Monday, October 12, 2015

Kristen Dieng Wonder Me Mosaics

It was a glorious October day when Kristin completed installing in the windows of Susan Hensel Gallery. Reflections are always a problem when photographing the windows.  But, on this day, the reflections added the fall trees to the picture, augmenting the experience.

Sunday, October 11, 2015


DATELINE:  Sunday, October 11
The windows are full of...WINDOWS ...and lanterns and other luminous  things;-)

Kristin Dieng of WONDER ME MOSAICS is completing her installation in the windows today!  THey will glow day and night!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Women's Art Institute at St. Kate's

The Women's Art Institute at St. Kates is an interesting, intensive experience. For the last 16 years, for nearly 4 weeks, 5 days a week, 18 or so women meet with professors, visiting artists, art historians and make studio visits to working artists all while producing a "major body of work", informed by our work together.  This may well be a fitting definition for the word "INTENSE."  A lot of reading, writing, discussion, and, yes, sometimes tears, ensue.

I came to try to bring focus to my work, illuminate a path ahead for work and exhibition, and increase community.  While the months ahead will tell, I believe all three of those goals have been addressed.
I came with the intent of investigating the role of digital embroidery in my feminist art practice.  I did, indeed, fuss around a lot with the existing elements of this nascent installation of embroidered vulvas.  They are rather pretty and began to develop as characters  But I paused the project and will continue with it at a later time.

Why?  well, stuff happens!  Part of the project involved the development of wall paper for the installation.  When the wallpaper arrived from Spoonflower, it was beautiful...but WRONG for the project.  However, it was very right in and of itself.  It became a stand alone, editionable piece, entitled  THE BODY DISAPPEARS.  It is a print, 12' long and 2' wide and it is rich and beautiful.

While I was awaiting the arrival of the wallpaper, I began thinking that the project was not only about life but it was also about death:  the little deaths and the real bodily death.  So I began designing a black and white wallpaper.  I wanted to suggest the cycle of life by using white conte crayon on paper coated with chalkboard paint.  It gave a lovely ghosting effect to the drawing...

and then I could not stop.  The chalk drew me in, so to speak, and carried me onward.  I began to think in terms of an installation of drawings that surrounded me, going deeper and darker into the ideas of Eros and Thanatos.  I envisioned it as a frieze that would surround me.  Each frieze was about 18' long.  As the days progressed, the drawings changed and began to include bones and mysterious deep sea forms and slashing lines. Until...
It became this installation with a performance.  It had become clear that the drawings would not read properly in a single sentence around the room.  They needed to become a paragraph, with a sound track and performance.  The performance was simple:  I drew and erased, drew and erased, drew and erased.  In the end, the piece was 10' h by approximately 18 ' w.
sound loop for the performance of Eros and Thantos

8 panels of Eros and Thanatos will be shown briefly, July 11- July 18, in the galleries at the 
Catherine G. Murphy Gallery
                                              2004 Randolph Ave, St Paul, MN 55105

July 11: 10am-7pm
July 12: 10 am-7:30pm
July 13-18: 4:30pm-8:30pm

July11-12 coincide with the Art Fair at St. Kates, which is a lovely event!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015



QR code to take the survey

Gideon stands guard

Gideon wonders what I am up to


Preparing to install 160 tubes

Preparing to install

INVENTORY METHODS : do the math.

Inventory Methods is an artwork about accretion and subtraction; accumulation and reduction.

It is a record of old pajamas discarded as useless and accumulated as rags.

It is a record of weights, each tube containing 4 ounces of waste materials: rags.

It is a declaration of the beauty that remains in the devalued, worn, discarded.

It is a record of an ongoing process of reduction and a questioning of the nature of what, and who, we devalue and discard.

Each tube represent 4 ounces of weight lost: a reduction in body size, a quest for health and a consideration of the pressures on bodies to conform to cultural standards. 

