Entrance to Wood by Stephanie Hunder

Entrance to Wood

Stephanie Hunder

November 3 – December 18, 2014

Reception: Friday, November 7 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Hunder creates images that are records of actual objects – branches and grasses inked and pressed into paper with an intaglio press or recorded as photograms on sensitized paper. Although mimicking scientific recording in some ways, the resulting prints are gestural and expressive, forming a subjective place within a skeleton of reality.

Artist Bio: Stephanie Hunder teaches printmaking and digital media at Concordia University in St. Paul, MN, where she is Gallery Director and Professor of Art. Originally from Minnesota, she received her BFA (1993) and MA (1997) from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and her MFA (2000) from Arizona State University. Hunder’s prints depict natural objects, such as plants and insects, sometimes in conjunction with manmade structures. Her work investigates the relationships between form, function, and meaning, presenting imagery that could be seen as iconic, symbolic, or scientific. She uses a variety of digital and photographic printmaking media, altering objective-style photographs with personal marks and subjective colors.

Artist Statement: Natural forms speak to us in metaphors – a moth emerging from its cocoon, seeds blown on the wind… Nature holds a place in our most basic understanding of the world and forms the foundation for the language of our thoughts. The subjective, inner world of the mind mimics the objective, outside world – nature, bodies, spaces. I use printmaking and photography to make a record of actual objects, yet I find the resulting prints expressive, gestural and mysterious. Collaged together, they question pictorial space and natural symbolisms –linear branches physically carve and emboss the flat paper, then fall into deep illusionistic shadows, forming a subjective place within a skeleton of reality.


Christensen Center Art Gallery – map
Hours: M – F, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Sat. & Sun. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.



Joe Page Animation


















The pop-infused, mixed media installations of Joe Page’s “Flow Chart” series propose landscapes that are both physically interactive environments and distant cartographical maps. Fluctuating pathways, points, and vibrant color fields sprawl in all directions, propelling the viewer along an immersive journey of varied rhythm, scale, and space within the gallery.

November 4 – December 18, 2014

Artist Talk: November 3, 8:30 – 9:30 a.m. Oren Gateway Center, Room 113

Artist Bio: Joe Page received his BA in Studio Art from Knox College in Galesburg, IL and his MFA in Ceramic Art from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. He currently lives and works in Edwardsville, IL where he is head of ceramics at Southern Illinois University.

Artist Statement: The escapist allure of immersive environments drives my work, orienting the viewer in a place of comfort and curiosity. The vibrant colors, reductive imagery, and illustrated movements within the “Flow Chart” series of installations are deceptively simple, derivative of early video games, pinball machines, mass transit maps, and schematic diagrams. Within this framework, one soon begins to uncover the world’s underpinnings: a rules-based system of sculptural parameters, compositional logic, and spatial relationships.


Gage Family Art Gallery – map
Hours: M – F, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Sat. & Sun. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Image: Flow Chart: Vortex, porcelain, vinyl, polystyrene, mdf, wire, 2014

FINE: Reflections on Resilience

FINE Artwork


FINE: Reflections on Resilience

Reception: Friday, September 5, 6 – 7:30 p.m. Music by the Kennedy’s: Meg Miura and Dave Chapman

Over spring semester, 2014, Augsburg College Graphic Design I and Typography students collaborated with students at PEASE Academy, the oldest sober high school in the U.S., to explore what it means to be resilient. Themes such as addiction, recovery and common challenges that all humans face were expressed through creative writing, collage and the design of a zine.

This project was made possible with support from University of Minnesota’s Buckman Fellowship for Leadership in Philanthropy. Fellows Lois Libby Juster and Julie Longo conceived and facilitated this project.

Lois Libby Juster has a Soul Centered Energy Mind/Body Integrated Health and Healing
practice. She uses art as a tool for both her clients and herself to access moments of transformation that mark the path of healing. As a Buckman Fellow for Leadership in Philanthropy at the University of Minnesota, she used poetry and collage as tools for healing in her project. Her focus has always been to make a difference in people’s lives in a way that will make the world a better place for everyone. Her passion for making a difference in the world has taken her to many countries to be an advocate for human rights, education and women’s issues. At 80, Lois Libby continues to be an active learner, teacher and healer and is collaborating in the writing of a book on WellALLogy.

