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Announcing the IMAGE Art Show 2013!

For visual artists in Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, and Pine Counties.

This year the IMAGE Art Show is being hosted by the Old School Art Center in Sandstone, MN.  The Art Show will be held November 15 - 19, 2013.  166 artists have entered IMAGE.

About IMAGE 2013 

This is the 27th year of IMAGE, an annual judged art show sponsored by the East Central Regional Arts Council (ECRAC.)  IMAGE is usually hosted each year by a different art group, organization or group of individuals interested in the arts.   This year the Old School Art Center in Sandstone will showcase the artwork and their facility.

IMAGE is a celebration of art in Region 7E which is comprised of Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, and Pine counties. Visual artists from any of these counties are encouraged to enter the show.

There are 8 categories and each will have 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners. In addition, all artwork entered will be eligible for both Best of Show and People’s Choice Awards.  These awards (except People’s Choice) are presented at the opening reception on the first day of the show.  The Judge's Award Ceremony and tour of the artwork will be Friday, November 15 at 7 pm.  This gala event is open to the public and there is no charge to attend.

Please note that entry forms were due October 18, 2013. To see the entry form click here:  IMAGE 2013 Call for Entries

For more information call 320-216-7635 or email or go to 


About the Old School Art Center

The Old School Arts Center builds and enriches community through arts education, exhibition and performance.  It supports the efforts of local and regional artists and provides a venue for public events.  The location is 214 Eagle Drive, Sandstone, MN.


About the East Central Regional Arts Council

The East Central Regional Arts Council (ECRAC) is a non-profit 501c3 organization that has been designated by the Minnesota State Arts Board as the regional arts council for Region 7E in East Central Minnesota. The mission of ECRAC is to improve the quantity and quality of arts experiences in Region 7E by facilitating the production, presentation, and dissemination of art development for arts organizations and to promote the growth of individual artists. ECRAC accomplishes this mission through programs and special initiatives for artists and arts organizations.   You can find out more about the East Central Regional Arts Council at   The office is located at 112 Main Street South, in Braham.


This activity is made possible in part by a grant from the East Central Regional Arts Council with funds provided by the McKnight Foundation and thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.



Art Grant News!

February 1 grant deadlines

happy new year

For the January Essential Arts Newletter:  Click here!

All the Art Grant News!

November 1 Grant Deadlines, Upcoming Grant Info Sessions, Grant Reviewers Needed, Grantee Art Show News, & Recent ECRAC Grants Awarded.

Click here for the latest East Central Regional Arts Council Newsletter:  ESSENTIAL ARTS  October, 2017

People's Choice Award

The East Central Regional Arts Council is proud to announce that the People's Choice Award for the Grantee Art Show goes to Gail Gates of North Branch, MN for her digital photograph entitled Art Deco Calla Lily!!! Reminder! The Grantee Art Show is up weekdays until Friday, September 29, 2017!!!

#ecrac #artslegacy

Thanks to all the artists for participating in the show and for the beautiful artwork entered in the show!

Art Deco Calla Lily by Gail Gates 

Art Deco Calla Lily by Gail Gates of North Branch, MN


Grantee Art Show Opens During Braham Pie Day!!!

An exhibition featuring the work of the FY 2016 East Central Regional Arts Council grantees!

Location:  ECRAC, 112 Main Ave S, Braham, MN

Opening Braham Pie Day, Friday, 8/4/17  10 am to 4 pm

Show Also Open Weekdays 8/7/17 to 9/29/17  (10 am to 4:30 pm)

This activity is made possible by The McKnight Foundation and also the voters of Minnesota thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.  


Lilacs and Halos by MaryAnn Cleary


Job Opportunity at the East Central Regional Arts Council

The East Central Regional Arts Council in Braham is looking for an Office-Communications Coordinator. 


This position is open immediately and is up to 40 hours per week. The wage range is $15 to $24 per hour commensurate with experience.


Duties include maintaining: databases, the arts calendar, social media, the newsletter; and also performing receptionist and lerical tasks. Applicants must have MS Office and Google App skills plus excellent interpersonal and written communication.


Artists or those with a strong arts interest are encouraged!


To apply send a cover letter, your work resume, and 2 professional letters of reference via email to before July 15, 2017. No calls please.


Rural Arts and Culture Summit Scholarships!

Scholarships are available for individuals from the East Central region to participate in the 2017 Rural Arts and Culture Summit, which will be held in Morris, MN on June 6 ­ 8, 2017. 

Scholarships are awarded on a first come, first served basis for artists, arts enthusiasts, community and economic developers, and other community leaders. Carpooling is encouraged to allow as many people as possible to participate.

Participants will be reimbursed by the East Central Regional Arts Council for the attendance fee, $40 per night for lodging, and travel expenses ($0.53 per mile) with a maximum total reimbursement of $400.

