“A Practice” exhibition on display in Grimm Hall

The Concordia Courier

John and Linda Friend Art Gallery in Grimm Hall

By Maad AlKadhim | 9/23/2022

“A Practice” is an exhibition on display at the John and Linda Friend Art Gallery in Grimm Hall. The art collection was created by Professor Julia Hendrickson, and is available for viewing until Nov. 11.

On Wed. Sep. 14, Hendrickson gave a lecture to students about her work and what inspired her to create it. Hendrickson said, “The paintings on view in Grimm Hall are a practice of painted prayers, in the manner of Brother Laurence who suggests that every action we undertake can be done as a prayer.” 

Visual Arts Department Chair, Rachel Soo said, “We are honored to share Adjunct Professor Julia Hendrickson's artwork.” Soo continued by saying that Hendrickson’s “dedication to painting regularly on a daily basis provides a powerful example to our students” and that “it is a great blessing to have practicing professional artists teaching at Concordia.”

The exhibition contains 18 works of art in all, ranging from empty watercolor tubes to smaller sketchbook pieces to large watercolor paintings on Rives BFK paper. Hendrickson explained that she completed parts of the collection in waves throughout the pandemic. She said that the paintings are “records of a conversation, missives sent with the knowledge that one day things will be different, hope of restoration.” 

In regards to the visual aspect of the pieces, Hendrickson said, “The imagery is biomimetic, referencing bones, shadows, ice, coral, flowers, tree bark, bacteria, and mud. These paintings are a direct result of a years-long studio investigation focused on the interaction between watercolor and salt, prayer and practice.”

Hendrickson provided a fascinating metaphor for her materials and creative process. She first explained that as the pandemic began, dinner parties with friends came to a halt. Her kitchen then became her studio and her art materials became her friends. 

She explained how the sturdy Rives BFK paper was “a stalwart companion and foundational to the success of [the] gathering.” She continued sharing how each material was an essential person at a dinner party. “All of these materials are in conversation, with each other and with me, constructing a careful measure practice. Deepening the relationships through deliberate action,” Henderickson concluded.

At the end of her lecture, Hendrickson invited students to follow her lead in applying learned skills to life. She said, “I encourage you to apply the considerable skills you acquired in getting to the place of being collegiate athletes and scholars and see what other fields and courts you might enter with that same approach.”

If you are interested in seeing and learning more about Hendrickson’s work, visit “A Practice” in Grimm Hall or visit https://www.juliahendrickson.com/practice.html to listen to her lecture. You can also see more of her work on her Instagram @juliachendrickson


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