VSA Minnesota Artists to Participate in Institute for Advanced Studies Conference at the U of M, Crookston on Thursday, October 14, 2010, in Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center

Visual artists Annie Young and Ethan Heidelbaugh have been invited as guests to an Institute for Advanced Study Conference on visual communication and interdisciplinarity. Their work will be displayed throughout the conference, which will be held at the U of M, Crookston, on Thursday October 14, 2010, in Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center. Both artists reside in the Twin Cities. The artwork of Mary Carol Peterson also will be displayed during the daylongconference

IAS_wordmarkcombo.jpgYoung, Heidelbaugh, and Peterson are all members of VSA Minnesota, the state organization of the arts and disability. VSA Minnesota has sponsored artists with disabilities throughout the state through grants and exhibition programs. One of the VSA's more prominent programs, the Arts Ambassador Program, brings artists with disabilities into Minnesota schools to present on their art, work, and disabilities. On Friday, October 15, Young and Heidelbaugh will be visiting the Crookston High School to lead workshops.

"The goal of the VSA is to create a community where people with disabilities can learn about and participate in the arts," says Craig Dunn, executive director of the VSA. Dunn has also been invited to attend the Institute for Advanced Study, and will be part of the response team to the Uncommon Thursday panel at 12:30 p.m. the day of the conference. Young will be presenting as part of that panel.

Young, a resident of Minnetonka, Minn., is a visually-impaired painter whose work asks the question: "Do you see what I feel?" Her tactile paintings invite viewers to leave their comfort zones and broaden the way they perceive the world. Young is a working artist, volunteer, and curator of art exhibits in the Minnetonka area.

After being involved in a car accident that lead to a traumatic brain injury and a nine-day coma, Heidelbaugh woke to what he calls his "surreal reality." This surreal reality allows Heidelbaugh to be closer to his subject matter.

Mary Carol Peterson is an award-winning pastel artist from the Pelican Rapids, Minn., area. Peterson, whose mobility has been altered by polio, focuses her artwork on the beautiful landscapes near her home. Although she cannot attend the conference, several of her works will be on display.

Conference sponsors include the Institute for Advanced Study, University of Minnesota; Liberal Arts and Education Department and Office of Students with Disabilities at the Crookston campus; and the UMC Coca-Cola Beverage Partnership - Community Initiatives Grant. This activity is also funded, in part, by a grant from the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council and the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.

For more information about the conference and the artists, visit www.umcrookston.edu/ias.

The IAS, established in 2005 at the University of Minnesota, was designed to create intellectual community across and beyond the boundaries of the University. To learn more, visit http://ias.umn.edu.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and more than 40 concentrations, including several online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science, and technology. With an enrollment of about 1,300 undergraduates from more than 25 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree. "Small Campus. Big Degree." To Learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

Contact: Mark Huglen, associate professor, communication, 218-281-8275 (mhuglen@umn.edu); Molly Ramey, IAS Conference committee member and communication major, (rame0029@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn