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Art collection on display at the Department of Art History Gallery

Visual Arts at St. Thomas

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About the Visual Arts at St. Thomas

The art and architectural collections and galleries at the University of St. Thomas serve as teaching opportunities for our students and the public. For undergraduate and graduate students in art history, the VISUAL ARTS@St. Thomas provide the experience of working with artwork, learning proper curatorial and exhibition techniques, and fostering a better understanding of the works' cultural context.

The VISUAL ARTS@St. Thomas include:

The interior of the American Museum of Asmat Art.

The American Museum of Asmat Art (AMAA)

The American Museum of Asmat Art is dedicated to expanding human understanding and promoting intercultural awareness through the preservation and exhibition of Asmat art.

The term “Asmat” refers to a people, a language, and a geographic area. Today, Asmat homeland lies within the province of Papua, Indonesia on the southwest coast of the island of New Guinea. Asmat artists are among the finest and most prolific wood sculptors and weavers in the Pacific Islands.

About the Museum

  • What is the AMAA?
  • Mission and Vision
  • The Gallery
  • Visit
  • Explore the Collection
  • AMAA Board of Advisors
  • What is the AMAA?

    The AMAA’s collection of Asmat art is one of the largest in North American with nearly 3,000 works. It was originally formed by the American Crosier Father and Brothers, under the leadership of Bishop Sowada who used anthropological approaches to renew cultural traditions and encourage artistic production in Asmat. This Catholic religious Order first arrived in Asmat in 1958 and acquired objects through purchase, trade, and as gifts. In 2007, the collection was given to the University of St. Thomas to educate our community and the broader public about Asmat. The museum opened in 2012 and is on the second floor of the Anderson Student Center on the St. Paul campus.

    Mission and Vision

    Mission

    The American Museum of Asmat Art at St. Thomas engages students and the global community through preserving, exhibiting, and interpreting the art of Asmat people, in order to expand human understanding and promote intercultural awareness.

    Vision

    The vision of the American Museum of Asmat Art at St. Thomas is to be a preeminent teaching collection, interdisciplinary in nature and programmatically diverse, that promotes global understanding of Asmat art and culture consistent with the mission and values of the University of St. Thomas.

    The Gallery

    The AMAA is divided into two sections. The objects on permanent display include Asmat ancestor poles (bis), a spirit canoe (wuramon), and other large-scale works such as shields and body masks. The rest of the gallery is dedicated to rotating exhibitions based on different aspects of Asmat art and culture.

    The AMAA forms an integral part of the University’s broader commitment to foster respect and appreciation for cultural diversity and the artistic achievements of all humanity.

    Visit

    Academic Year Hours
    10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Tuesday - Thursday
    10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Friday - Saturday
    Closed Sunday - Monday

    Summer Hours:
    10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Tuesday
    10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Thursday - Saturday
    Closed Sunday, Monday & Wednesday

    Scheduled Closings
    The Gallery is closed for all major U.S. holidays, fall break, Thanksgiving weekend, winter break, final exams week, January Term, spring break, Easter break, and in June for installation.

    Groups wishing to schedule a visit may contact Gretchen Burau, Museum Director in advance of their visit.

    Location

    The AMAA is on the second floor of the Anderson Student Center. at the University of St. Thomas.

    Parking

    Street parking is available in non-permit areas along Cretin Avenue and Summit Avenue. Guests are also welcome to park in the Anderson Parking Facility and the Morrison Parking Ramp.

    Explore the Collection

    AMAA Board of Advisors

    Mr. Gerald D. Brennan, Chair
    Mrs. Carole Boyum
    Mrs. Gretchen Burau, Director & Curator
    Mrs. Cheryl Cook
    V. Rev. Tom Enneking, osc
    Dr. Bernice Folz
    Dr. Tom Harkcom
    Ms. Phyllis Hischier
    Fr. Kermit Holl, osc
    Ms. Gretchen Holland
    Mr. Joshua Irwandi
    Ms. Ursula Konrad
    Mr. David Kostik
    Fr. Onesius Otenieli Daeli, osc
    Fr. Virgil Petermeier, osc
    Dr. Tom Powell Davies
    Ms. Topsy Simonson
    Dr. Nick Stanley
    Mrs. Lori Wiese-Parks
    Dr. Victoria Young
    Mrs. Donna MacMillan, honorary member
    Mrs. Suzanne Burke, College of Arts and Sciences staff

    What is the AMAA?

