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Show Us Your Stuff

Posted: Wed, April 16, 2014
The Carnegie Cultural Center is putting out a call to all local alumni..."Show us your stuff!"  As part of a year's worth of temporary exhibits focusing on the arts, an exhibit featuring work by alumni is scheduled to run from May 17 through August 3. An artist open/house reception is scheduled during Heartland Days on Saturday, June 14 from 11 am to 2 pm. The guest of honor will be retiring NHHS art instructor, Dave Prehm. Since many class reunions are held during the Heartland Days celebration, the open house will provide a great opportunity for former students to connect with Prehm and fellow classmates as well.
Art work from alumni of  all classes (not just those from Mr. Prehm's tenure) is being sought for the exhibit. The art work needs to be at the Carnegie Cultural Center, 7 N. Water Avenue, New Hampton, by Wednesday, May 14. Each participant may submit one large piece or several small pieces of art work that they have created at any time following their graduation from high school. A statement including the title of the art work, the artist's name, graduation year, plus a brief statement regarding post-high school art-related pursuits or activities and the alumna's present occupation should accompany the art work.
Anyone having contact information for alumni artists is also asked to contact the artists or the Carnegie Cultural Center who will in turn contact the artists.
For more details or to pass on contact information call the Carnegie Cultural Center at (641)394-2354, email or visit
PHOTO: Dave Prehm (C) is flanked by alumni Alice Bartz  holding a carving created by her brother, James Fliger (NHHS '59), and Jim Bartz (NHHS '90) holding a piece of his own work.

*Please see attached PDF file.

Shake Off Winter with A Little Folk Art Fun

Posted: Tue, March 11, 2014
The Carnegie Cultural Center's 2014 Temporary Exhibits calendar is dedicated to the visual arts. In conjunction with the current exhibit, "Art of the People", which includes examples of folk art from a variety of countries, the Carnegie is inviting area residents of all ages to make a little folk art of their own by taking part in three workshops, "Worry Dolls", "Dream Catchers" or "Coiled Baskets", slated for the weekend of March 29 - 30.
The first get-together is scheduled for 10:00 - 11:30a.m.on Saturday, the 29th, and is open to students in grades 1-4 with an adult helper. During the workshop, participants will make several of their very own "Worry Dolls."  Also known as "trouble dolls", worry dolls are traditionally made in Guatemala. When a person, usually a child, cannot sleep due to worrying, they express their concerns to one of these small dolls and then place it under their pillow. According to folklore, the doll assumes the person's worry, permitting him to sleep. The person may then wake without their worry which was taken away by the doll during the night. Some medical centers use them in conjunction with treatment for disease in children.  Parents may involve the child in making the dolls to further increase the psychological benefits of releasing worries. There is no fee for this workshop, but pre-registration is required.
Also on Saturday, the 29th, in the 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. time slot, "Dream Catchers" is open to students in grades 5 - 8 and offers a different sort of relief to participants. Native Americans believe that the night air is filled with dreams both good and bad. The dream catcher, when hung over or near one's bed and swinging freely in the air, catches the dreams as they flow by. The good dreams know how to pass through the dream catcher and slip on down to the sleeper.  The bad dreams get tangled in the dream catcher's web and perish with the first light of the new day. It is said that the dream catcher holds the destiny of the future. Again, there is no fee for this workshop, but pre-registration guarantees that sufficient materials will be on hand.
Adults and high school students are invited to take part in the "Coiled Baskets" workshop planned for Sunday, March 30 from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. Coiling is a basketry technique used by Native Americans all over North America.  All coiled containers begin at the bottom with a flexible coil or core that is wrapped around and on top of itself as it is stitched together.  Coiled baskets from different regions have different styles of coiling depending on the materials used in the core and the type of stitches used to bind the coil together.  Pre-registration and a materials fee of $3 is necessary for this workshop.
Pre-register for a workshop by calling the Carnegie Cultural Center at (641) 394-2354 or emailing and look forward to shaking off the doldrums this long winter has bestowed on us all!
PHOTO: Don't Worry...Be Happy! Andi Billerbeck (L) and Katelyn Franzen are happy to show off the worry dolls they crafted at the Carnegie Cultural Center in New Hampton.


Posted: Wed, February 19, 2014
We are all so different, yet we are all the same. While the great "American Melting Pot" has blurred some of the differences, one factor that traditionally distinguished individuals within the broader community was ethnic background. And while ethnicity lends its particular imprint, one thing that draws people of all cultures together is their art. That in itself is something to celebrate.
The current exhibit at the Carnegie Cultural Center in New Hampton, entitled "Art of the People" celebrates both the differences and similarities found in ethnically influenced art forms. Bold Chinese brushwork calligraphy is seen alongside delicate lettering typical of Norwegian rosemaling; expressive native American kachina dolls dance alongside mute Guatemalan worry dolls; fine, hand-painted Swedish glassware is contrasted with robust Italian Murano glass. Weaving, painting,  printmaking and sculpture are a few of the other art forms featured in this richly-varied exhibit which encourages thoughtful observers to see and appreciate cultural influences in their everyday environment.
"Art of the People" will be on display through the end of March. The Carnegie Cultural Center is open Thursdays 12 - 6, Saturdays 10 - 4, Sundays 1-4 or any time by appointment. Admission is free. For more information, contact the Cultural Center at (641) 394-2354 or visit the website at   
Photo: L-R: "Purebreds" all, German, Inge Ott, Filipina, Fely Steffen, and Norwegian, Hazel
Hereid, display art forms that are representative of their ethnic traditions.