Gaining and losing weight is very public.  Unless one hides away from the eyes of others, the process is subject to value judgments, comment, encouragement, discouragement, vilification. That which is intensely private and personal, becomes a public spectacle, subject to comment.

With this artwork I want to direct the commenting process, developing community conversation at the intersection of numbers and beauty. I will use a QR code to bring people into an active commenting process.

When did curves become unacceptable?   When did fat cease to represent wealth and fertility?  When did advanced age become frail and disrespected?  When did age, weight, beauty and numbers begin to intersect with moral judgements?

As I lost weight, I wanted to mark the progress, but also name as beautiful that which was subtracted.  I accumulated art as I reduce my size.

There are 160 tubes.  Do the math.

Take a survey to add language to INVENTORY METHODS

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Catching up a bit on the Windows on Cedar.

Please go to the gallery webpage and click on the archives!  It looks like I neglected to blog about the last 2 shows!!!!!!!!  And now there is a new one in the windows.  

The marvelous work of Ayanna Muata was in the windows  October through December, 2014. She was followed by the young illustrator Nathan Motzko.

NOW SHOWING in the Susan Hensel Window Gallery Windows are fifteen paintings by Iraqi artists and presented to you by Iraqi American Reconciliation Project (IARP), a Minneapolis based non-profit. This exhibition which features paintings on raw canvases tells a story about a group of artists who began sending their paintings to Minnesota in the hopes of being heard and understood.

In 2005, a group of trained, professional artists in Najaf and Karbala, Iraq who were affiliated with IARP’s sister program, the Muslim Peace Maker’s team sent their art work to IARP rolled in the suitcases of those participating in peacemaking exchanges between the U.S. and Iraq. IARP had the loose canvas paintings stretched and framed and then displayed them in coffee shops, churches and galleries. Over the years these paintings have been shown in over fifty galleries and public spaces in Minneapolis. IARP’s art program has greatly expanded to include a documentary video series, bookmaking program as well as several curated exhibits that have toured the country. As the ten-year anniversary of the Iraqi Art Program approaches we believe that it is only appropriate to highlight some of these paintings and to take a look back at the messages of peace and understanding that they inspired.

To learn more about the artwork and Iraqi American Art Project please visit:


Saturday, August 30, 2014

Robyn Hendrix Contraptions in the Windows on Cedar Project

If you came during the day, you may see Gideon in the window.

Do come by and see the Contraptions in the evening.  They GLOW!  During the day, Robyn's installation is  a quieter affair, wonderful to walk up to and examine closely.  

Robyn posted a bunch of photos on her website.  Go look at them.  They are wonderful!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

CONTRAPTIONS in the Windows!

 What a pleasure it is to present Robyn Hendrix quirky watercolors in the windows!  She first showed with Susan Hensel Gallery in 2009. ( the Leap of Faith 5)  This suite, playing with transparency and light is entitled CONTRAPTIONS.

Gideon is always a big help installing the windows.
This image appears in part of the window.

Robyn's Artists Statement
I create delicate, textured watercolor paintings of whimsical imagery inspired by landscape, nature and biology. My work is informed by an upbringing in the Palouse landscape of Eastern Washington, time spent abroad in Ecuador and Australia, and a passion for education and community development. The playful, semi-abstract imagery I use is derived mostly from free-association drawing and “doodling” which brings out specific forms that I repeat and re-mutate over and over. These organic “characters” are very plant and nature-inspired (trees, seed pods, stones) but are often interpreted as both microscopic (bacteria, DNA, or neural transmitters) and macroscopic (constellations, galaxies, or nebulae). The addition of more architectural elements hints at my curiosity about the similarities between the things we build, and the things we are built of.

I work as an Artist Organizer with the Friendly Streets Initiative and coordinate social media for the Irrigate project. I was a 2013 Intermedia Arts Creative Community Leadership Institute fellow and previously served on the Board and Exhibitions Committee for the Women’s Art Resources of Minnesota (WARM). Thanks for taking a look! Please visit to see more of my work.