    The AMAA’s collection of Asmat art is one of the largest in North American with nearly 3,000 works. It was originally formed by the American Crosier Father and Brothers, under the leadership of Bishop Sowada who used anthropological approaches to renew cultural traditions and encourage artistic production in Asmat. This Catholic religious Order first arrived in Asmat in 1958 and acquired objects through purchase, trade, and as gifts. In 2007, the collection was given to the University of St. Thomas to educate our community and the broader public about Asmat. The museum opened in 2012 and is on the second floor of the Anderson Student Center on the St. Paul campus.

    Mission and Vision

    Mission

    The American Museum of Asmat Art at St. Thomas engages students and the global community through preserving, exhibiting, and interpreting the art of Asmat people, in order to expand human understanding and promote intercultural awareness.

    Vision

    The vision of the American Museum of Asmat Art at St. Thomas is to be a preeminent teaching collection, interdisciplinary in nature and programmatically diverse, that promotes global understanding of Asmat art and culture consistent with the mission and values of the University of St. Thomas.

    The Gallery

    The AMAA is divided into two sections. The objects on permanent display include Asmat ancestor poles (bis), a spirit canoe (wuramon), and other large-scale works such as shields and body masks. The rest of the gallery is dedicated to rotating exhibitions based on different aspects of Asmat art and culture.

    The AMAA forms an integral part of the University’s broader commitment to foster respect and appreciation for cultural diversity and the artistic achievements of all humanity.

    Visit

    Academic Year Hours
    10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Tuesday - Thursday
    10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Friday - Saturday
    Closed Sunday - Monday

    Summer Hours:
    10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Tuesday
    10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Thursday - Saturday
    Closed Sunday, Monday & Wednesday

    Scheduled Closings
    The Gallery is closed for all major U.S. holidays, fall break, Thanksgiving weekend, winter break, final exams week, January Term, spring break, Easter break, and in June for installation.

    Groups wishing to schedule a visit may contact Gretchen Burau, Museum Director in advance of their visit.

    Location

    The AMAA is on the second floor of the Anderson Student Center. at the University of St. Thomas.

    Parking

    Street parking is available in non-permit areas along Cretin Avenue and Summit Avenue. Guests are also welcome to park in the Anderson Parking Facility and the Morrison Parking Ramp.

    AMAA Board of Advisors

    Mr. Gerald D. Brennan, Chair
    Mrs. Carole Boyum
    Mrs. Gretchen Burau, Director & Curator
    Mrs. Cheryl Cook
    V. Rev. Tom Enneking, osc
    Dr. Bernice Folz
    Dr. Tom Harkcom
    Ms. Phyllis Hischier
    Fr. Kermit Holl, osc
    Ms. Gretchen Holland
    Mr. Joshua Irwandi
    Ms. Ursula Konrad
    Mr. David Kostik
    Fr. Onesius Otenieli Daeli, osc
    Fr. Virgil Petermeier, osc
    Dr. Tom Powell Davies
    Ms. Topsy Simonson
    Dr. Nick Stanley
    Mrs. Lori Wiese-Parks
    Dr. Victoria Young
    Mrs. Donna MacMillan, honorary member
    Mrs. Suzanne Burke, College of Arts and Sciences staff

    Exhibition Reception: Sept. 30th at 5:30 pm

    The American Museum of Asmat Art at the University of St. Thomas presents Power and Presence: Water in Asmat, an exhibition exploring the many ways Asmat people engage with water. It considers how relationships between animals, humans, and the ancestors are formed around this natural resource and encourages museum visitors to consider their own connections with water.

    Why is water important? Water is a force that shapes many aspects of physical and spiritual life. In the Asmat rainforest, water is omnipresent. It is collected for daily needs and sustains complex rivers systems that are essential for transportation, trade, and recreation. Water is a recurring element in ritual practices and figures prominently in myths that are essential for Asmat cosmology. Many of these practices are currently under threat due to social and environmental changes in the region. Visual culture on display at the American Museum of Asmat Art tells part of this story.


    Image: Markus Tipin, Figure Carving, 2009, Asmat people, Safan region, Wood, paint, string, cassowary feathers, feathers, seeds (AMAA 2010.01.002). Purchased with 2009 Spirit of Solstice fundraiser contributions.

    Idealized Imperfection exhibition in the Department of Art History Gallery.

    Department of Art History Gallery

    By providing both the campus community and the public with access to contemporary and historical art exhibitions, the gallery supports local and regional arts communities and bolsters a wider understanding of artistic engagement with societal issues.

