Many artists are well versed in what I think of as solitary refinement - inner growth that comes from dedicated commitment to their chosen creative forms. Some also envision themselves and their work as part of a community and world in which we all live more fully if we contribute to the creative whole.
It was this vision that guided artist and teacher Lynn Jermal, whose life ended last week at a tender age. Her personal work and dedication as a professor in the art department at UW-RF informed a long succession of students, colleagues and friends. Around the campus there are beautiful pieces of group art that speak to the spirit of collaboration that Lynn inspired.
She also traveled extensively and among other places took groups of students and film makers to Shangri La, on the Chinese-Tibetan border. There they learned a many centuries old black pottery tradition, creating ongoing bonds in that exotic and lovely part of the world.
So, here's to Lynn, a gentle, generous person, creator of meaningful art and community builder, enriching the present and future for us all.
There is a beauty at the goal of life,
A beauty growing since the world began,
Through every age and race, through lapse and strife
Till the great human soul complete her span.
Beneath the waves of storm that lash and burn,
The currents of blind passion that appall,
To listen and keep watch till we discern
The tide of sovereign truth that guides it all;
So to address our spirits to the height,
And so attune them to the valiant whole,
That the great light be clearer for our light,
And the great soul the stronger for our soul:
To have done this is to have lived, though fame
Remember us with no familiar name."
--Excerpt from "The Largest Life" by Canadian poet Archibald Lampman (1861-1899)
With gardens in colorful bloom and much of the upkeep accomplished earlier than usual this year summer approaches with promises of relaxing evenings at outdoor concerts and festivals just around the corner. Hop on your bicycles, walk on down, load your families and lawn chairs into the car - whatever your mode of transportation, enjoyment is free for the taking.
Events and Opportunities
--Continuing at River Falls Public Library, 140 Union St., All Schools Art Show (lots of talent on display)
--Continuing through June 10, Exhibitions in Main and Atrium Galleries at The Phipps Center for the Arts, 109 Locust, Hudson. (These shows inspire delight and wonder). More about Phipps events at www.ThePhipps.org.
--Friday, June 1, 5-9 p.m., Opening reception for Fanciful Garden Art at Seasons on St. Croix Gallery, 401 Second Street, Hudson
--Friday, Saturday, June 1 and 2 - New Richmond: Park Art Fair and Willow River Blues and Brews Fest feature about 175 artists and craftspeople as well as bands and brewery stands. Contact New Richmond Chamber of Commerce at 715-246-2900 or www.newrichmondchamber.com/artfair.htm.
--Saturday, June 2, 1-3 p.m., Reception at River Falls Public Library presenting Dale Lewis and the Hastings-Prescott Area Arts Council, "The Frugal Zoo and Others, Too".
--First weekend in June - Roberts: Good Neighbor Days includes a parade, sporting events, music, food and more, see www.robertslions.com for more information
--Call to artists for 2D and 3D floral-related art for exhibition at the RF Public Library prior to River Falls Days (July 14). Submissions due June 7 and 8. Call Jera Terreng at 715-426-3496.
--Friday, June 8, 5-8 p.m., Opening reception at artZ Gallery features the work of 12 artists, 208 N. Keller, Amery. Conversation with the artists at 6:30 p.m. 715-268-8600 or www.artZ.orgm
--Tuesday, June 12, 7 p.m., weekly outdoor concert series begins at UW-RF Amphitheatre (rain site University Center Falcon's Nest) with Charlie Parr and Lucy Michelle with the Velvet Lapelles. June 19 features the Tommy Bentz Band. Refreshments and grilled food available for purchase.
--Thursday, June 14, 7 p.m., Death on Cache Lake with author Dan Woll at River Falls Public Library
--Friday, June 15, 4-8 p.m., Opening reception at Gallery 120 features the work of Cheryl Maplethorpe, mixed media, Dale Lewis, sculpture and Laurie Wilson, glass. Hosted by Global M.A.D.E. and Interior Concepts, 120 N. Main St.
--Friday, June 15, 6:00 p.m., Opening reception at The Phipps Center for the Arts, "Women and Water Rights: Concerning Water" will feature work by local, regional, national, and international artists addressing the precarious state of the world's fresh water supply and the need for women's voices in water issues. Ojibwa Grandmother Mary Ellen Baker of Mother Earth Water Walks (raising awareness throughout N. America) will lead a ceremonial opening of the galleries, starting at 6 p.m. www.motherearthwaterwalk.com
--Friday and Saturday, June 22 and 23, 7 p.m., and continuing weekly through August, RF Community Arts Base presents Music in the Park at Veterans Park, Main and Elm
--Saturday, June 23, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sunday, June 24, 1-4 p.m., 14th Annual Artful Gardens presented by the Hudson Garden Club. Artists and musicians at several locations. Begins at The Octagon House, 1004 3rd St., Hudson, WI, 715-386-2654. Tickets $12.
--St. Croix River Association 2012 Photo Contest submissions must be postmarked by August 15, 2012. www.stcroixriverassociation.org
--Pottery classes for ages 8 to adult at Kinnickinnic Clayworks, 127 N. Main St. 715-222-4035 or www.kinniclay.com