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ArtsMinded column: The Saint John's Bible exhibit is a 'must-see'

This column needs to honor a dear, dead contributor and hope another email program will soon imitate its virtues. The email "client" Pressenter died a peaceful death and left many of us mourning its virtues, nor found in many other electronic programs. Most important of course, was its reliability and ease of use.

IT was patterned on the memo organization most of us learned in college freshman English [*to:, from:, subject, and message. If anything went wrong, it had a friendly "help desk" with knowledgeable "helpers" who could tell us how to fix the problem. If the problem was technical, they could fix it for us. Try doing that with Gmail or most of the others.

And since readers of newspapers and connoisseurs of arts (as well as highly functional email

programs) are often interested in books, may I suggest that "bookies" contact, or better still, visit

Hudson's Chapter 2 Books (you can also get on its email list for book announcements:

The important upcoming arts event in River Falls is,you got it, the January Barn Dance, 7-9:30 p.m. Jan. 19. Hudson-based string band Greenwood Tree will play; all of us will dance. As usual, it's at the Academy Gym (439 W. Maple St.) Our callers are wonderfully skilled at teaching new dances to neophytes without making those of us with experience feel "over instructed." When you come to the dance, you can get your free postcard(s) — beautifully tailored from the posters—so that you and your friends can know when the next dance will be (and your fridge can be exquisitely decorated).

Now, let's get to the subject of today's column: The exhibit on "The Saint John's Bible" to open at the River Falls Public Library just after you receive this newspaper. The Saint John's Bible, if you are not familiar with it, is a 21st century "replica" (for lack of a better word) of what might have been a complete Bible in medieval times. It is "illuminated," meaning it has exquisite, colorful, one-of-a-kind designs in its pages using the technology available when early Christian Bibles were" published."

Unfortunately, we cannot see the Bible itself here in River Falls (it's far too delicate and fragile), but the River Falls Public Library (Jan. 10—Feb. 12), will feature an exhibit related to this remarkable achievement. Thanks to the work of Library Event Coordinator Cole Zrostlik, with the help of local resident Kaye Fritz (Kaye's family sponsored one of the pages in the Bible, a total family effort that involved raising thousands of dollars, in memory of Kaye's artist husband, "Bob Fritz"). All exhibits at the library are worthy of a visit but this one promises to be even more rewarding than most.

​The Saint John's Bible incorporates many of the characteristics of its medieval predecessors: it was written on vellum using quills, natural handmade inks, hand ground pigments and gild such as gold leaf, silver leaf and platinum. It employs the modern, English translation of the New Revised Standard Version Bible as well as contemporary scripts and illuminations. The prints displayed showcase a small sampling of the approximately 160 illuminations in the completed work.

Whatever our religious affiliation (or lack thereof), this "Bible" is a fine work of art. Since this work of art, history and religion is far too expensive to be insured for an exhibit at a local small town library, Cole Zrostlik (the art education professional and coordinator of the library's gallery and exhibitions), has prepared an exhibit based on the creation of t"The Saint John's Bible."