The Arts and Culture Commission of the City of Northfield, in partnership with FiftyNorth, is pleased to announce the selection of Mac Gimse as the 2020 recipient of the City of Northfield’s Living Treasure Award. The Living Treasure Award annually honors a Northfield area resident who makes an outstanding and lasting contribution to the city’s identity and quality of life through and on behalf of the arts and culture.
In naming Mac Gimse for its 2020 Living Treasure Award, the Arts and Culture Commission asserts that "because of Mac Gimse’s past and continuing service to Northfield, through and on behalf of the arts and culture, the community is richer, Northfield is a better place, and we’re fortunate and grateful to have him in our midst."
Gimse is professor emeritus of art at St. Olaf College where he taught from 1970-2001. As a sculptor and poet, he weaves together peace, world harmony, and justice into his artistry. His work can be seen locally, such as his sculpture “Between Earth and Sky” in downtown Dundas, as well as internationally, such as his piece “Triumphant Crucifix” that was presented to the Vatican in 1987. He has also taught classes in the community at Prairie Creek Community School and the former Longfellow Elementary School, and served as the inaugural teaching artist for the Young Sculptor’s Program, a joint effort between the Northfield Public High School and the Arts and Culture Commission. Still a practicing artist, he has an upcoming exhibition at Edina Community Lutheran Church beginning January 26, 2020.
In the words of his nominators, “Mac epitomizes all of the characteristics celebrated by this momentous award. A pillar of the liberal arts, Mac is not only an outstanding visual artist (sculptor) but also a poet, philosopher, art historian, and compassionate man of faith and grace. Creativity feeds Mac’s soul, and his commitment to share it has led to teaching and engagement in the lives of our community youth as well as the hundreds, even thousands, of students he drew to his courses at St. Olaf College. His knowledge, energy, creativity, and grand humor are infectious.”
Previous recipients of the Living Treasure Award are Ray Jacobson, Myrna Johnson, Cora Scholz, Paul Niemisto, Patsy Dew, DeWayne and Theo Wee, Jan Shoger, Judy Swanson, Judy Code, and Donna Paulsen. The Arts and Culture Commission thanks each one of them for their lasting contributions to Northfield's cultural vibrancy.
The public is cordially invited to the 2020 Living Treasure Award presentation on Monday, February 24, 2020, at FiftyNorth (doors open at 7 p.m.; program at 7:30 p.m.). Since the establishment of the award in 2011, the award presentation has been sponsored by the Northfield News.