A new exhibit titled, “Creation, Cross, People and Places: Scenes in Oil and Oil Pastel,” by local artist Barbara Bjelland opens at the Leep Art Gallery July 7. The exhibit is at the Postma Center on the Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services campus in Grand Rapids.
Bjelland’s broad theme encompasses many places and things she cares about and finds beautiful. “Creation is a good gift to us from God’s hand,” says Bjelland. “It is beautiful, but broken. Christ came to redeem all, and because of Christ’s work, we can share in God’s delight and care for the world and its people.”
Many scenes are from Minnesota, other scenes are from Bjelland’s travels, and from her new home in Michigan. Wherever she is, doing art helps her notice things around her in a new way. She shares this sense of imagination and mystery, of the divine world touching our own. Words and images flow together, and many of her paintings have a narrative sense.
Bjelland grew up in Minneapolis, Minn., and Cuernavaca, Mexico – places that gave her a lifelong love of sky-blue waters and richly-colored folk art. She has degrees in Ancient History, Spiritual Formation, and Commercial Art, and has studied at Minneapolis College of Art & Design. Her work can be seen in the collections of Gustavus Adolphus College and First National Bank in Saint Peter, Minn. Barbara also is an author and an adjunct chaplain at Pine Rest.
The exhibit will be on display at Pine Rest Postma Center located at 300 68th Street, SE, Grand Rapids, Mich., from July 7 until Oct. 4. There is an opening reception July 8, 6 – 8 p.m. The Leep Art Gallery is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and is free and open to the public. For more information, please call 616/222-4530 or go to www.pinerest.org/events.