Julie Longo is a practicing graphic designer and Graphic Design Adjunct Faculty at Augsburg College, University of Minnesota College of Design, and Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Her primary professional and educational interest is in collaborative community-based design. Longo is also an active member of AIGA and serves on its Design for Good Committee.

Josie Lewis: Studio Visit



“How did you make that?”

Josie Lewis hears this a lot. At first glance, her work is a large, glossy mosaic of colors and abstract shapes. Coming closer, it reveals itself to be a series of layers – clipped images that combine to create something that might be found under a microscope (intricate and lifelike) or perhaps a telescope (celestial and expanding). And suddenly we are lost in wonder.

Josie Lewis Studio

This ponderous moment, suspended in thought like pieces of paper in resin, is the result of both a meticulous process and an intuitive hunt and response. On her studio’s table, stacks of magazines stand in the midst of small pieces of “found treasures” through which she digs, looking for the right color, image, or pattern—anything that inspires her.

Josie Lewis Studio

She starts, typically, by looking in Vogue Magazine, not because of the content but the quality of the pages. The paper from these and National Geographic holds up the best throughout the creation of her work. The fair unknown originates in the former, 12 copies of the same issue from 2013. Within a wooden and aluminum mold, she pours black ink, a layer of resin, and waits 24 hours. Then a layer of magazine forms, a layer of resin, and wait… repeating this layer by layer until a patchwork form emerges over the course of 8 – 15 layers. Sometimes an idea is clear from the beginning, while other times the piece works itself out as she goes.

Josie Lewis Studio

Josie Lewis Studio


With a drawer full of scissors and another of Elmer’s glue sticks, Lewis thinks of this process as “reordering something that already exists,” cataloging Vogue through another perspective. Through the destructive act of cutting, the magazine is demolished and revived, transforming it into something redeeming and life-giving.

Josie Lewis Studio

To those watching as she works, the process is clearly meditative. Small bits from an ocean of glossy pages carefully congregate, sit, and move around the composition, coming together to create a greater whole.

Lewis started out painting at the University of Minnesota. Gifted with a knack for technical skill but frustrated by a lack of voice in her work, she began cutting her work apart. Discovering an interest in the surface of the paint, she created collages in secret, experimenting with the resin she saw her sculpture friend using. The urge to create work that had been whispering to her now had a voice. She found the new medium, materials, and a symbiotic relationship in which the materials informed the work and vice versa.

Josie Lewis Studio

Now, Lewis would be in the studio all the time if she could, but life intercedes. Usually found working on her current series in sporadic bursts throughout the day and after her little one goes to bed, she holds to the advice she gives artists of any stripe or level of expertise: The more you make work, the better you get and the easier it is to find what you like. Time is essential. Spend time making work.


Next, Lewis looks forward to casting objects in resin and also returning to paint, exploring its surface and the gradation of color. In the meantime, she loves the reactions people have to her work, especially kids. “It’s like a firework mixed with a flower mixed with a machine.” The material gives people an entry point to engage in the work. We are familiar with and thrown off by the material. The depth, the trick, the illusion engages people as they come closer. And from the pages of what we feel we know, we respond in common, “I’ve never seen anything like this.”



 Josie Lewis Artwork



Using thick layers of resin and fragmented fashion magazines, Josie Lewis creates intricate dimensional collages that reference cellular biology, starscapes, kaleidoscopes, and explosions.

Studio visit with Josie Lewis

Reception: Saturday, October 4, 1 – 5 p.mPart of the Fall Art Tour!

September 2 – October 23, 2014

Artist Bio: Josie Lewis was raised in northern Minnesota on the shores of Lake Superior in an octagon shaped house. Her work has been widely exhibited in the Twin Cities area and nationally. She has an MFA from the University of MN and currently lives in North Minneapolis with her husband and daughter.

Artist Statement: I make semi-sculptural slabs of epoxy resin and found paper collage. I use cut fashion magazine images that are intricately layered between multiple pours of resin. My attraction to these magazines consists of a complex push-pull of distaste mixed with formal relish. Like an archivist, I dig, sift and edit. The magazine is milled into a kind of analog pixilation wrought by my scissors and utility blade. I seek to draw attention to the source material while simultaneously damaging it almost to the point of elimination. The glossy magazine becomes a glossy and heavy slab; shredded, exploded, inside out and backwards. I am administering a its rebirth to a more perfect object: solid, definite, personal, precise and terribly permanent. The resin slabs are seductively handmade and aggressively beautiful.


