“Images and Artists from Morris’s Past” celebrates UMM milestone

In celebration of the 50th birthday of the University of Minnesota, Morris (UMM), the Prairie Renaissance Cultural Alliance (PRCA) Gallery will feature work created by UMM’s first four art professors: Fred Peterson, Lois Hodgell, Bruce McGrew, and John Stuart Ingle. The paintings and prints in the exhibit “Images and Artists from Morris’s Past” are from the personal collections of members of the Morris community. The exhibit will be on display in the PRCA Gallery now through Oct. 30, 2010. A reception, free and open to the public, will be held during UMM Homecoming on Saturday, Oct. 9 from 10 a.m. until noon.

Fred Peterson began his career at UMM in 1961 and retired in 2003. He taught basic studio courses and two art history courses each quarter. After Lois Hodgell arrived, he added upper division art history courses and developed sculpture courses. Throughout his career, he expressed his artistic curiosity and insight in two-dimensional art. He is known for his research and writing on the architecture of rural Minnesota and its reflection of the culture, values, and religious beliefs of the immigrant groups of the mid-1800s to the early 1900s. He is the author of Homes in the Heartland: Balloon Frame Houses of the Midwest and Building Community: Keeping the Faith. He makes his home in Maryland.

The late Lois Hodgell began her UMM career in 1962 and retired in 1993. She taught printmaking, drawing, painting, and design. She received a master of fine arts from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1961, and was hired by the fledgling Morris college for fall 1962 to teach basic studio courses and to begin painting courses. In 1963, she initiated the first printmaking course. In the mid-1960s, Hodgell began teaching advanced graphics courses. While the courses she taught began to focus primarily on printmaking, she continued to paint in oil and watercolor. She passed away in 2006.

The late Bruce McGrew earned a master of fine arts at the University of Arizona. He was an instructor in studio art at Morris from 1964 until 1967 when he returned to his alma mater for a tenured faculty position. At Morris, McGrew taught design, drawing, and painting. He also taught extension classes. McGrew is remembered as a prolific painter working in oils and watercolors. He also created small etchings in the print studio.

John Stuart Ingle joined the UMM faculty in 1967 and primarily taught painting and drawing. He is known for watercolor paintings often characterized as “magic realism.” Ordinary objects become intensely extraordinary through Ingle’s unique style. Ingle’s work is in several major public collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Yale University Art Gallery and The Art Institute of Chicago. In 1996, he was commissioned to create the new Betty Crocker image. He retired from UMM in 2003 and lives in Minnetonka.

PRCA new program—Art at the Zone for elementary children

The Prairie Renaissance Cultural Alliance announces that it has been awarded a $8,100 grant from the Lake Region Arts Council in Fergus Falls to offer an after school arts program for children grades 1–6. The new program, Art at the Zone, is co-sponsored by Morris Area Community Education and was designed with input from the Morris Area Arts Boosters.

Art at the Zone will offer eight different opportunities throughout the school year for students from the local area to explore their interests in the arts. Music, drawing, theatre, sculpture, painting, dance, literature and design will be offered. The classes will be held at the Morris Area Elementary School.

The first sessions of Art at the Zone start September 20 and will offer dance and drawing. Each class will meet at different times once per week for five weeks. Students in two different age groups may choose to take one or both of these classes. William Pelowski will teach the drawing class, and Wendy Lindberg will teach dance.

“The PRCA is delighted to receive this grant to offer these opportunities to area children with our community partners,” states Ferolyn Angell, PRCA president. “Thank you to Lake Region Arts Council for making this possible, and to William and Wendy for leading our first sessions. Both are popular and experienced PRCA Art Camp teachers.”

Art in the Zone, including scholarships for those students needing assistance, is made possible in part by a grant provided by the Minnesota State Arts Board, through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature from the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.

Look for further information and details in the Art at the Zone brochure that will be sent home with area school children. Brochures can also be obtained by contacting PRCA at 320-585-5037 or Morris Area Community Education at 320-589-4394.

Last week of “Out My Window: Prairie Poems, Pictures, and Paintings”

PRCA patrons are encouraged to view “Out My Window: Prairie Poems, Pictures, and Paintings” in this last week of the exhibit at the Prairie Renaissance Cultural Alliance Gallery. The exhibit at the PRCA Gallery pairs the written word, poetry by Morris resident Linda Hodgson, with two-dimensional art by PRCA artists Deb Connolly, Della Conroy, and Richard Walker. The exhibit closes on Saturday, September 11, 2010.

