“As a Minnesotan, I was raised with simple but consistent values of stewardship,” says artist Annie Hejny. “Those early lessons of conservation lay the foundation for my current art practice, painting with honorably harvested local water and sediment. I submerge fully into the wild pull of the lakes and rivers to listen to our waters speak. And I have, literally, jumped in. The waters can be murky yet strong, same as the pull of my painting technique, sometimes uncontrollable yet ever persistent. Water continuously nourishes me and my art. I paint to reclaim our profound and ancient relationship with the earth, which we have forgotten but has always remained.
“Inspired by the teaching of the Honorable Harvest as recorded by Professor Robin Wall Kimmerer, author of Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants, I use these parameters to guide my collection process at the shoreline. I have developed a blended acrylic painting technique of pouring collected water and sediment over a flat canvas, allowing it to emulate the natural flow and erosion before layering with traditional brushwork. My abstract paintings reflect the changing current, the luminosity of the water’s surface and the foreboding shift in our relationship to water. Fully saturated with elements of the river itself, my art embodies its materiality, its story and its spirit.”
By the Waters showcases a variety of paintings with water and sediment from St. Anthony Falls on the Mississippi River, Lake Superior in Duluth and the Root River in Lanesboro, Minn.
Annie studied at the University of St. Thomas and St. Catherine University, earning a double-major B.A. in Elementary Education and Studio Art. She completed the Woman’s Artist Resources of Minnesota (WARM) mentorship program, the Women’s Art Institute at St. Catherine University and was the artist-in-residence with Lanesboro Arts in August 2017. She lives in St. Paul and creates at the Casket Arts Building in Northeast Minneapolis.
Meet the Artist is free and open to the public. Hosted Appetizers & Cash Bar.
By the Waters runs January 9 – March 4.