Christensen Center Art Gallery – map
Hours: M – F, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Sat. & Sun. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Studio Visit: Tara Sweeney

Tara Sweeney has two studios: a formal space for large scale, solitary work; and just about anywhere else she can create smaller scale drawing, painting, and writing in her visual journal. This includes places like her garden, kitchen table, neighborhood, the city, the banks of the Mississippi, a farmer’s market, and music in the parks. At the moment, she is working in her front porch at an old farm table where two objects have her attention, alongside a pot of tea, and life outside the open windows.

Tara Sweeney Studio

Working on an almanac-style visual journal of around 70 entries for her upcoming exhibition, she is in completion mode. But drawing and writing for this series began in 2008 and has proceeded throughout the seasons for nearly six years. One long ago November morning, while making a journal entry in bed, Tara spilled ink on the page and the sheets. It was the start of writing about the “messy, but real stuff in life.” She stopped trying to find subject matter and started letting it find her by closely observing the everyday objects and rituals that caught her attention.

Tara Sweeney Studio

The finished work is a combination of ink and watercolor drawing and original text in a reflective voice. Part prose, part poetry, each entry spreads across two 8.5” x 11” sketchbook pages and includes the spiral binding. Her process starts intuitively and proceeds organically. When something begs to be sketched, she trusts her instincts and begins. Today she is completing text for a drawing of Russian nesting dolls begun the day her grandson was born. Frequently a drawing is completed first and the text is then drafted longhand in a project notebook. Holding up five notebooks from this past year, she says, “I overwrite and pull out what I need when I need it.” She moves on to the next drawing when inspiration strikes and eventually returns to revise and hand letter the text for each entry, sometimes months or years later. “Life happens so I have to be flexible and place mark. It allows me to be present to the moment of inspiration and also to bring work to completion by using the increments of time I have.” Enough was completed on that busy day that fifteen months later she revises the text and discovers a connection between the matryoshka dolls and a missing family story that defines the origin of her grandson’s name.

Tara Sweeney Studio

After 15 years of leading undergraduate travel programs in plein air sketching to France and Italy, Tara has honed her skills for drawing and painting on location. But until the “Close to Home” visual journal series she had never really kept a consistent sketchbook here in Minnesota. Six years later the results are ambitious and original. She jokes about her process, “I have a high tolerance for ambiguity.” But she is very serious about sequence when it comes to completion. On the table sits a calendar listing all the entries with notes about what each needs for completion. “At this point I work chronologically.” She explains that it helps pace the effort and focus required, “That way I don’t finish all my favorites first and leave the tough ones for the end.” In May 2014 she calculated that finishing three entries per week would prepare the series for her solo exhibition opening at the end of August. However, after an unexpected trip to Paris for her son’s marriage, and planning to host their Minnesota party in her backyard, it’s now more like five entries a week. “Oh, this one is actually done,” she exclaims, drawing a big X through the date. “The list keeps me honest.”

Tara Sweeney Studio

Releasing an intimate body of work like this is both exhilarating and terrifying. “Creating an intimate series like this is essentially agreeing to be naked,” she explains. Through experience, she has grown used to the challenges of making really personal work visible, but it is still terrifying. “I have great support in family, friends, and gallery directors.” Plus, she loves making this artwork. When asked what has kept the series going for this long she says without hesitation, “It’s fun. It’s the most fun I’ve ever had creating. Maybe it’s because I am letting my artist and writer work together for once.”

Tara Sweeney Studio

Connecting with others has also motivated her to complete the series. It was exhibited in progress in January 2013. She notes that the viewer response was a complete surprise to her. “I never expected people to stand in the gallery and read every word.” They did, and then shared stories with each other that the artwork triggered.

Tara Sweeney Studio

The objects and rituals that inspire Tara’s artwork are ordinary but the insights she reveals are anything but. We recognize ourselves in this work. It’s this bridge between the personal and the universal that makes the work so engrossing. Browsing through the intimate seasons of her visual journal entries, we share the humor, the pain and sorrow, the joy, the gratitude, and the hope that inspires this work. We are, as the title suggests, close to home.