For Sandra Henderson, clay is in her DNA or at least, it was absorbed into her psyche early on. Her mother was a potter, with a BFA in Ceramics from Alfred University (NY). So Sandy played with clay as naturally as most children play with crayons and paper. In fact, her studio still holds an old treadle kick-wheel that was in her mother’s college classroom; it has traveled with the family through many moves.
Speaking of her avocation with clay, Sandy says, “I've studied the craft of clay in college classes, community art centers, workshops, and online. But mostly it has been practice, practice, and more practice. There were many years when I had little to do with clay, but my heart and my hands remembered it. I am very fortunate now to have my own studio in what was once our garage, and to be blessed with the time, equipment, and energy to do what I love.”
“I love the touch of hand on clay. I love the potter’s wheel--the old Randall wheel I use is almost identical in design to potters’ wheels in ancient Egyptian drawings, although my wheel does have a motor. I've always been an ‘earth’ person, a gardener and a lover of natural wild places. As I have worked more steadily in clay the past 20 years, trees, toads, and turtles have been recurring motifs. Clearly though, my roots are in functional pottery--most of what I make starts its life on the wheel.”
“All my work is individually hand-crafted. Pieces may be similar, but they are not identical. I fire to cone six, in oxidation, in an electric kiln. My work is meant to be used; that means that pitchers pour, vases hold water, garden objects will survive outdoors for years through the growing season. Pots are microwave and dishwasher safe (but not to be used on stove tops or in conventional ovens). The glazes I use are free of lead, barium, and cadmium.”
Sandra Henderson’s Joyful Mud of Life clay artworks will be on display at MoonTree Gallery from October 15 through November 19, 2016. MoonTree Gallery is open Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. EDT. It is also open Saturdays from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m. Call MoonTree Studios at (574) 935-1712 for group tour arrangements, or for an appointment at times other than these. Closing day for The Joyful Mud of Life will be Saturday, November 19, 2016.
For Lora Vieting, capturing the beauty of Nature through a camera lens is both relaxing and healing. Now she presents her photographs in her first ever solo show, when Lora’s Reflections opens on Saturday, August 27, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. at MoonTree Gallery.
Lora was born, raised and still lives in North Central Indiana. How did she choose photography as a means of creative expression? Lora relates that photography has always been a hobby; from the time she was very young, she always loved capturing special moments in life. Then, more than 20 years after graduating high school, she went through some life-changing events that gave her new perspective. She made the decision to go back to school and chose Ancilla College (majoring in Business), where she had a wonderful instructor in an elective course--Father Walker, for Digital Photography. Encouraging and helpful, Father Walker helped her gain the confidence she needed to pursue photography, and she found herself outside taking pictures all of the time, photographing everything Nature had to offer.
“I am learning more everyday with every shot. It is truly rewarding to do something you are so passionate about and that you love,” Lora says. “There’s something about being out in Nature that is both relaxing and healing. I try to capture what I see, and hope that others also see the beauty through my lens. That’s how the name “Lora's Reflections” came to be.” She quotes noted photographer Annie Leibovitz, “Nature is so powerful, so strong. Capturing its essence is not easy - your work becomes a dance with light and the weather. It takes you to a place within yourself.”
Today, Lora is a Library Assistant at Ancilla College’s Library. While photography is not related to her job, she works part time and evenings, allowing herself more time to explore and capture the beauty of Nature. She attests to having a wonderful supportive family--two grown boys, a beautiful daughter-in-law, and an amazing husband who understands her love of photography, and shares in her love of Nature.
Lora Vieting’s artwork, Lora’s Reflections will be on display at MoonTree Gallery from August 27 through October 8, 2016. MoonTree Gallery is open Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. EDT. It is also open Saturdays from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m. Call MoonTree Studios at (574) 935-1712 for group tour arrangements, or for an appointment at times other than these. Closing day for Lora’s Reflections will be Saturday, October 8, 2016.
