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March’s Empty Bowls Soup Supper Fundraiser at the Center at Donaldson—Better than Ever!

Empty Bowls

In keeping with the Christian Lenten season tradition of alms-giving, this year’s Empty Bowls Soup Supper took place Saturday evening, March 18, 2017, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. This is the fourth year that the Ancilla Domini Sisters and ministries have united to invite the community in for a supper to benefit The Food Bank of Northern Indiana, which works to eradicate hunger and food insecurity in our region. Close to 200 people bought $15.00 tickets, which entitled each one to enjoy a meal of soup, home-made by the Associate Community of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, and bread. Each person chose a handcrafted bowl to keep 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 around the globe.

This year’s efforts were more fruitful than ever before. $2,823 was raised for the Food Bank of Northern Indiana. That brings the four year total to $9,274! The monies raised at the Empty Bowls event are donated to FBNI to feed the hungry, to increase awareness of the effects of hunger, and to lead programs designed to alleviate hunger through member food pantries. In Marshall and Starke counties there are food pantries in Knox, Plymouth, Bremen, Bourbon, Argos and Culver, as well as mobile food pantries, that will benefit from these funds. 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, these four years of Empty Bowls Soup Suppers have provided over 74,000 meals in our own neighborhoods!

The Empty Bowls Supper had a new artistic flair this year--clay artisans from throughout Indiana and Western Michigan made the bowls that were presented to each ticketholder. Bowls were hand-built or thrown, in each artist’s signature style, using their own techniques. And three of the artists—Sandra Henderson from LaPorte, Elizabeth Wamsley from Syracuse, and Louise Amundson from Knox--had separate displays of their other clay artworks available for sale at the supper, including clay sculptures, mugs, and frogs of every size; flowerpots and yard totems, vases, jewelry and tureens. Commissions from those sales also benefitted the Food Bank. Other talented clay artists who made bowls were: Vickie Cook, Pike Evans, Jenifer George, Fred Herczeg, Becki Moffett-Moore, and Michael Thoren.

This year’s Empty Bowls Supper featured live entertainment, too. Cliff Berger started the evening’s dinner music with favorite piano renditions. Later, Renee Green, a Plymouth High School Junior, provided serene violin solos to close out the evening. The evening truly had an upscale ambiance, even if the meal was a simple one!

Empty Bowls is an international effort over 25 years old, with an appropriate slogan, “Working Together – Everyone Eats.” MoonTree Studios joined the cause in 2014, and has been joined by the other ministries in Donaldson. But it’s important to remember, the Empty Bowls Soup Supper at The Center at Donaldson is only one way to help. In addition, individuals, workplaces, and other organizations can conduct drives for food and funds any time of year.

MoonTree Studios would like to thank everyone involved for the enormous part each played in making the fourth annual Empty Bowls Soup Supper a big success. From the artists who made the bowls, to the energetic Associates of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ who made and served the wonderful soups. From the ministry center co-workers who cleaned and set-up the room, delivered bowls, heated and delivered the meal, to Cliff and Renee who provided dinner music. And especially to all of the friends, neighbors and community members who bought tickets and attended the evening’s festivities. It was obvious that all united around a worthy cause—helping to put an end to hunger and food insecurity right here at home. We are most grateful for everyone’s help and participation. It takes a community; without all of us, such a wonderful evening wouldn’t have happened! Sincere thanks for making time in your schedule to make a difference--your help is needed and appreciated now more than ever.

Please put our Empty Bowls Soup Supper on your 2018 calendar. It will be held on Saturday, March 17, 2018, 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. We wish you blessings and plenty in the coming year.

The Joyful Mud of Life by Sandra Henderson Opens at MoonTree Gallery on Saturday, October 15, 2016

Sandra Henderson

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.

Lora's Reflections Opens at MoonTree Gallery on Saturday, August 27, 2016

Lora Vieting

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.

A Stitch in Time II by the Susanna Circle Quilters Opens at MoonTree Gallery on Saturday, July 23rd

Susanna Circle Quilters

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.

Indigo Flight

Tim Orikri

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!

Introspections: My Creation Story Opens at MoonTree Gallery on Saturday, June 11

Tim Orikri

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

Emergence: Touching the Infinite Source of Being by Lynn Anderson

Lynn AndersonMoonTree 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.

Epigraphs/Epistles and Epiphanies by David deVillier

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