Going Down South:
Music and Cultural Production on the Mississippi River

SEPTEMBER 10 – 27, 2018

Christensen Center – Gallery 720

Artist Talk: Thursday, September 27, 5:30 – 7 p.m. Christensen Center – Gallery 720

We often think of water as a resource, and the river as a tool that aids us in production and industry––barges loaded with cargo traveling from the Great Lakes region to the Delta. But the Mississippi River has also proven to be one of our most potent sources of cultural production. Along its banks, through each state it touches, artists influenced by the river have created some of America’s most powerful and timeless music.


Northern Blends: The Artfulness of Coffee and Tea in the Canadian Midwest

March 1-30, 2019, Christensen Gallery

NCECA: March 27–30

Reception: Thursday, March 28, 5–9p.m.

Participating Artists:
Grace Han
Terry Hildebrand
Sam Knopp
Sean Kunz
Noriko Masuda
Mynthia McDaniel
Juliana Rempel

NCECA 2019, Minneapolis, Minnesota: these neighbours to your north felt a certain kinship to this year’s setting. Minnesota is often affectionately referred to as “Canada’s 11th province” because of our shared love of hockey, reputation for unfailing politeness, and of course, bitterly cold winters. One of the great connectors in those freezing moments is a shared pot of coffee or tea. A warm cup can bring friends and strangers together, and create bonds across borders and cultures. It’s also part of many daily routines, active in both our social and individual lives. We form private and public rituals related to the preparation and serving of these beverages, whether we’re hoping for a moment of comfort, convenience, hospitality, decadence, or rest in the midst of busy modern lives. Now more than ever it seems like taking a moment for conversation over a shared cup could do our world some good.

With Northern Blends, a small group of Canadian ceramic artists would like to offer an invitation to consider the meaning present in the simple act of brewing, serving and enjoying a cup. Featured are pots that celebrate and examine our relationship to the common phrase, “Would you like a cup of coffee or tea?” Each artist offers their own particular response. As a collective, they showcase the diversity of the Canadian experience. Moving between practicality and pleasure, the single-cup and the generous pot, we offer seven approaches that highlight the unique role the hand-made pot has in bringing a sense of artfulness to our day-to-day lives.

While each artist takes their own approach to material and process, all maintain a shared dedication to craftsmanship, design and the pivotal role of the artist’s hand in creating meaningful objects. This exhibition also offers American and International NCECA audiences a window into contemporary functional ceramics from the Canadian “midwest”. The artists of “Northern Blends” are a diverse group. There are artists born and raised in Canada as well as recent immigrants, those who studied abroad and those whose education is based in Canada. The work in this exhibition gives audiences a sense of the rich range of experience and knowledge in the Canadian landscape. Northern Blends celebrates the traditions, relationships and moments generated from the simple pleasures of coffee and tea. It is an invitation for conversation across processes and styles, borders and barriers over a shared cup.

This exhibition is part of CLAYTOPIA, the 53rd annual conference for NCECA (National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts) happening March 27–30, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


slo (Roll) – JIM SHROSBREE

March 1-30, 2019 – Gage Gallery

NCECA: March 26–30

Reception: March 28, 5-9p.m.

This recent series of idiosyncratic sculpture and painting by Jim Shrosbree continues the artist’s ongoing investigation and use of abstraction to permeate humanistic experience. The title infers a set of actions that are both playful and vital, consciously defining and alerting us to their call.

Curated by Paul Kotula
This exhibition is part of CLAYTOPIA, the 53rd annual conference for NCECA (National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts) happening March 27–30, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Artist Bio

2017-2018 Pollock-Krasner Foundation grantee, Jim Shrosbree, just completed a third artist residency at Yaddo.  He is noted for his sculpture, painting and works on paper.  They have been exhibited nationally and internationally and his work is included in such collections as Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Detroit Institute of Art, Daum Museum of Contemporary Art, Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Des Moines Art Center, Mint Museum and University of Iowa Museum of Art.  In addition to his most recent award and residency fellowship are those from the National Endowment for the Arts, Iowa Arts Council, Idaho Arts and Humanities Commission, MacDowell Colony and Watershed Center for Ceramic Art. Shrosbree earned his MFA in Ceramics at University of Montana.  He is Professor of Art at Maharishi University, Fairfield, Iowa.



Temporal Patterns – JULIANE SHIBATA

January 17 – February 20, 2019 – Christensen Gallery

Reception: Thursday, January 17, 6-8 p.m.

Integrating real flowers with ceramic ones, Shibata explores the ephemeral in a large-scale installation that celebrates both ornamental and time-based patterns encountered throughout life.



Juliane received her MFA in Ceramics from Bowling Green State University, having previously graduated from Carleton with a BA in Studio Art. She has taught at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota and Hope College in Holland, Michigan. She was selected as a 2016 Emerging Artist by Ceramics Monthly and has been an artist in residence at the Appalachian Center for Craft in Tennessee and The Pottery Workshop in Jingdezhen, China. Juliane received 2018 and 2014 Artist Initiative grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and her work belongs to the permanent collection of Northern Arizona University’s Art Museum and the Brown-Forman Collection.