In the two years since they exhibited their fabric works of art at MoonTree Gallery, the Susanna Circle Quilters have been busy creating an entire new collection, A Stitch in Time II. See these fantastic new fabric art works Saturday, July 23, 2016, 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. EDT at the opening reception with the quilt artists. The ladies will be on hand to greet attendees and tell everyone the stories behind the quilts. In addition, piano music by Cliff Berger will lend a festive ambience during the opening reception.
The Susanna Circle Quilters were launched seventeen years ago when one of the members of Wesley United Methodist Church offered a workshop for anyone in the church wanting to learn basic quilting techniques. The class was taught by Phyllis Pearson, an avid quilter and member of the church. That introductory course lasted six weeks and covered the steps of making a quilt from beginning to end. Fourteen ladies came together to learn how to choose a pattern and fabric, cutting and sewing techniques, how to hand quilt, and how to bind and label a quilt. After that beginning course was finished, the new quilters sadly bid farewell to Phyllis as she moved to Corvallis, Oregon to be closer to family. However, the group had formed community, and they decided to continue meeting every week to sew.
So, Elaine Averill assumed leadership of the Susanna Circle Quilters group. Then thirteen years ago, after retiring from Culver Elementary School, Judy Patton joined Elaine as co-leader. The group continues to meet to this day on Thursday mornings to sew on various projects. Through the years, this active group has had several successful quilt shows, besides their very popular 2014 show at Moontree Gallery. Some other exhibit venues have been the Wesley United Methodist Church during Culver’s Lakefest weekend and the Culver Public Library. They’ve shared their time and talents in other ways, too, making Christmas lap robes for the residents of Miller's Merry Manor in Culver, and donating quilts to local charities and projects, pillow cases and wheelchair bags to Riley Hospital, among other projects. Every new baby born into the Wesley Church family is given a quilt made by the Susanna Quilters.
In case you’re wondering how the group got its name, it was to honor Susanna Wesley, the mother of John Wesley, founder of the Methodist denomination. Susanna Wesley was not a quilter as she had nineteen children and probably didn't have a moment to spare in creative endeavors. The group just wanted to honor Susanna, when they chose their name.
The Susanna Circle’s A Stitch in Time II will be on display at MoonTree Gallery from July 23 through August 20, 2016. MoonTree Gallery is open Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. EDT. It is also open Saturdays from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m. Call MoonTree Studios at (574) 935-1712 for group tour arrangements, or for an appointment at times other than these. Closing day for A Stitch in Time II will be Saturday, August 20, 2016.
Timothy Orikri gifted the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ with a vibrant painting of butterflies, Indigo Flight, at the opening of his show Introspections: My Creation Story, at MoonTree Gallery on Saturday, June 11, 2016. Saying that he wants to “leave footprints where he goes” Orikri’s uplifting colors speak of love, happiness and the peaceful celebration of life. This work’s subject matter—butterflies—symbolizes the ever-renewing cycle of life; the energy of change that fulfills God’s peace and beauty.
Orikri’s paintings are remarkable works that have to be experienced in person for the full inspirational and emotional effect. Introspections: My Creation Story, can be enjoyed at MoonTree Gallery through Saturday, July 16, 2016. Don’t miss this one!
MoonTree Studios & Gallery invites you to experience the vibrant paintings of Timothy UfuomaEfe Orikri at the opening reception for Introspections: My Creation Story on Saturday, June 11; 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. EDT . Meet this multi-talented artist at the reception, and experience his joie de vivre.
Orikri is a freelance artist whose style varies from semi-realism to abstract paintings, to hand-painted ceramics and music. Although currently residing in Michigan, he was born the son of a Baptist minister in the Delta State, southern Nigeria. It’s not surprising that this early upbringing has been influential on his perception of the world. His artistic desires – much like the messages given by his father from the pulpit – come in themes of hope, harmony, and the gift of nature. His sincere lifelong desire is to use a wide spectrum of vibrant colors and mixed mediums to create a secure world in which humanity is restored to God’s intended pure state for man at the dawn of creation.
