RED WING -- The artist residency program at the Anderson Center will resume in August. A sculptor and a poet will be at Tower View for the entire month, and two writers will come for two weeks each. All hope to do community outreach activities while in Red Wing.

Many changes had to be made in response to the coronavirus pandemic, according to Adam Wiltgen, the center’s new development director.

“The number of artists living and working on-site at the same time has been reduced from five to three,” he said. Because long-distance travel is being discouraged at this time, all of them will be coming from within 100 miles of Red Wing.

Additional measures are planned in keeping with current recommendations: enhanced cleaning and disinfecting, use of masks indoors, and physical distancing.

As for the activities the residents plan in the community, Wiltgen said they will be outdoors, in small groups and/or online. Staff is working with them, he explained, “to reimagine community engagement activities in a way that is safe, but also meaningful and worthwhile.”

August residents are:

Chelsea DesAutels


A widely published poet and educator living in the Twin Cities, Chelsea DesAutels will spend the month working on a continuation of her first full-length collection, “Metastasis.” It explored the experience of a pregnancy-caused cancer diagnosis in the early months of motherhood. The new work will pick up where that collection left off – and explore new, harder questions.

DesAutels is working with the center and the city of Red Wing to install a temporary “poetry walk” on a paved path in one of Red Wing’s public parks. Her nature-inspired poetry will be on signs.

Community service: In late August, a small group tour of the outdoor poetry walk.

Pete Driessen


Pete Driessen is a Minneapolis-based visual artist, sculptor and “cultural producer” who creates paintings, installations made of found objects, interdisciplinary sculpture projects and participatory public art. He has received multiple honors for his innovative projects, and currently directs/curates an experimental gallery known as TuckUnder Projects.

Driessen plans to research and create an abstract “wing dam sculpture” to be installed in the Anderson Center Sculpture Garden. Wing dams are placed in the river to direct flowage and navigation. He will use local materials such as rock, wood and rail scrap.

Community service: An informal open studio in the North Studio courtyard at Tower View at 4 p.m. Aug. 6.

Tess Falhgren

Non-fiction writer

Sruthi Narayanan


Tess Falhgren, originally from Glasgow, Mont., and Sruthi Narayanan, originally from Scotch Plains, N.J., were awarded two-week Gesell Writing Residency Fellowships from the University of Minnesota, where each is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts.

Falhgren, who writes non-fiction, is working on her graduate project – interviewing art teachers about the importance of art education in rural places. She also is documenting their perspectives on teaching without classrooms during the pandemic. While here she will be working on a podcast based on that research.

Community service: Video interview with Red Wing Schools art teacher Kristin Bray, to be published on social media.

Narayanan, an aspiring novelist who has worked as an editorial intern at the Times of India, will focus on a novel or collection of short stories “around consent and karma as a broader form of justice,” officials said. The work is set within the world of competitive classical Carnatic singing.

Community service: Outdoor essay and creative writing workshops for a small group of teens and young adults.