This year, her work was included in exhibitions at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, the Perlman Teaching Museum at Carleton College, Raymond Avenue Gallery, Inver Hills Community College, and KOBO Gallery in Seattle. In March 2019, Juliane’s work will be featured in four exhibitions that coincide with the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts conference in Minneapolis.

Juliane Shibata is a fiscal year 2018 recipient of an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.


Above Image: …vita brevis (detail) 2017, Porcelain and real carnations

Photo credit: Eric Mueller



January 14 – February 20, 2019 – Gage Gallery

Reception: Thursday, January 17, 6-8 p.m

Garnish is a deliberate exhibition of new ideas and new practice. The tendency to focus on perfection and celebrate final outcomes in work can distract us from our chance to see and recognize any creative act for what it truly is; a momentary hue of prototype, investigation, or iteration in a broader spectrum of lifelong creative process.

Dan Ibarra is a Minneapolis-based graphic designer, and printmaker. He is interested in the influence of invisible, unconscious, and ephemeral creative acts in humanity, language, and visual culture.





November 1 – December 14, 2018 – Christensen Gallery

Reception: Thursday, November 1, 6-8 p.m

Adam White’s installation work uses altered comic book story narrative, by way of dialogue bubbles, to represent the wave of information we constantly process from day to day. Thrown out of context by removing the comic imagery, the remaining dialogue can only hint at a larger story, unable to provide the full narrative.



Adam White is an artist living and working in St. Paul, Minnesota. In 2007 he received a Master of Fine Art with a focus on Installation and Paper Sculpture from the University of Maryland, College Park, and in 2004 a Bachelor of Fine Art in Painting and Drawing from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He has exhibited work in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Detroit, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington DC, and New York City.

His current studio work uses altered comic book story narrative, by way of dialogue bubbles, to represent the wave of news or personal information we constantly process from day to day. Thrown out of context by removing the comic imagery, the remaining dialogue can only hint at a larger story, unable to provide the full narrative. The work, composed of thousands of overlaid paper word bubbles, varies between medium to large scale wall installations.



November 1 – December 14, 2018 – Gage Family Art Gallery

Reception: Thursday November 1, 6-8 p.m.

Artist Statement

The artwork that comprises the series Adrift (2017-2018) deals with human migration and, in particular, the global refugee and migrant crisis.  More than 65 million people around the world are now officially displaced from their homes by conflict, violence and persecution – the highest figure recorded by the United Nations since the Second World War.

I felt morally obligated to make work that might add to the compassionate and sympathetic viewpoint supporting refugees seeking asylum and safety.   Media sources have provided a steady stream of now-familiar imagery showing groups of people kept behind chain link fencing, incarcerated children in detention centers, or figures in life jackets crowded into flimsy, inflatable rafts crossing the Mediterranean Sea.  As Susan Sontag points out, “the western memory museum is now mostly a visual one,” and the volume of images depicting far flung, upsetting stories has reached a fever pitch. The paintings in Adrift  present a cobbled-together synthesis of familiar media images representing this humanitarian crisis.

As reference, I have either used media photographs as inspiration or repurposed them by fixing them directly to the panel or canvas. This practice allows me to work within the conversation that already exists. The “seams” between the borrowed photographs and the painted surfaces are meant to be evident. Using photographs as an element in the work allows me to honor their existence, power, and gravity. The painted surfaces re-orient the original photos towards a more dream-like space where a reset or pause button can be hit that allows for reflection where shock and horror once reigned.

The large paintings of the sea are meant to disrupt the picturesque ideal of ocean panoramas. I want to place the viewer in the water as if swimming (or drowning).  News photos of ocean crossings often place viewers at a safe distance (such as on the shore), where we are allowed to witness migrants’ passages at a safe remove. The paintings are meant to be somber reminders of real-life struggles and individual human lives. The water is depicted as black, tumultuous, or in extreme close-up as if to engulf and surround the viewer. My intention is to put the viewer in the same position that refugees and migrants are forced into. The works in Adrift represent a loose and unspecified narrative that the viewer can piece together. The images are taken from media sources of the last few years, but they are also meant to represent the long and grim history of perilous ocean crossings, slavery, and human suffering.



Canadian painter Chris Willcox was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario. She earned degrees from the Ontario College of Art and Design and the University of Guelph. She earned her MFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, in New Jersey. She moved to the Twin Cities in 2000 to accept a position at Macalester College in St. Paul, where she is a tenured professor in the Art and Art History department. Her work has been shown at galleries in the U.S. and Canada, with her most recent being at the MAEP galleries at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Phipps Center for the Arts. She is the recipient of numerous grants, including Canada Council and Ontario Arts Council Grants, and most recently in 2013-14, a George and Eliza Gardner Howard Foundation Fellowship in Painting and a Minnesota State Arts Board Grant.