Orikri graduated from Delta State University Abraka in southern Nigeria with a B.A. in Fine Art. His continually evolving artwork is a marriage of African, European, and American influences with which he skillfully bridges the gap between the ancient and modern – never forgetting his roots. He attributes this training in mainstream Euro-American art production techniques to the course he’s followed in expressing his art ideas.
Since arriving in the United States in 1995, Orikri’s work has been exhibited in several prominent museums, colleges, churches, and public buildings. As a feature artist for the St. Louis Science Center’s traveling exhibit entitled “AFRICA: One Continent, Many Worlds”, Orikri created a one-of-a-kind multi-media mural measuring 7 feet x 24 feet portraying an African village scene.
His desire is that every piece created will portray qualities that will enlighten, deepen, and ultimately enrich the human race. In his own words, “As an artist, I am constantly searching for diverse formats in order to create imaginative, thought-provoking pieces. This search has enabled me to create unique artworks relevant to traditional and modern trends.
The paintings of this artist truly belong to one of the best of recent Africa paintings; he has something profound to express and contributes significantly to the growth, relevance and visibility of contemporary world art, as well as enriches society by his “making a difference through art programs.” Timothy Orikri’s art is expressive – drawing you in to look, linger, and absorb what you see and feel.
MoonTree Gallery is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 to 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. It is also open Saturdays from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m. Please call in advance for an appointment at times other than these. Closing day for Introspections: My Creation Story will be July 16, 2016
MoonTree Studios & Gallery invites you to experience the meditative interpretations of fine art photographer Lynn Anderson at the opening reception for Emergence: Touching the Infinite Source of Being. Meet the artist and linger to interpret her naturescapes in your own way on Saturday, April 16; 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. EDT.
Lynn Anderson is from Naperville, Illinois, where she expresses her artistic aptitude as both graphic designer and fine art photographer. ColorDance Design, the firm she co-founded with her husband, specializes in artistic custom coded websites for small businesses. Between website projects she pursues her passion for botanic inspired photography.
Lynn explains her remarkable artwork: “With my photography I seek to spark my viewer’s imagination by experimenting with uncertainty—before objects reveal their distinctions—where everything is connected as an integrated whole. A crisp, clear photograph is often taken at face value—it is what it is. Often there is little room for the viewer’s imagination to play with possibilities, or embark on a new way of seeing. Yet, the history of photography is rich with photographers who experimented with the camera’s unique ability to portray the world in novel ways. Its visionaries purposely pushed the boundaries to explore metaphors beyond what is literally seen. Many sought a connection with the eternal and transcendent forces at work in the universe.” Anderson is inspired by those predecessors as she “creates visual poetry” in her work.
She says, “Since my subject matter—leaves, flowers and trees—encompasses nature with its own realistic allure, the question becomes how to create unique and compelling compositions which touch a viewer’s inner being? Poetry can offer a clue. Often lyrical and expressive, compelling poetry offers a mysterious mood or unspoken scenario to contemplate. Like a poem, I leave the fleeting impression of the real botanic form in my photographs for the viewer to contemplate. I seek to evoke a change in perception, a meditative awareness, a reconsideration of the ‘dream of ourselves.’ I want my viewer to linger a bit and interpret a naturescape in a deeper, more personal way. Within each of us lies a curiosity, and a desire to find novel ways of perceiving the world. Thus the clear focus of the camera lens is discarded to encourage a deeper exploration of the dream of ourselves.”
Unlike photographic realism, which documents objects and living things in the everyday world, Anderson believes that fine art endeavors to touch our inner being. “In so doing,” she says “we may experience magical and unexpected visions which can communicate something not said outright.” This exhibit, Emergence: Touching the Infinite Source of Being, is drawn from three of Anderson’s related series: Allegro, Garden Dreams, and Watercolors. Each digital archival print displayed at MoonTree Gallery was captured in camera with minimal processing in Photoshop.
MoonTree Gallery is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 to 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. It is also open Saturdays from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m. Please call in advance for an appointment at times other than these. Closing day for Emergence: Touching the Infinite Source of Being will be May 28, 2016.