    About the Gallery

  • Mission
  • Visit
  • Artist Opportunities
  • Mission

    The Department of Art History Gallery is committed to providing an exhibition program that fosters dialogue centered around the issues of contemporary and historical art and architectural topics to encourage paths of inquiry and intercultural understanding to advance the common good.

    Visit

    Groups wishing to schedule a visit may contact Marria Thompson, Gallery Curator, in advance of their visit.

    Location

    The Department of Art History Gallery is located on the first floor of the O'Shaughnessy Educational Center (OEC) in St. Paul.

    Hours

    Open daily and admission is free!
    • Monday – Wednesday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
    • Thursday 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.
    • Friday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
    • Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
    • Sunday Closed

    Parking

    Street parking is available in non-permit areas along Cleveland Avenue and Summit Avenue. Guests may also park in the Tommie East Parking Garage.

    Artist Opportunities

    Who can submit a proposal?
    We welcome artists to submit proposals to exhibit their work in our gallery. Scheduled two years in advance, our Art Exhibition Program presents two major displays during the academic year (September through December and February through May). We welcome all emerging and established artists, working in all mediums, to submit solo and/or group proposals.

    Application Cycle and Timeline
    Proposals for exhibitions in 2025 and beyond are now being accepted on a rolling basis.

    Proposal Guidelines
    To submit a digital proposal, please include the following:

    • Letter of introduction stating intent/exhibition proposal (PDF format and up to 3 pages total)
    • Résumé/CV: Your current résumé/CV (or that of each artist involved), up to two pages per artist
    • Artist Statement
    • Digital images: In JPEG format, 72 dpi, 600 pixels in longest direction
    • Image list: title, date, medium, dimensions for each
    • Contact information: phone number and email address

    Digital proposals only, please. Do not mail anything.

    Send all questions and submissions to:
    Marria Thompson
    Department of Art History Gallery Curator
    ArtHistoryGallery@stthomas.edu

    Printable/shareable PDF of above information

    Mission

    The Department of Art History Gallery is committed to providing an exhibition program that fosters dialogue centered around the issues of contemporary and historical art and architectural topics to encourage paths of inquiry and intercultural understanding to advance the common good.

    Visit

    Groups wishing to schedule a visit may contact Marria Thompson, Gallery Curator, in advance of their visit.

    Location

    The Department of Art History Gallery is located on the first floor of the O'Shaughnessy Educational Center (OEC) in St. Paul.

    Hours

    Open daily and admission is free!
    • Monday – Wednesday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
    • Thursday 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.
    • Friday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
    • Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
    • Sunday Closed

    Parking

    Street parking is available in non-permit areas along Cleveland Avenue and Summit Avenue. Guests may also park in the Tommie East Parking Garage.

    Artist Opportunities

    Who can submit a proposal?
    We welcome artists to submit proposals to exhibit their work in our gallery. Scheduled two years in advance, our Art Exhibition Program presents two major displays during the academic year (September through December and February through May). We welcome all emerging and established artists, working in all mediums, to submit solo and/or group proposals.

    Application Cycle and Timeline
    Proposals for exhibitions in 2025 and beyond are now being accepted on a rolling basis.

    Proposal Guidelines
    To submit a digital proposal, please include the following:

    • Letter of introduction stating intent/exhibition proposal (PDF format and up to 3 pages total)
    • Résumé/CV: Your current résumé/CV (or that of each artist involved), up to two pages per artist
    • Artist Statement
    • Digital images: In JPEG format, 72 dpi, 600 pixels in longest direction
    • Image list: title, date, medium, dimensions for each
    • Contact information: phone number and email address

    Digital proposals only, please. Do not mail anything.

    Send all questions and submissions to:
    Marria Thompson
    Department of Art History Gallery Curator
    ArtHistoryGallery@stthomas.edu

    Printable/shareable PDF of above information

    Embracing the luminous reflections and cyclical transformations of rivers and lakes, Hejny combines collected freshwater water and sediment with acrylic to share the stories of these places. From the Mississippi River to Lake Michigan, her relationship with water illuminates each canvas as an invitation for us to remember that we are bodies of water too.

    River Sky No 4, 5, 6

    Images: Annie Irene Hejny, River Sky No. 4, 5, & 6, 2022

    Embracing the luminous reflections and cyclical transformations of rivers and lakes, Hejny combines collected freshwater water and sediment with acrylic to share the stories of these places. From the Mississippi River to Lake Michigan, her relationship with water illuminates each canvas as an invitation for us to remember that we are bodies of water too.

