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Academics Campus & Community Fine Arts

Visual arts exhibition series opens on campus for 2023-24 with ‘Wayfarer’ and ‘In Land’

A full schedule of visual art exhibitions is on tap for the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University for 2023-24, with the first events opening in early September.

The initial exhibition will be unveiled September 5th at the Alice R. Rogers and Target Galleries in the St. John’s Art Building with “Wayfarer,” a painting photography display by Cameron Zebrun, a longtime director of program services at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. And the first exhibition at Saint Ben’s opens September 11th with “In Land,” a show of paper and printmaking by Derick Wycherly, a former adjunct instructor at CSB and SJU, at the Gorecki Art Gallery.

Zebrun often works with three-dimensional models via sculpture and collage that explore the ideas of geological time and its effects on the land as well as humans’ need to catalog, interrupt and conquer our environment. He recently traveled to the Pacific Northwest, the Canadian Rocky Mountains and the north shore of Lake Superior to collect inspiration for Wayfarer, which illustrates his preoccupation with presenting landscape subject matter in surprising and non-traditional ways. Using the mediums of sculpture and collage, Zebrun records the intimate patterns and forces that nature exerts on the environment as well as the textures, rhythms, symmetry and asymmetry that determine its abstract forms. He will appear at the gallery during a reception from 5-7 p.m. September 21st, and his show will run through October 14th.

Wycherly, who recently taught at CSB and SJU when associate art professor Rachel Melis was on sabbatical, has since returned to his native Montana to manage a museum collection in Missoula. An enrolled member of the Chippewa Cree Tribe of Rocky Boy, he previously worked at Harlan & Weaver, a renowned intaglio studio in New York City. His work considers gift-giving as an Indigenous technology that connects people with one another and the land base they occupy. In Land is an exhibition of new works on handmade sheets of paper depicting imagined landscapes through color, shapes and ink. Aligned as repeat patterns, the variable editions shift with time, emotion and alterations in process to form a work that speaks to lands’ interconnectedness and divided state. He will conduct a virtual workshop early in the fall semester with Melis’ printmaking classes, and his show runs through Oct. 26, concluding with an artist reception that evening.

“We’ve added workshops whenever we can and we’re trying to reach out in ways to make the galleries accessible to all departments,” said Becky Pflueger, beginning her third season as gallery manager for Fine Arts Programming at CSB and SJU. “The integrations curriculum will get all first-year students through the doors at one point or another. We hope they’ll feel welcome, because these places are very accessible and not daunting, and perhaps it will become more of a habit to see the artists we bring in.”

Other events on the visual arts calendar are as follows:

Oct. 24-Dec. 9, At the Root: Materials and Power, by Rachel Breen, at SJU Art Center – Breen lives in Minneapolis and works with the creative possibilities of the sewing machine, which she uses to draw, create illustrations and initiate socially engaged public projects. She often uses a machine without thread to use the needle punctures to create a stencil and works on paper. She also creates installations with disassembled garments, reassembling various parts to make the labor involved in making the clothes visible and tangible. For nearly a decade, her work has examined the labor rights of garment workers, as a catalyst for social change and to illustrate climate change, racism, and labor abuse. Her interest in labor rights stems from histories of Jewish activism in the garment industry and also her own family members’ history as immigrants and activists. Breen will appear at a reception from 5-7 p.m. on Nov. 2 and also plans to host at least one workshop during her show.

Nov. 6-Jan. 18, @Art: All Student Juried Exhibition 2023, at Gorecki Art Gallery – A call for mixed media art submissions will be open from Oct. 1-27 and is for students of varying majors and interests. This show occurs biannually at CSB, is usually popular and participants vie for cash prizes given to the top three submissions. A reception will be from 5-7 p.m. Nov. 16, including a vote for a fan favorite work and awards as juried by local artist and guest judge Anne Meyer.

Jan. 16-March 1, Leslie Barlow painting exhibition, at SJU Art Center – Barlow is a Minneapolis artist whose life-size oil paintings serve as both monuments to community members and explorations into how race entangles the intimate sphere of love, family, and friendship. Her work can be found in the Minnesota Museum of American Art, Minneapolis Institute of Art and the Weisman Art Museum. In 2022, she was selected to be the Minnesota State Fair commemorative artist. She teaches at the University of Minnesota and has also taught at Carleton College and Metro State University. In 2020 in response to the murder of George Floyd, she helped start a collective Creatives After Curfew, producing public art with the community in solidarity with those who participated in the subsequent uprising and calls for police abolition. Barlow will appear at a reception from 5-7 p.m. Jan. 25.

Jan. 29-Feb. 28, Ifrah Mansour exhibition, at Gorecki Art Gallery – Mansour is a multimedia and performance artist based in the Twin Cities. Her work was featured in “I Am Somali,” the first major museum exhibition of work by contemporary Somali artists at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. She has been featured on the Twin Cities PBS series Minnesota Original and also produced a play about the experience of the Somali civil war from the viewpoint of a 7-year-old girl. Mansour, who began a two-year Bush Fellowship in 2022, will appear during a reception from 5-7 p.m. Feb. 1.

March 23-May 1, Senior Thesis exhibition, at Gorecki Art Gallery and SJU Art Center – The Class of 2024 art majors number 15 this year. Most classes graduate in the single digits and, as a result, this year’s senior art thesis exhibition will be held at both campus galleries. Receptions and gallery talks will coincide with the opening day, March 23, from 1-3 p.m. at CSB and 3-5 p.m. at SJU.

Senior art thesis

A class of 15 senior art majors will collaborate on the senior thesis exhibition beginning March 23 at both the Benedicta Arts Center and the SJU Arts Building.

Cam Zebrun Whorl

“Whorl” is an example of the work of Cam Zebrun, whose exhibition “Wayfarer” will open Sept. 5 at the Alice R. Rogers and Target Galleries in the Saint John’s Art Building.

Sector Cycle by Derick Wycherly

“Sector Cycle” is an example of the paper and printmaking work of Derick Wycherly, whose show “In Land” will open Sept. 11 at the Gorecki Art Gallery on the Saint Ben’s campus.