An Empty Bowls benefit for The Food Bank of Northern Indiana will take place Saturday, March 19, 2016, eve of the Feast of Saint Joseph, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. EDT in Cana Hall within the Ancilla Domini Motherhouse at The Center at Donaldson. For a donation of $15.00 per person, everyone is invited to enjoy a meal of soup, home-made by the Associate Community of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, and bread by Earthworks.
MoonTree Studios, a ministry of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, joined the international Empty Bowls effort three years ago, to raise awareness about hunger issues and food insecurity right here in our own neighborhoods. Following the established Empty Bowls model, the events at MoonTree Studios and The Center at Donaldson strive to bring our local community together to help neighbors in need who are struggling to provide basic necessities for their families. The money raised at The Center at Donaldson will be donated to The Food Bank of Northern Indiana, specifically for Marshall and Starke Counties. Some of the food pantries served are: Community Services—Starke County, Church of the Heartland Food Pantry in Knox, Our Redeemer Lutheran Church and First Pentecostal Church in Knox. In Plymouth: Bread of Life Community Food Pantry, Marshall County Neighborhood Center, New Song Community Church, and the House of the Lord Food Pantry. Other Marshall County locations include: Culver Community Food Pantry, Argos UMC Shepherds Food Pantry, Bourbon Helping Hands, The Country Church and Community Food Pantry of Bremen.
The premise of the worldwide Empty Bowls efforts are simple: Local clay artists mindfully create handcrafted bowls to be sold during a supper event. Later, the public and the bowl-makers are invited to a simple meal of soup and bread. In exchange for a cash donation, guests enjoy a simple meal and keep a bowl as a reminder of all the empty bowls in the world, and the profound impact that a single effort can make to end food insecurity in our community and across the globe. Tickets for this year’s Empty Bowls soup supper can be reserved by calling or emailing MoonTree Studios, or stopping by the reception desk at The Center at Donaldson. Please purchase your ticket in advance, so that we can be sure to make enough soup!
The Food Bank of Northern Indiana works to feed the hungry, increase awareness of the effects of hunger, and lead programs designed to alleviate hunger. The Food Bank is a member of Feeding America, Feeding Indiana’s Hungry (FIsH) and United Way. Per the Food Bank’s statistics, one dollar can provide up to eight meals for those in need, and ninety-four cents of every dollar donated goes back into the communities served. Just think, our previous Empty Bowls Soup Suppers have raised over $4,200.00; in other words--over 34,000 meals!
Feeding America is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. The organization reports that our nation’s food banks face overwhelming demand--1 out of 8 Americans struggle with food insecurity every day. The Empty Bowls Project and Soup Supper at The Center at Donaldson is one way to help, here in your own community. In addition, individuals, businesses, and organizations such as MoonTree Studios and The Center at Donaldson can conduct drives for food and funds. Please make time in your schedule to make a difference. Participate in the Empty Bowls Soup Supper--your help is needed now more than ever.
MoonTree Studios invites you to meet the exhibiting artists, who are members of Heartland Artists Gallery at the opening reception for Heartland. The event is to be held at MoonTree on Saturday, January 30, 2016; 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. EST.
The Heartland juried exhibit is open to 2D and 3D visual art works inspired by each artist’s own interpretation of heart land. These works are expressions of spirit, courage or enthusiasm that come from each individual artist’s intuition or emotions that they bring to awareness in the work. This art exhibit may evoke a feeling of home, familiar landscapes, or happy times. Each piece in this collection of work will be “after the artist’s own heart.” Heartland Artist Gallery members hope that visitors to the show find a connection within their own being; a tug at their heartstrings.
