Opal Center continues to promote art, prepare for return of community activities


February featured bright paintings with apocalyptic-style scenery by artist Alex Ihnat. This month, student art will decorate windows.

COTTAGE GROVE – Temporary shutdowns haven’t stopped the local theatre from circulating art through the downtown community. 

Students aged 5-18 submitted original art to the first contest sponsored by the Crafty Mercantile in hopes of winning first place. Art will be displayed in the front windows of the Opal Center for Arts & Education.

Artwork will be judged sometime next week, Executive Director Michele Rose said. There will be awards for first, second, and third place, and every student will walk away with a certificate and a prize.

“We want to encourage those artists,” Rose said. “It has been such a wonderful experience seeing the excitement in each student’s eyes as they submitted their work.”

The plan is to have local multimedia art displayed consistently in the front window of the Opal Center.

Local artwork has been in Opal’s windows since last year, and student art will be displayed during March.

Opal has been featuring local artists since January by updating the front-window display case. Rose said they have been intentionally displaying art that promotes awareness to “push what’s ordinary” in Cottage Grove.


Monthly art pieces are displayed in Opal’s front windows.

Residents had mixed reviews on the January art display, Rose said. However, the point of art is to get people talking about it.

“It gets people to think. Sometimes people don’t want to go there,” Rose said.

She said people were excited about the February art by Alex Ihnat, both between the community and out-of-towners.

Next week, “Creative Chaos” classes begin, where people with disabilities are able to meet for aerobics, arts and crafts, social time, and more activities. 


Art remains high above historic downtown Main St. in Cottage Grove.

One group will begin writing a script at the end of March, and that play is intended to hit the stage in the Fall. 

Rose said for 2021, Opal plans to stick to workshops until the pandemic is further behind us.



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