The Gustavian Weekly

Hillstrom Museum highlights alumni art | The Gustavian Weekly

By Margarita Novack Staff Writer | December 10, 2010 | News

Located just under the Market Place, the Hillstrom Museum of Art houses wors of art by Gustavus Atists. All of the current exhibit was completed by Gustie alums.

The museum is featuring alumni artwork that includes paintings done in watercolor, acrylic and oil, sculptures, architectural ideas and photography. This event is free and open to the public and will be displayed until the end of January. Museum hours are 9:00 a.m.  to 4:00 p.m. on weekdays and 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on the weekends.

“There was no theme [for the exhibition]. It was all up to the artist. Some were [influenced] [by] the pride of Gustavus or the inspiration of the invitation,” Don Myers said. He is a professor in the art department and the founder of the Hillstrom Museum.

Don Myers ‘83 came to teach at Gustavus in 2000 and founded the Hillstrom Museum. The very first exhibit that took place was in April of 2000. “Its exciting to see the passion of alumni with current students,” Myers said. He hopes to inspire students to consider incorporating art into their education.

Myers really enjoyed getting to know some of the artists and reconnecting with some he had previously taught. “I also enjoyed seeing the diversity of styles and approaches and also how high the quality is overall.”

Andrew Judkins ‘02 submitted an art piece, Kasota Prairie, Sundown, which is currently on display. Judkins has been painting landscapes of south-central Minnesota for many years.

The painting in the show is a scene from the Kasota prairie, which is a very special place to me,” he said.

Judkins is very happy with the opportunity to display his work in a the venue and is looking forward to seeing what other work will show up from alumni.

“I hope that people in general get excited about painting when they see my work. Not just about painting, though. I hope my work gets people thinking, feeling emotions, realizing new things about the landscape and seeing things in a way they have not before,” Judkins said.

Chris Price ‘02 will display Evolution Fishing, a piece done  with oil paints. Price’s inspiration was something that just came to him a few years back;  he had to put it in a sketchbook. It wasn’t until Price heard about the alumni show that he got the courage to make a final painting of the image.

“When I created it, I had no meaning or theme behind it. Now that it is done, I guess one could say that it represents a monkey in control of public education.There are many aspects of the education system that are broken, and nothing seems to be fixed,” Price said.

Price wants his audience to view his paintings with their own stories or interpretations. He was excited to participate in the alumni exhibit to show his past professors that he has continued to work.

“An imagination is a terrible thing to waste, as well as your collegiate career. I regret that I didn’t spend as much time in the art studios as I should have,” Price said.

Price was informed last week that he will be having his first solo art show in April 2011 in Uptown Minneapolis associated with Altered Esthetics. You can see more of his work at and at Artistic Indulgence in Minneapolis.

Robert Therien ’66 has continued to pursue his passion in art by teaching at a university in Nebraska. Therien’s painting entitled Mr. Turtle was done with watercolors.

“There is a nice variety of art and all different styles of structures for people to see,” Senior Sociology and Anthropology Major Liz Boeing said.

Myers hopes that students can learn about themselves and about how art has the power to expand people’s horizons.“They do not feel the need to be compelled to see everything at once, but can go back [and enjoy the museum],” Myers said.

“When I went inside [the Hillstrom Museum] to take a break from my homework, I was instantly relaxed by the room and the artwork. It was a nice way to take a break from my busy day and step into a room where I was able to relax,” Sophomore Kristina Fosse said.

In addition to showing alumni art, Myers was glad to have the opportunity for the Hillstrom to have a celebration of Bruce McClain, art professor, who has taught here for 45 years.