Wolff proposes local art subscription service

Photographer Lowell Wolff is meeting with local artists to consider building a network of mini-galleries with a rotating exhibit of visual artworks.

Although not connected with partner, Lowell Wolff's photography currently on view at the Park Rapids Area Library could be a sign of things to come if the visual arts subscription service takes off.
Robin Fish / Park Rapids Enterprise

A new organization may help bring local artists’ works into the public eye, possibly doing for them what the Community Band and the Classic Chorale does for the musically inclined.

Compared to opportunities for singers and musicians to give concerts, “one of the challenges for individual artists is places to display their work,” local photographer Lowell Wolff told ACTION Park Rapids on Feb. 9.

Contributed / Lowell Wolff

Wolff said a small group has started to meet and consider an initiative called partner. “If you write out the word ‘partner,’ ‘art’ is in the middle of it,” he pointed out. “The idea would be that it’s a subscription service for businesses or other entities that would like to have local artists display their work.”

A document describing the subscription service says it’s not meant to be a selling opportunity, though some pieces may sell; instead, its purpose is to create a “gallery” of local businesses and organizations that subscribe.

Businesses may also host multiple galleries, the document says. “The business shows its support of local artists and provides an attraction for its customers,” it says.


The document adds that another challenge for visual artists in rural areas is “finding quality workshops to build and refine their artistic skills.”

Wolff said the art displayed by each subscriber would rotate every three months to show different artists’ work. Meanwhile, the subscription fees would fund workshops for visual artists.

The partner document mentions that grants may also be used to fund these skill-building experiences.

The document proposes requiring artists to provide at least six original works for a three-month to one-year period, with an artist statement and bio. “All works must be ‘business appropriate,’” it adds, excluding works depicting nudity, profanity, gore or negative stereotypes.

“It’s not my brainchild,” said Wolff. “I stole (the idea) from a group in Fargo, and it’s been very successful, to the point that we actually had businesses adding onto their building to have a gallery supported with local artists. They have about 30 businesses now that are subscribed, and about 130 artists.

“So, we’ll see if there’s sufficient interest to do something like that here.”

Wolff stressed that partner is a concept being explored rather than a program that is up and running. If interested, however, call him at 701-730-8154.

Robin Fish is a staff reporter at the Park Rapids Enterprise. Contact him at or 218-252-3053.
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