When the former Carnegie Public Library in Zumbrota went on sale 14 years ago, Marie Marvin bought it with the intention to sell artwork. Soon, Marvin was not only hanging paintings, but holding concerts, arts classes, dog obedience courses and anything else to get people to see the art on the wall. Fourteen years later, Crossings and Carnegie in Zumbrota has become a must-call for local artists.
Why did you open an art gallery?
I like the magic of art. I like the way it heals people and brings people together. I love creating art. To me, it’s the most fun to get where you want to go.
How easy is it for you to find great art to show?
It hasn’t been a problem at all. There are always more musicians and artists who want to perform or want to show than what we have space for. In our 14th year, people now contact us. It’s not me going out anymore to contact people. The last few years have been easier. We don’t have trouble finding good art.
Do music and art mix well?
My first love is visual arts. I developed a job for myself here that means I book music even though I know little about music. Everything I do here is pretty much by the seat of my pants. No training.
How successful have your concerts been in selling artwork?
It works out because you can’t believe how many calls we get on Monday or Tuesday morning and people will say “I was at the concert Saturday night, and do you know that painting just to the left of the stage up high.” We don’t stop and look at things. We don’t see things. And when you’re sitting here, listening to music, you become more receptive to what you’re seeing, and you actually see the paintings.
Editors note: Because of Crossings at Carnegie’s recent surge in business, Marvin hired curator Andrea Gates from southern California to choose artists for exhibits and market their work.
How can you compare artwork you have seen elsewhere to artwork created in southeastern Minnesota?
Gates: The style of which the art is done may be similar to something you may see in other parts of the country. The subject matter tends to be different. A lot of our painters will be doing subjects related to Minnesota. Not all, but many do. It’s something that appeals to our audience. I’m really happy with the high quality of artist in southern Minnesota. It’s really been a joy to find out who’s doing work here and inviting them to come show their work at Crossings.