Two abstract artists bring welcome pops of color to upcoming Coe art exhibits

Extra: Rod Pritchard, Secretary of the College
(319) 399-8605 or

2017-02-03 09:57:08 - General

Two abstract artists will bring welcome pops of color to art exhibitions opening mid-February in the Sinclair Galleries at Coe College. "Open [sketch]book: close readings and evolutions" by the Portland-based abstract painter Thérèse Murdza will be in the Vivian Eaton-Buchan Gallery. "Apparent Magnitude," comprised of installations by the Twin Cities-based fiber artist Kristina Fjellman, will be in the Marvin Cone Gallery.

An opening reception for both shows will be held in the Sinclair lobby on Friday, Feb. 17, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. The galleries will open at 4 p.m. and the artists will give brief gallery talks at 6 p.m. The exhibitions will remain open during regular gallery hours from 4 to 6 p.m. daily through Sunday, March 12. All events are free and open to the public.

About Thérèse Murdza

Before Thérèse Murdza became a painter, she studied writing and jazz. These disciplines still influence her colorful abstract paintings and drawings. Shapes, especially circles, recur throughout her work like riffs on a theme. Scrawled phrases and numbers emerge out of layers of paint, gesturing evocatively towards a story. Her paintings record the synesthetic experience of “seeing music, hearing words, somehow marking sound in charcoal, ink, pencil, and then: paint.”

In 2015, Murdza began her open [sketch]book project, a series of daily paintings on paper. She posted each painting online and fans across the world followed along as her current body of work developed. "Open [sketch]book: close readings and evolutions" brings together a curated selection of those daily paintings along with larger works on canvas to provide viewers with an intimate look into Murdza’s thought process in the studio.

Thérèse Murdza is based in Portland, Oregon and is represented in eastern Iowa by the Gilded Pear Gallery.

Artwork by Thérèse Murdza
Artwork by Thérèse Murdza

About Kristina Fjellman

Kristina Fjellman carefully sews hundreds of delicate shapes of sheer fabric onto wire frames and arranges the pieces into large, shimmering constellations. Her translucent installations move like waves through the gallery casting multilayered shadows on the walls. At times, the overlapping pieces look like feathers or scales, but they also reference nebulae and the swirling motion of planets and galaxies. Inspired by images of outer space taken by the Hubble telescope, "Apparent Magnitude" is a beautifully tactile exploration of color, light and movement.

Kristina Fjellman graduated from St. Catherine University with a Master of Arts in art and theater education. She is based in the Twin Cities and received a 2010-11 Jerome Fiber Art Project Grant at the Minnesota Textile Center. Her installation "Borealis" is currently on view at Catherine G. Murphy Gallery at St. Catherine University through March 17. Upcoming projects include an exhibition at the Phipps Gallery in Hudson, Wisconsin and a performance at the Sandbox Theatre in Minneapolis.

For more information on the exhibits, call 319-399-8000.

"Horizon" from the "Apparent Magnitude" installation by Kristina Fjellman
"Horizon" from the "Apparent Magnitude" installation by Kristina Fjellman