Call for repurposed, recycled, and reclaimed items for PRCA Fall Extravaganza and Silent Auction

Artists and supporters of the arts are encouraged to donate reclaimed, repurposed, and recycled items for 2010 PRCA Fall Extravganza and Silent Auction. The theme of the evening is “Everything Old is New Again.” Use your creative spirit in support of the PRCA mission. Please let the PRCA know what you will be donating by September 20, so that the items can be publicized before the Silent Auction. Artists are also invited to display their work during the Extravaganza.

The Extravaganza, featuring food tasting, art displays, music, and the silent auction will be held this year at Northern Expressions in Morris on Thursday, October 14, 2010, from 6 until 8 p.m. Save the date!

Photo Contest winners announced

Congratulations to the PRCA Photo Contest winners, and thank you to all the participants. A special thank you to this year’s judge, University of Minnesota, Morris Associate Professor of Studio Art Jess Larson. Stop in to see the entire exhibit of 104 wonderfully creative photographs before July 29.

Photo Contest Winners

The Natural World
First Place: Emily Cunningham, Hancock, “Running River”
Honorable Mention: Ted Goldstein, Morris, “Senses”

Global community
First Place: Phyllis Joos, Hancock, “Community Progress?”
Honorable Mention: Lindsey Freeman, Morris, “Unititled”

First Place: Samantha Massmann, Osakis, “Petals of Purple”
Honorable Mention: Jill Stevens, Benson, “Guardian of the Monastery”

First Place: Ann Grandy, Glenwood, “Prairie Smoke Detail”
Honorable Mention: Leah Zierke, Hancock, “Frosted Tracks”

First Place: Jennifer Hope, Starbuck, “Winter Morning”
Honorable Mention: Samantha Massmann, Osakis, “Day’s End”
Future Generations_
First Place: Barbara Burke, Morris, “Young Perseus”
Honorable Mention: Ann Grandy, Glenwood, “Sharing a Love of Prairies”

People’s Choice
Van Gooch, Morris, “Storm Coming”

Unique PRCA exhibit features poetry by Linda Hodgson and two-dimensional art by PRCA artists

The Prairie Renaissance Cultural Alliance (PRCA) is pleased to announce an upcoming exhibit at the PRCA Gallery that pairs the written word, poetry by Morris resident Linda Hodgson, with two-dimensional art by PRCA artists Deb Connolly, Della Conroy, and Richard Walker. An opening reception for “Out My Window: Prairie Poems, Pictures, and Paintings” will be held on Thursday evening, August 5, 2010, from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.

The seed for this exhibit was planted years ago when Hodgson realized that a still life, a bowl of peaches, painted by artist John Ingle, then professor of studio art at the University of Minnesota, Morris, serendipitously captured the essence of a poem she had written . She sent her poem to Ingle with a note sharing with him how she wished she could paint. Ingle responded by affirming Hodgson’s gift, stating that she, too, was creating art, a still life with words.

Like Ingle, many others encouraged Hodgson to write, from her fourth grade teacher in Wheaton where she grew up to Dwight Purdy and the late Jim Gremmels, English professors at the University of Minnesota, Morris from which she graduated in 1986. Living on the prairie also inspires the poet.

“When I write, I find that place is very important,” reflects Hodgson. “I love the prairie. It is like the ocean, a vast surface and another world going on underneath. It’s beautiful. We need to surround ourselves with beauty and then share it. I love words, and I feel good about life. That’s what I try to capture and share.”

Hodgson identifies three kindred spirits in the wildlife photography of Walker and the paintings of Connolly and Conroy. The PRCA exhibit will feature her poetry with their paintings and photographs that reflect the content and theme of her poems. While she has written “volumes” over the years, Hodgson states this particular project has been developing as an intentional and cohesive undertaking for about the last year.

Hodgson, Conroy, Walker, and Connolly, along with Bob Christianson who framed nine of the pieces, will all be present at the opening reception, which is free and open to the public.

The PRCA exhibit of poetry, paintings, and photographs will be available for viewing until Saturday, September 11, 2010, at the PRCA Gallery located at 630 Atlantic Avenue, downtown Morris. Regular hours are Tuesdays through Fridays from 11 a.m. until 5:30 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., or by appointment. For more information, call 320-585-5037 or e-mail prca@prairierenaissance.org.

The nonprofit PRCA’s mission is to advocate, promote, and coordinate arts, heritage, and cultural activities in Stevens County and the surrounding area.