Rietz donates photos to YMCA, honors past and the community

Published 10:51 am Thursday, March 30, 2023

If there is an event in town, it’s likely you’ve seen Tim Rietz, with camera in hand, taking pictures and recording the posterity of the moment.

On Wednesday evening, a small ceremony was held at the YMCA at the Austin Community Recreation Center to recognize Rietz for a series of four such photographs he donated to the center.

A group of several people turned out to the ceremony and viewed the recently hung photos reflecting the life of Austin from the Austin ArtWorks Festival, weather scenes and the departed Austin Utilities plant that once stood where the YMCA at the ACRC now stands.

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“I just wanted to document life as we went along,” Rietz told the crowd. The prints themselves are mounted on the wall running away from the front desk toward the Community Room.

The prints themselves were printed on metal by Diamond Ridge and according to Diane Baker, executive director and CEO of the YMCA at the ACRC said not only do the prints add a special touch to the building, they also act as a way to remember the past and what came before.

“People want to honor the old facility, honor the Utility Plant that stood here,” Baker said, going on to say that this is only the start of how the YMCA wants to honor the past. “Thank you for this. It’s a very nice start.

One of the more striking buildings in Austin since its opening in early 2020, Baker hopes that things like Rietz’s donated prints will help add to the aesthetics of the YMCA at the ACRC.

“It enhances the facility,” Baker said. “We don’t have the resources to develop this right now so we can appreciate this.”

For Rietz, it’s an opportunity to show off the artistic base of the community and draw more attention to it and Austin, especially with the photographing of the Austin ArtWorks Festival.

“I just really wanted to show off the ArtWorks Festival,” he said. “Show some of the effects of the artists in town. To show what the seasons of Minnesota are like.”