    River Sky No 4, 5, 6

    Images: Annie Irene Hejny, River Sky No. 4, 5, & 6, 2022

    Annie Irene Hejny’s creative process begins in, and with, nature. Along the shorelines of rivers and lakes or among the trees, she finds each work’s origin, set with an intention of respect. In the studio, her relationship with the earth is told through a visual language expressed in her abstract paintings, drawings, sculptures, and bark installations. Culminating in an expression of awe and gratitude, the sheer beauty of the water and land is captured, a visual reminder to others to care for the natural world.

    Hejny is an alum of the University of St. Thomas Class of 2012. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in Minneapolis, MN, Hudson, WI, Chicago, IL, and at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum in Winona, MN.

    anniehejny.com

    View a short film about Hejny's artistic practice: Annie Hejny || The Artist directed by Marko Zitzer and produced by Oak & Glen.

    Annie Irene Hejny’s creative process begins in, and with, nature. Along the shorelines of rivers and lakes or among the trees, she finds each work’s origin, set with an intention of respect. In the studio, her relationship with the earth is told through a visual language expressed in her abstract paintings, drawings, sculptures, and bark installations. Culminating in an expression of awe and gratitude, the sheer beauty of the water and land is captured, a visual reminder to others to care for the natural world.

    Hejny is an alum of the University of St. Thomas Class of 2012. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in Minneapolis, MN, Hudson, WI, Chicago, IL, and at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum in Winona, MN.

    anniehejny.com

    View a short film about Hejny's artistic practice: Annie Hejny || The Artist directed by Marko Zitzer and produced by Oak & Glen.

    Artist Reception Sept. 15 6 - 8pm | All are welcome. Masks encouraged. No registration required.

    Artist Talk Oct. 7 6:30pm | In person. All are welcome. Masks encouraged. No registration required.

    Gallery Tour & Painting Workshop Oct. 24 5:30 - 7:30 pm | Open to St. Thomas students only. Registration required.

    Virtual Artist Talk Nov. 14 6pm | All are welcome. Registration required for access - Registration link coming soon.

    Virtual Exhibition (coming soon)

    Questions? Please contact Marria Thompson (marria.thompson@stthomas.edu).

    Artist Reception Sept. 15 6 - 8pm | All are welcome. Masks encouraged. No registration required.

    Artist Talk Oct. 7 6:30pm | In person. All are welcome. Masks encouraged. No registration required.

    Gallery Tour & Painting Workshop Oct. 24 5:30 - 7:30 pm | Open to St. Thomas students only. Registration required.

    Virtual Artist Talk Nov. 14 6pm | All are welcome. Registration required for access - Registration link coming soon.

    Virtual Exhibition (coming soon)

    Questions? Please contact Marria Thompson (marria.thompson@stthomas.edu).

    About the Collection

  • Mission
  • Explore the Collection
  • Greco-Roman Coins
  • Mission

    The University of St. Thomas Art Collection seeks to bring the visual arts to the university, providing an enriching and engaging experience for all students, scholars, and community members. Diverse in scope, the collection fosters critical thinking about global cultures and the material world.

    Explore the Collection

    With historical oil paintings, large scale outdoor sculptures, intricate African carvings and more, the University of St. Thomas Art Collection has over 1,500 works of art that you can search and explore.

    Greco-Roman Coins

    During Fall 2019, students in Professor Vanessa Rousseau's Museum Studies: Collections (ARTH 250) explored the Greco-Roman coins from the University of St. Thomas Art Collection. This hands-on project allowed the students to work with objects, metadata, and digital exhibitions while creating an online database that serves as a valuable resource for the collection.

    Mission

    The University of St. Thomas Art Collection seeks to bring the visual arts to the university, providing an enriching and engaging experience for all students, scholars, and community members. Diverse in scope, the collection fosters critical thinking about global cultures and the material world.

    Explore the Collection

    With historical oil paintings, large scale outdoor sculptures, intricate African carvings and more, the University of St. Thomas Art Collection has over 1,500 works of art that you can search and explore.

    Greco-Roman Coins

    During Fall 2019, students in Professor Vanessa Rousseau's Museum Studies: Collections (ARTH 250) explored the Greco-Roman coins from the University of St. Thomas Art Collection. This hands-on project allowed the students to work with objects, metadata, and digital exhibitions while creating an online database that serves as a valuable resource for the collection.

    Contact Us

    Questions? Please feel free to contact us.