When local artists are talked about, Joyce Young’s name always pops up near the top of the list. It’s because she has served the community as a professional artist, arts activist and educator. In honor of her many contributions, the Hutchinson Center for the Arts is hosting a retrospective of her work through July 31.According to Lisa Bergh, executive director of the art center, the exhibit came about when Young stopped by one day and the two women got to talking. “I asked her to consider the idea,” Bergh said. “She was game.”

“Although I’ve been less able to teach and paint as I previously did, nor traveling to take classes and attend workshops,” Young said, “I still want to share my artwork and ideas when art sources ask me if they can exhibit it in a show.”

To learn more, Young shared her thoughts about her work in this Leader Q&A.

What years does the exhibit span?

Bergh: The show includes works from her childhood, mature works from the late 1980s through most recent works. Additionally there is a display of objects and artifacts from her career as a dental hygienist. Visitors will see how her artistic craftsmanship was no doubt developed through that training. Also highlights from her work as an educator, arts activist and professional artist.

Young: As a child, I had different types of color and drawing opportunities. (When) I took a high school art course, I realized I had a lot to learn. At the University of Minnesota, the dental hygiene courses offered required artistic abilities to draw and carve in labs and care for patients in dental offices. The interest in health and art lasted for 60 years. I took art history courses in college my second year and thoroughly enjoyed the instruction. The result was learning more types of medium.

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You once said that watercolor was your favorite media. Why?

I keep watercolor as my favorite because when a small amount of water is added, the color can remain dark, or by adding more water it becomes lighter. By adding salt or cellophane and so on, the texture changes. Using rough or smooth paper, or layering, also makes changes. I love the moods.”

How does it feel to see such a broad representation of your work on display?

I see so many options in my exhibits, as I show different base products. Batik uses cloth and dye, weaving can be done with strips of paper, cloth or plastic, and clay can be modeled. I have learned that all are fun and different arts. I only needed a good teacher, and I find that workshops are offered everywhere.

What advice do you have for young artists?

My favorite advice comes from the book “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.” Also, always try. It may be new or odd or ditzy!

What do you consider to be your great art achievement and why?

The time-consuming project (of) braiding a 9-foot by 12-foot wool rug. It was taught in night class by Mrs. Bernie Schepers. And second, making a collage out of small pieces cut from hotel room coffee bags and assembling two artworks called “Coffee Drinkers Can Save the Rain Forest.” These are my favorite two artworks because I was pleased with what I developed, and my wrists did not want to assemble more.

What do you want gallery visitors to know about your work and to take away from viewing the exhibit?

Study what is displayed. Be surprised and entertained.

You have been involved in the Hutchinson arts community for a long time. What do you think of the present environment? How can we make it better?

I have read enough about history and religion to realize nothing stays the same. Our arts in Hutchinson included the local area, under the Hutchinson Art Center many years ago. The two young ladies — Marybeth Rupp and Mary Anne Olmstad-Kohls — their interest was with music, student classes and concert performances. Visual arts followed when I joined in. Theater followed with Bette Hubin. Membership and interest grew. Then Alfred Nott joined in and expanded it with combined theater and music. We applied for grants, fellowship and fine arts support. In recent years, more organizations and community interests were brought in to allow more diversity and communities in distance. Also the name was changed to Hutchinson Center for the Arts. New directors, board members and teachers were brought on staff. These have all brought new ideas and growth. I liked the way the arts started in the area and enjoy meeting new members and volunteers. We need this as changes included new ways to contribute here, and some members moved away. It could only be better if we continue to invest in time, energy, talents and financial support as we go.

Lisa Bergh contributed to this story.

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