Heartland Artists Gallery is a not for profit group founded in the 1970’s and made up of artists as well as those who support the arts. Heartland Artists Gallery is dedicated to promoting multi-media visual art forms. Their purpose is to encourage mutual support of local artists, to broaden artists’ knowledge through learning and sharing, and to build an artistic link with the community by sharing art exhibits, classes, programs and education. To that end, Heartland Artists Gallery hosts two annual juried art exhibits open to all artists: The Small Wonders exhibit in May, which features artworks no larger than 12” x 12” framed; and the Regional Juried Art Exhibit in October, each year. Heartland Artists Gallery members offer art classes for children and adults alike. The artwork of members is on display daily, and there is a featured artist’s work on display monthly, by invitation. Heartland invites new members with the slogan: Join us with a heart for art!
MoonTree Gallery is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 to 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Please call in advance for an appointment at times other than these. The last day to see Heartland will be March 11, 2016.
Beginning in early February 2016, Margaret Coffey will join MoonTree Studios as an Artist in Residence, focusing on Fiber Arts. She will facilitate a variety of fiber experiences for participants at MoonTree, including a full realm of spinning and weaving experiences. There are creative experiences for all skill levels—from beginners to experienced fiber artists wanting to expand their knowledge and skills.
Peggy’s art residency at Moontree provides an opportunity for anyone interested in fiber arts to get started on this creative path with minimal investment. Each experience that Peggy offers will have “class time” when proper techniques are demonstrated and reinforced. Outside of “class time” there will be individual homework or pre-arranged studio time for participants to hone their skills and understanding of the media and techniques. Peggy will be available for direction and instruction all along the way. For beginners, spinning wheels may be rented from MoonTree.
The first experience, “Weaving with Handspun Yarn,” begins Tuesday, February 9 and runs for three bi-weekly sessions. “Begin to Spin” begins February 12, along with “Beyond the Beginning Spinning.” Some other experiences are: “Whatever Twill Be,” a weaving experience over five Saturday afternoons in a row; “Warped to Weave,” “4 in 4 Fiber Study,” “From Ewe to Yarn” and “Not So Plain Weave.” Registration is open now for all of these experiences, and for the first/earliest ones, you must be signed up by February 1. To read more about each experience, register, or download a pdf of the mini-catalog of experiences, go to www.moontreestudios.org. You may also call MoonTree Studios at (574) 935-1712 during business hours Monday-Friday.
While at Moontree Studios, Peggy will also be doing research and work toward completion of a fiber art installation. The fiber art installation will be a collaboration between Peggy and MoonTree Artistic Director, Sister Nancy Raboin. The vision shared by the two women for the artwork is that it will be an illumination of the connection between spirituality, women’s social issues, and building community.
Peggy Coffey has been spinning, weaving, dyeing, paper- & basket-making for more than 30 years. She has facilitated craft demonstrations and workshops, judged and competed in Handspun & Sheep-to-Shawl contests, co-coordinated spinner’s retreats, & co-founded the statewide network SWIFT (Spinners and Weavers of Indiana Fibers & Textiles.) For 12 years Peggy wrote the Spinner’s Connection for Spin-Off magazine. She holds an M.A. in Art from the University of Indianapolis, with a major in textiles & ceramics. Peggy’s background as an educator, a fiber artist, and her skills in occupational therapy provide a great opportunity for MoonTree participants to expand their knowledge of fiber work and enhance their creativity. She demonstrates personal investment in nurturing community--people working with their hands--which aligns with and enhances the mission of Moontree Studios.
MoonTree Studios invites you to meet artist Jennifer Weinert at the opening reception for her solo exhibit Focus, to be held in MoonTree Gallery Saturday, November 7, 2015; 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. EST. Jennifer’s journey with photography began over 15 years ago when her husband gifted her with a 35mm camera shortly after they married. Jennifer initially took photos of people and landscapes, exploring the many ways to interpret what she saw and experienced, emotionally. Eventually she began to “focus;” beginning to really notice the patterns, texture and color. She professes that as her faith grew, this new “focus option” behind the lens of the camera took on celebratory meaning. She says, “I began to see and interpret the beauty of creation. It was at this time that taking photographs became a spiritual journey; I was growing in understanding of God’s Word and His Presence.”
