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Art heroes to be honored at gala

Honorees have contributed much to local arts

By Katrina Styx

On Friday, Nov. 4, the Hastings Prescott Area Arts Council (HPAAC) will hold its fifth annual gala. During the event, three local people will be honored for their contribution to the arts.

The 2016 HPAAC Arts Heroes are Heidi Langenfeld of Hastings and Karl and Collette Sakschek of Prescott, Wis. They will be honored at the gala, which will be held at the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish Hall in Hastings.

The gala will also feature food, music, a live and silent auction, and opportunities to meet with local artists and support the arts locally. The gala begins at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4. SEAS is located at 2035 W. 15th St. in Hastings. Tickets are available at BreakAway Arts, the Hastings YMCA and the Orange Dragon Art Gallery in Prescott, Wis., or online at galas.

Now in its ninth year, the mission of HPAAC is to foster the arts in the community. To accomplish this mission, HPAAC funds activities such as the Art in the Park, Black Dirt Theater, a monthly writer’s workshop, music programs in the schools and free weekly art lessons for adults. HPAAC has also been instrumental in bringing the new Artspace building to Hastings, which is now starting construction. When completed, the building will provide 37 affordable live-work spaces for artists as well as community and commercial space in downtown Hastings.

The Arts Heroes award recognizes local people for their efforts and contributions to the arts community in Hastings and Prescott.

The following information was provided by HPAAC describing this year’s Arts Heroes.

Heidi Langenfeld

As the 2016 HPAAC Arts Hero, Heidi is being honored for her long participation in fostering the arts in our community.

Heidi has been involved in the arts since she was a student, but many of her local efforts happened in more recent years.

Heidi joined the Hastings Area Historical Society, served on the HPC, joined Tecla Karpen’s group of environmentalists that became known as HEP (Hastings Environmental Protectors) and was a member of a committee that worked to restore the LeDuc Historic Estate and open it to the public. She was also one of the LeDuc tour guides and later became manager of the LeDuc.

In 2007, she was at the first gathering of those interested in bringing the arts to Hastings and spent three years on the HPAAC board during its crucial development as an organization. She worked on the original committee of the Art In the Garden Tour (now known as the Sanctuaries Tour) and has continued to work on it throughout the years. She is a willing volunteer on many of HPAAC’s programs and events, serves as president of Friends of LeDuc and Historic Hastings and volunteers at the Pioneer Room in City Hall.

Collette and Karl Sakschek

Collette and Karl Sakschek are the 2016 HPAAC Arts Heroes from Prescott, Wis. Both Karl and Collette are artists; Karl was the art teacher at Malone Elementary for 36 years and Collette became known as the “Chicken Lady” for her colorful paintings and drawings of chickens.

Both Collette and Karl understood that the talents and needs of the Prescott students were not being met by current school budgets. Over the years, Karl and Collette raised $40,000 for the Prescott schools. To accomplish this, they organized workshops for students to make and sell alien bread monsters, painted pumpkins and decorated Valentine cookies. Collette designed, constructed and hand-painted ceramic pins to be sold by Prescott students at concerts and art fairs in Prescott, Red Wing, River Falls and other locations. They were instrumental in adding art to the summer school program for the first time.

The Sakscheks have also been involved in Prescott community activities throughout the years. Collette designed three large banners for Joy Lutheran and supervised the creation of murals at Malone Elementary, Durand Federal Bank and Prescott Middle School; both Karl and Collette designed the Miss Prescott city float for Prescott Daze. When Karl and Collette are not working on art projects, Karl makes bread and both Karl and Collette are wonderful cooks. Currently, they live in a cabin in northern Wisconsin and enjoy fishing together.