Current Fine Art Events


NEW ART EXHIBIT
A Passion for Drawing: Musings in the Moment
The Art of Anita White

Exhibit: October 24–November 31
Receptions: Sunday, November 13 at 11:15am
Tuesday, November 19 from 7-8:30pm

“When difficulties arise… drawing is a way to find empathy and humor.”  –Anita White

The Hennepin Avenue UMC Fine Arts Committee is excited to present the art of Anita White for our current exhibit in Carlson Hall on display from Thursday, October 24th to November 31st. There will be two receptions which White will be present to answer questions about her work.

White graduated in 1974 with honors from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and lives in South Minneapolis near Minnehaha Falls. Her time living on an Irish island for three and a half years created a deep sense of telling the story of place and people through drawing. These feelings shaped her travels to Mexico and Romania which also inspired her artwork. Early travels to Spain in 1969 and later in 1987 sparked a love of drawing flamenco which continues to the present day.

Sharing stories through drawing and painting has been her lifelong pursuit. Her sketchbook is always open in the moment to record beauty, whimsy and to draw those she meets, and nurtures daily adventures and deeper musings.

In 2009, White co-founded “LoLa” the highly regarded annual Longfellow art crawl, with artist Bob Schmitt. Before that time, she taught art in elementary school for over 38 years. White now works with elders in memory care, and teaches art and leads a music class weekly at Episcopal Homes. She also teaches privately.

Drawing has also been a way for White to process and bear witness to life’s deeper moments. She drew her way through the caretaking of her parents and though documented her brother’s mental health challenges. White created dozens of pen and watercolor sketches in ambulances, hospital rooms, and in the emergency department waiting room. She drew, she said, through “panic, anxiety and healing”–which included drawing her late husband Josh’s medical issues. White calls this art “Narrative Medicine”,  many examples of which were on display at Hennepin HealthCare, and White continues to have a long term “drawing relationship” with the facility after an earlier successful exhibit “Drawing Through Crisis With Courage” was well received.

“Drawing is a way to navigate daily life.  A way to interact and honor others. To find joy and beauty and the hidden humor that bubbles up in challenging moments.” –Anita White

ARTIST: ANITA WHITE, AMERICAN, b. 1952
PAINTING: AN ANGEL… TROUBLED THE WATERS, 2019
PEN & INK WATERCOLOR

Below is a small collection of what is currently on view. Please view the entire collection at Hennepin Avenue UMC in Carlson Hall.


ARTIST: ANITA WHITE, AMERICAN, b. 1952
PAINTING: STILL DRAWING THROUGH MY MOURNER’S VEIL, 2019
PEN & INK WATERCOLOR

As with her husband’s illness, Anita continued using drawing as a way of dealing with grief.



ARTIST: ANITA WHITE, AMERICAN, b. 1952
PAINTING: ROMERIA II – ZORONCO FLAMENCO, 2008
BRUSH PEN & WATERCOLOR

The intensity of flamenco is on display with this large painting of flamenco dancers. The boldness of Anita’s use of the brush pen, instead of the finer pen she uses for most of her other work, emphasizes the passion of the dancers. This performance was choreographed by Zoronco Flamenco Artistic Director Susana di Palma and was performed in Minnehaha Park.



ARTIST: ANITA WHITE, AMERICAN, b. 1952
PAINTING: HEIDI’S 70TH BIRTHDAY, 2019
PEN & INK WATERCOLOR

Joy is captured by ink and watercolor as Heidi, one of Anita’s friends, celebrates her 70th birthday.



ARTIST: ANITA WHITE, AMERICAN, b. 1952
PAINTING: TRAPPED BY PAIN, 2018
PEN & INK WATERCOLOR

The red armchair which was in Anita’s husband Josh’s hospital room came to symbolize for her the enormous pain he was suffering.



ARTIST: ANITA WHITE, AMERICAN, b. 1952
PAINTING: SPRINGTIME IN HOSPITAL, 2018
PEN & INK WATERCOLOR

Time passes slowly while a loved one is hospitalized but the changing of the seasons is a welcomed reminder of spring.



ARTIST: ANITA WHITE, AMERICAN, b. 1952
PAINTING: TALE OF THE BABY ASPIRIN, 2019
PEN & INK WATERCOLOR

Anita’s husband Josh was placed on a regimen of baby aspirin and this painting depicts how the little pink pills seemed to take over their lives.


Stone Sculpture Exhibit: Family

Exhibit: September 8–October 27
Receptions: September 13 & 22

The Fine Arts Team is proud to present their fall sculpture show, Family, featuring the artistry of Zimbabwean Shona artists. The show, September 8 through October 27 in the Art Gallery, will feature 20 works in stone by a variety of artists. The Fine Arts Team is hosting a gallery reception on Friday, September 13 from 6–8pm, and Sunday, September 22 from 11:30am–1pm in the Art Gallery. Curator Rex Mhiripiri of Mhiripiri Galleries (pictured above) will be present to answer questions. 

To learn more about this event, please click here.


Gilt Frame Restoration Project

The Gift of Gilding: Restoring the Frame of “Adoration of the Shepherds”
by Margaret Osborne

Artisans from across the country gave Hennepin Avenue UMC a gift of their talent this summer. The Society of Gilders held its annual conference in St. Paul on June 17–21, and they offered to restore a picture frame in the local community. The Fine Arts Team was approached by local gilder Carol Lenington this spring to see if the church was interested.