Psalm 139:13-14 says “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
Jennifer says that the freedom to explore art has always been a part of her life. Both parents, creative in their own ways, introduced the family to a variety of activities that naturally encouraged creativity--gardening, building a clubhouse; creating chalk drawings on a metal sheet in the front yard, then waiting for the rain to wash it away so they could do it again. From a very young age, her grandparents would allow Jennifer and her siblings to color under the coffee table. They lay on their backs and painted “like Michelangelo.” Jennifer remembers, “My grandfather allowed us to chalk cities and roads on his painted basement walls and floors. When my uncle placed a brown paper bag in front of us and suggested we fill it with doodles, it was a considerable challenge, but it allowed me for the first time to truly “see” my mother’s face, as I rendered her image on the back of the bag later that same evening.”
After Jennifer graduated from Western Illinois University, she accepted work with a special education co-op, where she offered and encouraged creative experiences for the students. The wisdom she gained during that time—great is the joy we can have while creating art, when we allow ourselves to be guided by the materials and open ourselves to the joy of creating. Jennifer says painting offers this type of freedom for her.
Jennifer offers the images she’s chosen to display at MoonTree in veneration of God’s grand mastery. She hopes to convey that the work as a whole translates how all life is “knitted” together for His glory. She says, “The paintings accompanying some of the photographs are meditative reflections made in playful celebration. I am very grateful to MoonTree for offering me this opportunity to show my photography and paintings in a show I have humbly titled, Focus.”
MoonTree Gallery is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 to 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. It is also open Saturdays from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m. Please call in advance for an appointment at times other than these. Closing day for Focus will be December 5, 2015.
MoonTree Studios invites you to meet the artist at the opening reception forDown to the Water to be held in the gallery on MoonTree Festival day, Saturday, September 19, 2015; 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. EDT. The featured artist is Indiana Artisan Brian Gordy of Muncie, Indiana. Gordy has ties to this area—in the late-1970’s he taught middle-school art at Rochester. Later, he taught art at the university level and privately for over 25 years. Throughout his career, his paintings have depicted the landscapes of the Midwest and the north woods of Michigan and Canada. He says, “The reason I do art is to thrill myself. Art is my zipline.”
About Down to the Water, Gordy says, “As an artist, I have discovered two things: watercolor is the medium that brings art from me, and, I never know where my muse might be hiding. As I paddled down a river in the middle of Indiana one morning a few years ago, I noticed the light glancing off the shell of a basking map turtle. Against the murky water and tangled bank, there it was…a glistening oval complete with organic knobs and serrated edges that reflected the rose-colored morning light, revealing layers of hidden color in the shell—a watercolorist’s dream! In the next instant, plop! It was gone.” Over the years since, Gordy has spent countless hours stalking the reptiles and the more he observed, the more interested he became, the more research he did. He is acutely aware of the environmental challenges facing the turtles of our rivers and streams. His exhibition, “White River Turtles: Watercolors by Brian Gordy” at Minnetrista Cultural Center in Muncie from October 2007– January 2008, introduced a series of paintings of freshwater turtles in their natural habitat, a series that still continues. Gordy vows, “I hope to bring a broader human awareness to the survival challenges turtles face in the world.”
Brian Gordy is Owner and Director of Framing and Restoration at Gordy Fine Art and Framing Company in Muncie, Indiana. He is a signature member of the Transparent Watercolor Society of America and the Red River Watercolor Society. His works are included in several permanent collections and have been featured in The Best of Watercolor Vol. 3, “Arts Indiana,” “Snowy Egret,” and “Lake Superior” magazines. Recent awards and accomplishments include completion of an oversized (16’ X 4’) watercolor scene White River and Turtles (commissioned by Open Door Services in Muncie--2012,) Best Watercolor at the Hoosier Salon (2013), Award of Excellence at Indiana Watercolor Society’s Show (2013), and inclusion in the American Watercolor Society’s International Exhibit in New York City (2014).
MoonTree Gallery is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 to 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. It is also open Saturdays from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m. Please call in advance for an appointment at times other than these. Closing day for Down to the Water will be October 31, 2015.