A Call For Art

Posted: Mon, January 13, 2014
The Carnegie Cultural Center, New Hampton is all about you...the people of the Chickasaw County area. The Center's entire 2014 Temporary Exhibits schedule seeks to further an appreciation for the different art forms that are around us. Since it's all about you, the Cultural Center is asking you to step forward and temporarily share some of the "stuff" you have to fill out the exhibits. Everything you loan will be returned when the exhibit closes.

The first exhibit of the year (Feb. - Mar.) is entitled "Art of the People; Ethnic Arts Visited." Some ethnic groups have deep roots in the Chickasaw County area...most notably the Germans, Irish, Norwegians, and Czechs. Others have a more recent presence...Hispanics, Asians and African Americans. Whatever your background, if you have any art that is representative of a particular ethnic culture, may we please borrow it?

The next exhibit (April-May), entitled "That's SO Pretty!" focuses on decorative arts for the home and body. Decorative arts for the home will highlight distinctive items that are both utilitarian and attractive such as tableware, linens, glass and pottery items. For this exhibit, decorative arts for the body will feature vintage jewelry (maybe we'll do tattoos another time!) If you have any unique items that fall into these categories, may we borrow them please?

The summer months will be dedicated to "Alumni and Their Art" and will showcase the work of Chickasaw County Alumni who have remained active artists. Any medium is acceptable, but the works of art should be ones that were completed post high school. If you have contact information of any alumni artists, please let us know!

"Art of Our Ancestors" is the theme for the fall exhibit. The title is pretty descriptive here. Many of us have some piece of art (fine art or the useful kind) that was made by kinfolk (related by blood or not) that has been passed down and ended up in our possession. Whether it's a piece of art that you have on display in your home or have tucked away in the closet, if it was made by someone before you, may we borrow it please?

The title of the Carnegie's 2014 annual Christmas exhibit is "Advertising Christmas." Again, the title is pretty descriptive as this display will include examples of print advertising through the years...some for specific products and some for local retailers...during the holiday season. The Cultural Center actually has a pretty good collection of ads that can be used, but perhaps you have one that has a special significance for you. If so, may we borrow it please?

The Cultural Center will also be hosting a variety of workshops and other activities to coordinate with each exhibit. Watch upcoming issues of the Tribune for details and get involved!

Please contact the Carnegie Cultural Center by phone at (515) 394-2353 on email at or stop in at 7 N. Water Ave. if you have something to loan for any of the 2014 Temporary Exhibits.'s all about you!

Welcome To The Carnegie Cultural Center

Welcome To The Carnegie Cultural Center

Movie enthusiasts of "Night at the Museum" have to stop in for a visit to New Hampton's Carnegie Cultural Center. If this place came alive at night it would be a real circus! Kids of all ages will enjoy the 23-foot long diorama "Main Street Circus Parade" where elephants shuffle in brightly colored advertisements and circus wagons parade through New Hampton circa 1910. In the diorama "Under the Big Top" the fun continues with three bustling circus rings and two circus stages. The ringmaster calls to announce the next exotic act while acrobats dangle high above the cheering crowd. Visitors can enjoy the handcrafted models while they learn about real circus companies like the Gollmar Brothers who regularly brought their menagerie wagons to Chickasaw County in the early 1900s.

This eclectic toy museum also has exhibits about steam engines, dollhouses, license plates, tractors, and farms. It is a rich collection of local history, local talent and local hobby. The Doc & Mabel Tunnell Collection, assembled by a New Hampton's optometrist and his wife, features historic eyeglasses with distinguishing pairs for the eskimo, sportsman, and 19th century automobile driver. Downstairs in the Railroad Room a large interpretive model of Chickasaw County has three operating train lines that the visitor can turn on and off. Booklets describe the individual towns and signage teaches about railroad slang, structures and equipment. Ring the railroad crossing bell. Get the Great Western engine up to full speed. Find out the job requirements of gandy dancers, lizard scorchers, air monkeys and car whackers. Read a silly poem by local legend "Blackie." Have fun!

Located in one of the of the original Carnegie libraries, the Carnegie Cultural Center is dedicated to the arts, history and cultural awareness. It is located at 7 North Water Avenue, New Hampton, just off the downtown's main street. Visit to find seasonal hours, temporary exhibits and special events.

Photo: "Alumni, Show Us Your Stuff"