Anoka artist chosen for Community Supported Art program

A resident from Anoka has been selected to be a featured artist in Community Supported Art’s fourth season.

Alyssa Baguss of Anoka is one of nine featured artists selected for Minnesota’s Community Supported Art’s fourth season. Photo submitted

Alyssa Baguss is one of nine artists who will create 50 graphite drawings centering on technology as part of Springboard for the Arts initiative to get locally produced artwork to interested consumers.

CSA is based on the same principal as Community Supported Agriculture, a popular way for consumers to buy seasonal food directly from local farms. But in this case, CSA supports local art, artists and collectors.

Artists receive a commission to create 50 “shares’ in the program. Consumers or collectors then purchase a share from Springboard and receive three “farm boxes” of locally created artwork during the summer.

Among pieces included could be screen-prints, small tea cups, photographs, small original paintings and more.

“I’m thrilled,” said Baguss, who has applied to be a CSA artist in the past. “To get in this year is awesome.”

Baguss’s 50 pieces are 3 by 4 inch drawings of outdated computer parts – antiquated technology –  “in a highly rendered way, kind of memorializing them, cataloguing them, making them very, very precious,” she said.

The pieces will be inserted into library card sleeves and defined by old-fashioned typewriter text.

In the last few years, Baguss has focused her artwork on technology. She dissects computer keyboards. She makes frequent trips to a local surplus store, where she spots discontinued items and uses their parts as subjects. She draws wires, diodes, capacitors, tiny light bulbs and such.

She started at age four

Baguss was raised in Maquoketa, Iowa, in the eastern part of the state.

She started drawing at the age of four.

“I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t making something,” she said.

Armed with a sketchbook in hand, when she saw interesting subjects, she drew them, to better understand them, she said.

But it was her grandfather John Lensch, a mechanical engineer, who her gave her a head start in the art/tech area. He taught her how to draw.

“I’d sit at his table and draw on the back of his blue prints,” she said.

Baguss attended the College of Visual Arts in St. Paul where she received a bachelor of fine arts with an emphasis on drawing and painting.

For her day job, she is a program coordinator at Silverwood Park, St. Anthony (part of the Three Rivers Park District). She also operates an art studio in her Anoka home, where she has lived since 1997.

“It’s something that makes me extremely happy,” Baguss said. “There’s something wonderful about making art and being in the moment. It’s very grounding.”

Baguss said she hopes to meet the people who purchase CSA shares and her work, to have them feel more connected to the art community “and to have a real tangible experience.”

Member shares for CSA may be purchased for $300 for the season at www.springboardforarts.org/csart. Shares went on sale at 10 a.m. Thursday, May 3. Only available through website.

For more information on Alyssa Baguss and to see her artwork, visit www.mnartists.org/alyssa_baguss.

Elyse Kaner is at elyse.kaner@ecm-inc.com

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