This is the latest stop in the series 101 Things To Do. Each week through December 2020, we will select one place or activity around the region to highlight.
Quaker Puffed Wheat and Quaker Puffed Rice, the Anderson Center at Tower View is now home to a permanent art gallery, temporary art gallery, sculpture garden, artists studios, artist residency program, and Tower View Alternative High School.
“I think that most people who come here are interested in one or both of two main things,” said Stephanie Rogers, executive director. “One is the history and architecture of the site, and the other is the artwork that we have here.”
Built in 1921-1925, the 350-acre Anderson estate, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, became the Anderson Center, a thriving artist community, in 1995. Between 1999 and 2012, all major buildings on the campus were updated and restored.
The Anderson Center sponsors three big events each year -- an outdoor music festival in July, a children’s book festival in September, and a holiday celebration of the arts in December. Throughout the year, the Anderson Center also sponsors presentations in music, poetry and visual arts which are open to the public. Information about all of these events is available on the website.
“We do all kinds of things for a presentation,” Rogers said. “We are interdisciplinary. We believe that the intersection of creative disciplines is a rich environment to work in, so we try to support offerings in different areas.”
In the main building, the ground floor and hallways provide space for four or five rotating exhibitions each year. A permanent gallery downstairs houses works by Picasso, Chagall, Dali, and other internationally recognized artists. Because of the value of the paintings, that gallery is locked, but visitors may stop at the office and staff will unlock it.
Outside, the 15-acre sculpture garden features 30 works and is a popular place to take a quiet walk and enjoy the art.
The Anderson Center also has a vibrant artist residency program which brings in artists, writers, and musicians from across the nation. The program searches for “some of the most exciting contemporary artists and writers,” according to Rogers.
“I hope that everybody who comes here sees something that they like,” Rogers said, “something they can connect with, something that they didn't expect, and maybe something that even challenges them a little bit.”
If you go...
Name: The Anderson Center at Tower View
Address: 163 Tower View Drive, Red Wing, MN 55066
Hours: Office and galleries are open Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sculpture garden is open during daylight hours every day.
Admission: Free. Donations are welcomed