenings has a hand-painted mural by Bigfork artist, Kristen Anderson. (Check out all the upcoming classes being offered through the MacRostie Art Center on their website at:

Expanding and Supporting Art

The Community Foundation is in the process of evaluating grant requests during our Annual Grant Cycle. Many art organizations have applied for grants to support their programs. We do not have enough money to support every request. Your gift to the Fund for the Arts endowment helps provide grants for all types of arts throughout our local area. Small gifts today can help school children attend or be involved in plays. Larger gifts, provided through a no-longer-needed life insurance policy, or your will, leave a legacy that lasts forever. What is your passion? How do you want to express your legacy? A gift to the Fund for the Arts could be the right fit for your legacy.

The Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation has been connecting donors’ charitable intentions to community needs for over 25 years to make our Greater Itasca Area, and the world, a better place to live. We invite you to become part of the great work we do and to include us in the conversation with your financial or estate planner to answer the question “What good do you want your money to do?” For more information, schedule a visit by calling (218) 999-9100.

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350 NW 1st Ave, Suite E  | Grand Rapids, MN 55744  |  218-999-9100

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