The Artist Within...
We all need to express ourselves- to celebrate beauty, show a problem, heal ourselves, comment on life, share a folly. Making art is one of the better ways to do this. Mollie Magnuson made this discovery a long time ago, and art has become central to her young life. Fortunately for the rest of us, she works both sides of the fence, making her own art through painting and sculpture, and guiding, encouraging and enabling others to find their own path. In addition to her studio work, residencies and workshops, and working at the Lincoln Arts Council, she has run the National Arts Program (NAP) for two years.
Established in 1982 the NAP was created to showcase and reward visual artistic talent of average citizens, avoiding the often rigorous requirements of conventional venues. To simplify the administration, the NAP limited itself to large blocks of employees, corporate or public. In Lincoln, employees of the City of Lincoln and the Lincoln Public Schools and their immediate families are eligible to participate. With 45 entrants the first year and 78 the second year, the program is a vibrant, growing companion to Lincoln's already terrific art scene.
The NAP provides some administrative tools, prizes (including cash prizes) and promotional materials. Mollie does everything else. From promoting the program, registrations, labeling the art, displaying the art in several venues, finding and training judges, even creating the awards event, Mollie's responsible. She's a cheerleader, arts administrator, curator and occasional therapist all in one. She even wrote a custom database to keep track of it all.
You'll find in each one of us a different measure of artistic talent, intelligence, compassion, energy, perseverance. Pick any or all of them and turn the knob up to eleven- that's Mollie. The National Arts Program is lucky to have her, and so is Lincoln.