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GALLERY: Richfield SEC Students Turn Into Artists

Richfield South Education Center students get their hands dirty with a local artist.

For months, more than 100 students in multiple Intermediate District 287 programs at (SEC) in Richfield have been working with Prior Lake artist Anne Krocak to build the school's Accessible Art Garden.

After receiving a grant through the Minnesota State Arts Board, Krocak and *Sun Transtion, Intersect and Phase programs teacher Karen Bendtsen have piloted the project, getting participation from a variety of students and faculty.

"It's been amazing to see kids connect [with art in this setting], when they otherwise maybe wouldn't have had the opportunity," Krocak told Patch. "It's exciting to see."

Students participating in the art project come from a variety of backgrounds and district programs. Some may be part of the alternative high school (Sout Education Center Alternative) programs recouping credits or after becoming a teen parent. Other students may have developmental disabilities such as autism or down syndrome, or physical disabilities.

Students and faculty joined Krocak Monday morning to begin the first of a three-day process to create the art for the garden. From creating mosaic bird houses and stepping stones to building cement benches and sculptures, students are participating in a variety of different artistic projects. Krocak has also worked with students to create a four-panel mosaic wall display inside the SECA facility.

The school will be hosting an official unveiling of the garden May 30. For more information on SECA, go to district287.org. For more information about Krocak, go to annekrocak.com.

Editor's Note: More clarification was added to Bendtsen's teaching title. In addition, the school title was adjusted.

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