The Anderson Center at Tower View
The Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, founded in 1995 on the Tower View estate in rural Red Wing, Minn., has renovated and restored historic buildings to support working artists and the creative process, including developing twenty-two active studio spaces and three galleries. A renovated barn serves as a performance and event venue, the historic main residence houses artists-in-residence, and fifteen acres support a sculpture garden.
The Anderson Center provides residencies of two- or four-weeks’ duration from May through October each year to enable artists, writers, musicians, and performers of exceptional promise and demonstrated accomplishment to create, advance, or complete work. In addition to community engagement activities through the artist residency program, the organization has a strong history of helping integrate the arts into community life through local partnerships, hosting annual arts events and participating in other community-based initiatives.
There are typically 5 residents at the Anderson Center at a time, and the organization hosts approximately 35 residents each year. This program is one of the largest of its kind in the Upper Midwest. Since the Center opened in 1995, nearly 800 artists from 45 states and 40 countries have participated in the program.
In addition to working on a clearly defined project, resident-fellows are asked to make a substantive contribution to the community. Each year Center residents visit schools, senior centers, civic organizations, adult and juvenile detention centers, and other arts institutions in Red Wing and its nearby rural communities, with over 2300 people, from primary school children to senior citizens, benefiting from these community presentations, workshops, and classes.
The Anderson Center’s goal is for connections participating artists make with one another, as well as connections made with other creatives and community members, to outlast the duration of their residency visit. The organization believes that the environment and resources of Tower View, along with an exchange of ideas across disciplines, can serve as a catalyst for new inspiration and innovative directions for the work artists create while in residence.
Visual artists are provided a 15' x 26' studio. Other workspaces on-site include a gas and electric kilns, a printmaking studio (with a Vandercook 219 letterpress and Charles Brand-like etching press), and an open-air forge. Practice space is available for dancers and choreographers. Composers and musicians have access to two grand pianos. Writers will have desks and comfortable chairs in their rooms, as well as access to wi-fi, three libraries within the residence, a large sitting room, a large workspace on the third floor, and a variety of other spaces throughout the house in which to work—including a large screened porch, where residents often dine together in nice weather.
Each resident is provided with a room in the historic Tower View mansion. Rooms are equipped with either queen or twin beds, a desk, a dresser, a large closet, and a comfortable chair. Rooms have either private bathrooms or a bathroom shared with one other resident. Linens and towels are provided, and the house is cleaned and the linens changed weekly.
The Anderson Center campus is located on the 350-acre historic Tower View Estate, built by botanist Alexander Pierce Anderson between 1915 and 1921, on the western edge of Red Wing, Minnesota, and its buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Center features a large sculpture garden, and is adjacent to the Cannon Valley Bike Trail, a 20-mile biking and walking trail that runs from Cannon Falls to Red Wing. The Center is approximately 45 minutes southeast of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Transportation is provided between the Center and the Twin Cities airport on the first and last day of residencies only. Artist Residents that choose to drive will have access to private parking on the property. Due to the on-going pandemic, if possible, artists are strongly encouraged to drive to Red Wing.
Red Wing (pop. 16,000) is a small town, but has many amenities including a destination bakery, a chocolate shop, coffee shops, restaurants, the historic Sheldon Theatre, the Red Wing Arts Association, the Red Wing Shoe Company store, Goodhue County Historical Society museum, the Red Wing Stoneware & Pottery store, the Pottery Museum of Red Wing, a Duluth Trading store, a Target, a YMCA, several pharmacies, a library (the Center has arranged for residents to have access to a library card for their month at the Center), liquor stores, a small independent bookstore, several parks, and multiple hiking trails throughout the Red Wing bluffs and along the Mississippi River.