In Progress/Studio 110 now open to the public

    Sunday was their first day open to the public and the In Progress/Studio 110 on South Main Street was hopping with community members receiving free family portraits and enjoying art at the new gallery. Local Fresh Voices artists had their photo projects displayed on the walls from the last few years and have been helping get the studio set up by painting, putting furniture together, and prepping for the open house.

    Lead photographer and community liaison Tomas Leal told the Times he has been coming to Crookston for the last 23 years to help artists in the Fresh Voices program, which is based out of St. Paul and falls under nonprofit “In Progress” that works to diversify cultural dialogue and pave the way for new voices in the field of digital art making.  

    In the past, Leal says, Fresh Voices artists have had to wait until the next summer to work on their projects but this new studio will give them more access to continue when program leads are gone.

    “Each artist has their own opportunity to pick a project and then we do a project as a group,” Leal explained. “We came up with a concept, a logo, and we let them tell their own story.”

    “One area of focus has been about ‘breaking the border’,” he added. “Artists can tell their own story of a personal border or identity; what they feel is a border and how to overcome it through art work.”

    Fresh Voices artists have ranged in age from five-years-old to adult and they attend a summer workshop with Leal and In Progress director Kristine Sorenson. The Fresh Voices workshop lets Latino youth and artists create digital art, photography and videos.

    When asked about their favorite projects or parts of the program, participants told the Times they like working with people, making videos, the food, sharing and reflection on projects and activities, and sharing stories.

    “I like the behind the scenes, after the photos are taken,” said Rena Zapata.

    Fresh Voices artists work with programs like Lightroom and Final Cut Pro to edit their projects.

    If you’re interested in viewing the art gallery or want to learn more about In Progress, Studio 110 or Fresh Voices, email Regina Zapata at gina56716@yahoo.com.