Background

When you look at a painting, you may not immediately notice the frame, but it can do much to enhance or detract from the painted image. One of the reasons the Art Gallery looks so beautiful is because of the work that has been done to take care of both paintings and frames. Over the years we have conserved most of the paintings given to Hennepin by T.B. Walker, and placed them in new or restored picture frames. The frame for “Job’s Messengers” was in poor shape and required extensive work, so currently it is out for repairs at a local studio. The “Adoration of the Shepherds” painting was conserved in 1981, but the sturdy frame around it was untouched and looked dull and dirty. Carol agreed this frame would work well for The Society of Gilders’ restoration project.

THE PROCESS

Hennepin Avenue UMC paid for the professional movers who took the painting down and removed it from the frame, as well as for the gilding supplies (including 23K gold leaf). Up to ten gilders worked on the restoration over the course of four days. First, they cleaned the surface, made minor repairs, and sealed it to prepare for the gild. Next, they applied a “size” which provided a tacky surface to hold the gold leaf.  Then, they carefully applied the gold leaf and brushed it into position around the complex surfaces of the ornate frame (gold leaf is so thin that it will fly away or disintegrate if you try to pick it up with your fingers). After applying protective shellac, the surface looked too bright and gaudy, so they “toned” it–they applied darker pigment to the recesses and polished the high points. This brought out the texture of the frame and gave it the proper “age.”

View the Restoration

The next time you visit the Art Gallery, be sure to look for this painting on the North Wall. You will be amazed how much better it looks with this beautifully restored frame! Our thanks to the gilders who shared their unique talents to make this happen. 

Learn More

If you are interested in learning more about the work of the Fine Arts Team, please contact Mark Squire (mark.squire@haumc.org) or Beth Arel (betharel@msn.com).



The Permanent Fine Art Collection


The Other Walker Art Gallery

There is a second Walker Art Gallery in Minneapolis that few people know of. It is housed across the street from the world-famous Walker Art Center inside the Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church, and holds the religious paintings that were part of T.B. Walker’s original collection… (watch video above)

The Art Collection at Hennepin Avenue UMC

Few, if any, churches in America have so complete a religious art collection as that of Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church. Housing over 275 works of art, including painting, lithographs, sculpture, graphics, and textiles, the 1916 church building itself draws artistic and architectural note with its cathedral-like construction and stained glass, topped by a slender, soaring spire. Together, edifice and artwork have inspired and given aesthetic pleasure to church members and the visiting public for several generations. Hennepin Avenue UMC’s art is a unique resource in the Upper Midwest, educating, giving joy, and celebrating the sacred Word through visual display.

ARCHITECT: EDWIN HAWLEY HEWITT, 1874-1939
The Neo-Gothic style church edifice was designed by architect Edwin H. Hewitt after the Ely Cathedral in England. The sanctuary is unencumbered by pillars so that every worshipper has a clear view of the pulpit. Richly carved white oak woodwork adorns the chancel, chancel furniture, and organ.

STAINED GLASS PICTURED: THE GREAT NORTH WINDOW
SUBJECT: Ruth, Esther, Mary, Dorcas
DEDICATED: 1939

Visitors to the sanctuary find themselves bathed in glorious light beaming through the church’s towering stained glass windows. The four pier windows and the three balcony windows were completed by 1939. They were designed by Charles J. Connick of Boston, one of Amerca’s foremost artists in stained glass and the person credited with bringing medieval glass techniques to the United States.

People at Hennepin Avenue UMC know that their collection, like any resource, must be maintained and that it should reflect the art of today as well as the past. Restoration programs have played an important part in the life of the collection and continue to do so today.


The T.B. Walker Collection of Religious Paintings

Perhaps the most striking of all the church’s collected works are the oil paintings given to the church by one of its earliest members, Thomas Barlow Walker (1840–1927). Having donated several paintings to the church around the turn of the century, Walker gained his fellow congregants’ partnership in displaying religious art when they elected to incorporate an art gallery into the design of the new church building. On this page are featured a revolving few pieces of art from this collection.

ARTIST: ANTONIO CISERI, ITALIAN (1821–1891)
PAINTING (featured above): ECCE HOMO
Pilate presents Jesus to the crowd after his trial. Ciseri painted in the academic style, but shows influence from the impressionists and post impressionists. This was the first painting to be given to Hennepin Avenue UMC (circa 1900).

ARTIST: JULES JEAN ANTOINE LECOMPTE DU NUOY, FRENCH (1842–1923)
PAINTING: CHRISTIAN PILGRIMS AT THE TOMB OF THE HOLY VIRGIN IN JERUSALEM, 1877

Du Nuoy studied with the noted French academic painter, Jena-Leon Gerome. Like many artists of his generation, he was captivated by exotic scenes of the Near East. This painting was exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1878 and at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in 1991.

ARTIST: JUAN CORREA DE VIVAR, SPANISH (ACTIVE 1549–1561)
PAINTING: THE ANNUNCIATION

The Archangel, Gabriel, comes to tell the Virgin Mary that she is to become the mother of the Lord. This is one of three paintings from a church near Toledo, Spain. It was part of a multi-panel screen behind the altar.

ARTIST: PIETER POURBUS, FLEMISH (1523–1584)
PAINTING: ABRAHAM AND THE ANGELS

The most significant work in the collection is this mannerist painting on wood panel. Northern European painters often set biblical subjects in their own time. Note the house and the servant’s dress. Three messengers from God visit Abraham with the news that he and Sarah will have a son, Isaac. Sarah laughs at the idea of becoming a mother in her old age.