Showcasing Stewartville through an interactive picture display

A local student is spearheading a unique project that allows people to see Stewartville through the eyes of its residents.

Posted: Jan 8, 2020 5:15 PM

STEWARTVILLE, Minn. - Showcasing a community through the eyes of its residents. That's the concept of a project being spearheaded by a Stewartville high school student. It's called "Through Our Eyes."

"Showcase our community and what Stewartville has to offer," said Payton Maas.

Maas, a senior at Stewartville High School, talked about the project on Wednesday at One Discovery Square in Rochester. The concept is to showcase Stewartville through the eyes of its residents through an interactive photo display.

"It will basically be a projection across a wall, maybe ten feet by ten feet, projected from overhead. And there will be instructions to the side, kind of inviting people to be able to scroll through all the images and enlarge them, go through the content, read the stories," said Eric Anderson, the artist and developer for the project.

"I love the idea of the different community groups, starting with the high school, contribuitng in different ways, ways that they're maybe comfortable with as a starting point. And then they're learning new skills from each other, contributing to a project that they normally wouldn't have thought of themselves," Anderson said.

The goal is to shine the spotlight on Stewartville.

"So as Rochester is growing, our small communities are starting to turn into suburbs. And so when you think of the Twin Cities, you think of Minneapolis and St. Paul. And so soon, we're just going to be thinking about Rochester and kind of putting the other little cities in the shadows. So we want to be able to showcase them now so the effect of that stays and they won't be overshadowed by their neighbor to the north," Maas said.

Maas hopes other communities will follow in Stewartville's footsteps.

"Our goal for this is for small towns to get inspired and then create some sort of art installation. It can be interactive, it can a mural, it can be an app, it can be a commercial. To showcase what small towns are about and what it means to be part of a small town community," Maas said.

The plan is to showcase the display at different locations in Rochester, Stewartville and beyond. Your first chance to see it is Friday, January 17th.  There will be a ribbon cutting and launch event at the Castle Community in Rochester from 4:30pm to 6:30pm.

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