This December is looking different for most of us due to COVID-19, so we wanted to find a way to inspire you and your family to have a Cre-active December (yes we made up a word that combines Creative & Active). We have chosen four weekly themes: Explore, Create, Move, & Connect. Each week we will challenge you to interact with the arts in a new way, we will provide ideas, and anyone who submits a photo either themselves participating in the challenge or a sample artwork by the deadline will be entered into the weekly prize drawing. 

Week 1 Challenge (Dec. 1- 6): Explore Art

This week we challenge you to explore art in a COVID safe way. This can be on foot, from a car, or online. While under “Safer at Home” regulations, days can get a little monotonous. In order to give you something to look forward we challenge you to seek out a new art experience. Think of it as a “choose your own adventure”. You can explore art of so many different forms and in so many different ways and best of all it doesn’t have to take long to add a little spark of excitement to your day. 

Need a little motivation? In one study Professor Semir Zeki, a neurobiologist with the University of London, scanned the brains of volunteers while they viewed 28 works of art. Zeki discovered when a person views art they find beautiful, it triggers an immediate release of dopamine into the brain–a chemical related to feelings of love, pleasure, and desire. A 2017 research review concluded that listening to music, particularly classical combined with jazz, had a positive effect on depression symptoms.

If you are up for the challenge and you are ready to experience the positive mental and physical health benefits of the arts, just send a photo of yourself or a family member on your exploring art adventure, your name & any thing you would like to share about your experience to mca@smumn.edu by 11:59 PM on Sunday, December 6. You will then be entered into a drawing to win an MCA shirt with the Twyla Tharp quote “Art is the only way to run away without leaving home” and  $20 MCA Gift Certificate. This challenge is open to any US resident. Please note that by sharing a photo you are granting MCA permission to share it on our social media channels and website.

Exploring Art Ideas:

Winona Outdoor Art

Winona Pandemic Portrait Project- Through Dec. 9, Gallery exhibit in the windows downtown Winona 

Winona Poetry Walk– New poetry downtown Winona

#WinonaColorProject– Colorful outside paintings by Sarah Johnson, including on one of MCA’s doors on the corner of Vila & 10th

HBC Fence Project- Public Art at Winona’s Levee Park

Holiday Window Walk– through Dec. 3 

Short Dive from Winona

Prairie Moon Sculpture Garden- Cochrane, WI

Lanesboro Poetry Parking Lot- Lanesboro, MN

Barn Quilt Tour– Caledonia, MN

General Outside

Holiday Window Displays

Holiday lights

Barn Quilts

Outside Sculptures/ Public Art

Online

MCA Music Division Concert– Premieres Dec. 5th 6pm 

Minnesota Marine Art Museum– Online Galleries and activities 

Winona Art Walk– Through Dec. 31, Online this year

Tour Famous Museums from your home– 12 museums with virtual tours

MPR Classical Station- tune into MN Public Radio for free streams of classical music as well as a Holiday Playlist though Jan. 13.

Happy Art Exploring! We can’t wait to see where your adventure takes you! Next week’s challenge is to create, details will be released on Monday, Dec. 7th.