Project Art for Nature is a group of artists, working in various media, who focus on an area of land needing protection. This small group show at First Universalist, on view February 11 through March 18, showcases artwork featuring the waters and land along the Mississippi River and its tributaries, by four members of Project Art for Nature. The featured artists are Suzanne Lewis (botanical drawings), Tom McGregor (plein air paintings), Robyn Beth Priestley (mixed media block prints) and Diane Wesman (paintings). An artists’ reception will be held on Sunday, Feb. 25 after services; you’re encouraged to join us in the social hall and meet the artists!
(detail) Anahita, Danami, and Roya, 72″ x 60″ oval, Oil, pastel, and acrylic on canvas, 2017, by Leslie Barlow
Paintings by artist Leslie Barlow will be on display in the sanctuary and social hall gallery at First Universalist Church January 7 – February 4. Primarily an oil painter, Leslie’s work explores complex social issues like race, multiculturalism, “otherness,” and identity. She investigates these through the use of the personal; revealing her own experiences as a mixed-race woman living in Minnesota. Her works often depict family, friends, and people in her community to reflect the subtle and not-so-subtle integrations of these ideas into individual lives and identities.
Many of the paintings which are on display at church are from Leslie’s Loving series. These paintings have gained wide recognition. In 2017 Leslie received a Foundation Award in the Minnesota State Fair Juried Exhibition for a large oil painting from this series. She has appeared on TPT’s Minnesota Original, on the Minnesota Monthly Magazine’s list of “Best New Art 2016,” and was selected as “Artist of the Year” for 2016 in City Pages. In 2016 she was commissioned by the Minnesota Vikings to create six portrait paintings of iconic Vikings players.
Leslie will be available to talk about her work in the social hall after both services (10:30 a.m. and 12:15 p.m.) on Sunday, Jan. 14.
A new exhibit featuring work by two artists is on view in the social hall October 8 through November 26: Textile Landscapes by Linda Johaneson and Figures of Imagination by Brenna Busse.
At first glance, Linda Johaneson’s “Textile Landscapes” appear to be paintings. However, her artworks are actually created with fabrics and fibers; she felts, fuses, and stitches wool, silk, cotton and synthetic fibers into beautiful landscapes – from Minnesota lake country, to the plains and mountains of Montana. Read more about Linda’s work here.
In Brenna Busse’s “Figures of Imagination,” the artist explores the complexity and meaning of our human-ness. Her figures are mostly clay, accented with colorful acrylic paint, with sticks for limbs. The figures celebrate our connection to nature – to our being nature. Learn more on Brenna’s website here.
Martha Bird’s first love is basket weaving. In 1994, she enrolled in a basket class and fell in love with the materials and wove her way into activity and health, after a back injury. Her art-making has expanded over the years into a personal exploration that utilizes a variety of mediums. Her basket weaving, though, has brought her many new opportunities, including traveling to Ireland and exhibiting across the United States. “Finding Focus” is an exhibit that features her work with willow from her travels and will be on display in the Social Hall at church from Aug. 15–Oct. 1, 2017. Attend an artist’s reception on Sunday, Oct.1, after both services for an opportunity to meet the artist and see more of her history in basketry. Martha is a long-time member of First Universalist Church.
A new exhibit of work by artist Beth Andrews will be on view in the gallery space in the Social Hall beginning Sunday, May 21, and running through August 13.
The artist writes: “As humans, we tend to think of ourselves as fundamentally different from other components of our vast and ancient universe. Yet the truth is that we are made up of recycled cosmic dust. Old atoms never die-they simply get reused in all forms of life, passed down through the ages. In the second half of my own life, I have become increasingly and more immediately aware of my personal connection to the earth, to other living beings, and to the ancient ones who have gone before me. It is this thread of connection that drives the visual decisions in my art. The artwork in this exhibit represents my exploration of these connections.”
Every spring, Minnesota Contemporary Quilters are challenged to make a small quilt that will travel for a year to venues throughout the Twin Cities, the Minnesota Quilt Show, and other locations around the state. The 2016–2017 inspiration for these quilts was the phrase: “Changing Times.” Thirty members took the challenge and were inspired to come up with a quilt that they thought best fit the phrase. In the exhibit, you’ll see some creative interpretations! Some quilters took a serious approach, while others had a more light-hearted take on it. Enjoy interpretations of “Changing Times” ranging from our planet, to aging bodies, to baby diapers!
The exhibit will be on view in the gallery space in the social hall from April 9 through May 14, and can be viewed on Sunday mornings before and after services.
An exhibit of work by photographer Richard Birger will be on view in the gallery space in the social hall at First Universalist Church February 19 through April 2. The exhibit can be viewed on Sundays between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. To view the exhibit at other times, contact Bette DeMars at firstname.lastname@example.org.
An artist’s reception will be held after services on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017.
A note from the artist about the exhibit:
As I was assembling this exhibit, it occurred to me that if there is a theme emerging it seems to be about engagement or conflict. Many of the images are from recent political demonstrations here in Minnesota, while other images are from my career in natural resource management. Part seems to be about the complexities of people versus people, the other part is about the intricacies of people and nature.
Legendary philosopher Yogi Berra said, “Its déjà vu all over again.” I remember in 1972 being at the University of Minnesota when students shut down the campus over the Vietnam War. Now, I’m witnessing mass demonstrations again.
Tear gas and pepper spray still smell the same.
During my working career I was part of National Incident Management Teams responsible for suppression of major western wildfires. I spent most summers in remote parts of the country and encountered many instances when humans were in conflict with nature.
Norman McLean, author of A River Runs Through It, aptly summed it up when he said; “On forest fires there are moments almost solely for beauty. Such moments are of short duration.”
About the artist (in his own words):
Many years ago, using 35mm film I learned the meaning of delayed gratification as the images slowly appeared in the fixative bath.
Today I try not to let the new technology get in the way of seeing and capturing an interesting image. I’d rather spend time behind the camera than in front of the computer. Using the tools of digital photography I’m always refining my views of the natural and man-made world.
Some of my images are straight up representational photographic records of what I saw. Some are renditions of what I saw that translated into how the subject created an emotion.
A few of the images are a combination of the three concepts; a sliding scale if you will. What I saw, what I thought I saw – perhaps, what I wanted to see.
“Mama, Can You Make Me Cocoa and Apple Slices”
A Mother/Daughter Art Show Jan. 1 – Feb. 12
Two complementary art exhibits will be on view in the Social Hall beginning Sunday, Oct. 23, and running through Nov. 27. An Artists Reception will take place in the Social Hall after both services on Sunday, Oct. 23.
The posters on display in the social hall this summer (July 10 – Sept. 4, 2016) are from countries all over the world. They speak of peace through a language which we all understand – the language of art.
Wit Ylitalo was a peace activist from Madison, Wisconsin who, with her friends, Mary Cunningham and Donna Fuelleman, had a life-long concern for world peace. These three women for peace collected peace posters over a number of years. Their grass roots effort was a heartfelt and meaningful attempt to further impress upon others that the rest of the world is also concerned for the need of peace on this earth and good will toward all.
The poster exhibit was initially sponsored by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. The exhibit will be on display at First Universalist through September 4.
Questions? Contact Visual Arts Exhibit Chair Bette DeMars email@example.com.
1 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
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10:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
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