Sivertson appointed to Minnesota State Arts Board

Governor Mark Dayton announced a new appointment to the Minnesota State Arts Board in mid-March. Jan Sivertson, owner of Sivertson Art Gallery in downtown Grand Marais and Siiviis at Canal Park in Duluth, has been appointed as an at-large member of that board.

It took a while to catch up with the busy gallery owner, artist and Grand Marais city councilor, who acknowledged that this is a big commitment—and an addition to her already busy life. However, Sivertson said, “There is a lot going on here in Cook County. We are a model arts community, but we haven’t had a voice. It’s important that we do.”

Sivertson said the great staff, such as Executive Director Sue Gens, and the other board members and artists make it easier. She said board meetings are in St. Paul in a “beautiful old building,” but when the weather is bad or her schedule too busy, she is able to attend via Internet.

There will be trips to the Capitol to update the legislature on what is happening in the arts community and meetings to review grant requests. Grant decisions, said Sivertson, are made easier by the panels of artists who sift through the grant applications, narrowing them to a manageable number for the Arts Board.

“They do all the real nitty-gritty work. We base our decisions on their recommendations,” said Sivertson.

Local musician Jessa Frost serves on one of the artists’ panels.

Sivertson said, “I would highly encourage artists to participate. We have wonderful artists in our region. They can definitely compete!”

Sivertson is also enjoying getting to know the other board members and was delighted to find a North Shore connection—board colleague Sheila Smith has a home in Schroeder.

Sivertson’s term runs until January 2018.