Organized by Springboard for the Arts and the Center for Small Towns, the Summit gathers rural artists, arts organizations and community leaders to highlight arts­based strategies to rural community and economic development. People from across the state and country will gather to celebrate the imaginative and creative thinking that has helped to create vibrant small town cultures.

For more information about the Summit and to register please go to their website:

For information on these scholarships call 320­-396­-2337 extension 1 or email: before May 15, 2017.

IMAGE Art Show 2017 Awards

All of the artwork in the IMAGE Art Show 2017 was amazing!  

To see the award winning pieces click here:  IMAGE Art Show 2017 Awards

To see the IMAGE Art Show 2017 Booklet click here:  IMAGE Art Show 2017 Book  

IMAGE Art Show 2017 Awards Announced!

The IMAGE Art Show is an annual event open to any artist residing in Region 7E (the MN counties of Chisago, Kanabec, Isanti, Mille Lacs, and Pine.) The Art Show and the awards honor some of the finest art in the area. The judges for the show were Brandon Kuehn and Bethany Whitehead. They both have a wide range of artistic skills and art show judging experience.

The East Central Regional Arts Council (ECRAC) is proud to honor the award winners of the 30th annual IMAGE Art Show which opened Saturday, April 22nd. Over 450 people attended the opening event which was held at the ECRAC offices in Braham. The 2 Judge’s Choice (Best of Show) Awards went to Patricia Larson of Sturgeon Lake for “Clovis and Brighid” and Paul Olson of Hinckley for “Flatland – Night Heron Explains the Sea to Shadow”.

A total of 168 artists from the East Central Minnesota region entered this year’s IMAGE Art Show. There were also ten Excellence Awards (1st Place) and ten Merit Awards (2nd Place).                                                                     

2017 Artistic Excellence Awards (1st Place): Erica Belkholm, Mora; Julie Bjerke, Hinckley; Jessie DeCorsey, Lindstrom; Nathan Hager, Isanti; Terri Huro-Torgerson, Brook Park; Ryan Kroschel, Mora; Jim Larson, Milaca; Mike Menasco, North Branch; Nikki Schneider, Cambridge; Jade Wilson, Lindstrom

 2017 Artistic Merit Awards (2nd Place): Fred Anderson, Cambridge; Perry Carlson, Pine City; Claire Fix, Cambridge; Anita Gislason, Ogilvie; Dennis Jenereaux, Isanti; Barb Johnson, Isanti; Lois Lapp, Pine City; Beth Anne Palmer, Cambridge; David Spohn, Lindstrom; Barbara Young, Taylors Falls.

 Purchase Awards were also made and announced during the show opening. ECRAC purchased 5 works of art which now become part of the Council's permanent collection of artwork.  2017 Purchase Awards: Karrie Anderson, Milaca; Yvonne R. Herrmann, Foreston; Dennis Jenereaux, Isanti; Nikki Schneider, Cambridge; and Bruce Thompson, Mora.

 The People’s Choice Award votes were accepted from all attendees through the end of the show. The People's Choice Award winner is Jana Merten of North Branch for her artwork entitled, Letting Go.

                                          Letting Go by Jana Merten - winner of the IMAGE Art Show 2017 People's Choice Award 

According to ECRAC Executive Director Mary Minnick-Daniels "The IMAGE Art Show is a wonderful event and it keeps getting bigger and better every year! Any artist residing in the 5 county East Central Minnesota region can exhibit a piece of their own artwork. It could be an artist's very first work of art or they may make their living as an artist. This means the show is an incredibly visually vibrant art exhibit and a true celebration of all of the artists that entered."

IMAGE was open weekdays 10 am to 4:00 pm through April 28th. ECRAC is located at 112 Main Avenue South in Braham. There was no charge to enter or to attend.

A new study on the health and impact of the nonprofit arts and culture sector in East Central Minnesota was released during the last day of the IMAGE Art Show at 1:00 PM on April 28, 2017, by Creative Minnesota, Minnesota Citizens for the Arts, and the East Central Regional Arts Council. (ECRAC). The presentation of the results was made among the artwork hung as part of the 30th Annual IMAGE Art Show, followed by a brief discussion of the economic impact of the arts and culture in the region. If you are interested in learning more, check out this video or the Creative Minnesota webpage.


This art exhibition was made possible by The McKnight Foundation and also by the voters of Minnesota thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Legacy Fund. Thanks also to all that came to support the artists and their work at the 30th Annual IMAGE Art Show.


April Arts News from ECRAC

IMAGE Art Show - Creative MN Presentation at ECRAC - Rural Arts and Culture Summit in June - Work of Art Workshops - & more!

For the April 2017 issue of the Essential Arts newsletter:  Click here!

Arts Alert

Reminder!!! April 3, 2017 ECRAC Deadlines!!!

For the latest Arts Alert click here:  East Central Regional Arts Council March 31, 2017, Arts Alert