Original drawings, in charcoal and pencil, on display through September

The main floor of Sleepy Eye’s Dyckman Free Library is filled with the books, computers, tables and chairs and colorful children’s section that you’d expect at a public library. But what about the beautiful original library space, just up a few steps? Have you attended a program, listened to an author speak on their writing, or visited the area to just to appreciate the library as built in the early 1900s?

The “old library” is used for all those reasons, and now is home to another reason to visit.

Anne Klinkner teamed up with Library Director Andy Kelton to exhibit her charcoal and pencil drawings in the grand old library. Her artwork is hanging throughout the space, with chairs placed for the observer to take a seat and ponder.

Klinkner and Kelton set up the exhibit on Wednesday, Sept. 5. It will remain in place through Sept. 27. They both invite people to come in during library hours and enjoy the experience.

Klinkner also hopes for comments from those who come see the artwork. She’s left a note describing her intention:

“This show is about the drawings. And you. It is about how you feel and what you imagine when you experience them, not what the artist felt or intended when she drew them, not what her philosophy or inspiration was, or her experience and education. Just you and the art. Observe. Perhaps ponder. Definitely daydream. Enjoy.”

And then she invites comment—good, bad or indifferent—saying that will make the hard work to make the drawings worth it.

Klinkner’s drawings, most completed in the past year, include a variety of subjects, from the ballet dancers pictured here, to nature scenes, a favorite pet and a still life she drew years ago.

Klinkner encourages anyone with artwork, their own or a collection, or a collection of any kind they wish to share, to consider the library as an ideal exhibition space. “Just come see Andy,” she said. “He’ll help you make it happen.” Kelton agreed, as he is always happy to welcome visitors to the library, for any reason that draws them in.

Klinkner grew up in rural New Ulm, eventually making her way to Pennsylvania where she lived and worked for 30 years. She returned to the area in 2014 to care for mom, Cloe Klinkner, and bought a home and settled in Sleepy Eye in 2015. Retired from the world of work, she volunteers with first graders at St. Mary’s School, works on her house and creates art.

Klinkner has been taking art classes in New Ulm for a few years. “I’m done with charcoal drawings for now,” she said. “Our instructor told us to bring acrylic paints to class this fall.”