The Gustavus Artist Series

Tickets Available Online August 16, 2013

New Works by Emily Sheehan
September 3 to October 13, Schaefer Art Gallery
Artist Reception and Lecture: 1:30 p.m., September 19, Schaefer Art Gallery

We perceive through our bodily senses, absorb and evaluate each encounter, and construct means to interpret, respond to and convey our understanding to others. It is in this human space between encounter and communication that we make our world personal. The activity of perceptual drawing (drawing, immediately, from observation in a multi-sensory way) holds me in that human space longer. It makes me think about what I internalize. It lets me decide what to share and then allows me create drawings whose physicality and tactile nature entice others to encounter my experience and embrace their own. —Emily Sheehan

Works by Emily Sheehan Works by Emily Sheehan


Admission to Schaefer Gallery and the Artist Reception and Lecture are free and open to the public

The Rose Ensemble

The Rose Ensemble: “The Roots of Bluegrass”
Thursday, October 3, 2013, 7:00 p.m., Christ Chapel

Saint Paul’s acclaimed Rose Ensemble returns to the Gustavus Artist Series for this performance conducted by founder and artistic director Jordan Sramek. Founded in 1996, The Rose Ensemble performs vocal music that strives to stir the emotions, challenge the mind and lift the spirit. With nine critically acclaimed recordings and a diverse selection of concert programs, the group has thrilled audiences across the United States and Europe with repertoire spanning 1,000 years and over 25 languages, including new research in American vocal traditions which developed into this new concert tour.

For this performance, The Rose Ensemble returns to America’s folk roots in a program featuring rousing Appalachian foot stomping, Southern Harmony shape-note singing, Shaker spiritual songs, and the styles of singing that gave birth to bluegrass. Singers, banjoes, guitars, and fiddles will take you on a journey through our country’s musical heritage! In a departure from it normal programs, The Rose Ensemble combines the power and beauty of vocal music -- stirring the emotions, challenging the mind, and lifting the spirit -- through their signature virtuosic artistry with an imaginative and inspiring performance to bring the beauty of our country’s musical roots to life.

These activities are made possible, in part, by funds provided by the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council from an appropriation by the Minnesota Legislature.


$12 adult, $9 seniors/students/staff, free to Gustavus students

Robert Gruca

Robert Gruca, Classical Guitarist
Friday, October 11, 7:30 p.m., Björling Recital Hall

The Gustavus Artist Series is pleased to introduce Robert Gruca, an exciting guitarist who performs a wide range of solo, chamber, and concerto repertoire. In recent seasons, he has toured the eastern United States and Europe with the Cleveland Orchestra, performing Mahler’s Symphony No. 7 under the direction of Franz Welser–Most. Other performances with the Cleveland Orchestra include Kurt Weill’s Little Three Penny Music, Igor Stavinsky’s Le Rossignol with Pierre Boulez and Howard Shore’s The Lord of the Rings Symphony with Howard Shore. Robert Gruca made his concerto debut performing Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez with the New Philharmonic under the direction of Kirk Muspratt.

Possessing powerful musical interpretation and complete technical command over his instrument, Robert Gruca has already earned several first prizes in national guitar competitions, awards and honors around the world. Robert Gruca has studied with John Holmquist and Jason Vieaux at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he received a Master of Music degree. In a 2006 compact disc, he recorded solo guitar works by Bogdanovic, Koshkins, Dyens, Rodrigo, Schubert and J.S. Bach. He has recently completed a recording of several pieces by Handel including some original transcriptions. That compact disc was released under the MSR record label in 2012. In addition to performing, Robert Gruca is a highly motivated and dedicated guitar instructor who teaches at the Cleveland Music School.


$12 adult, $9 seniors/students/staff, free to Gustavus students

The Explorer's Club
November 1 - December 8, 2013

Artist Lecture: Tuesday, November 5, 2013, 10:30 a.m.
Artist Reception: Tuesday November 5, 2013, 12:00 p.m.

Breaking Wave

The Explorers Club, named after the New York organization founded in 1904 to promote scientific expeditions and research, brings together the work of photographers Paula McCartney and Lex Thompson, each investigating environmentally polar opposites, from ice and snow to tropical islands. Utilizing different means of investigation, each artist asks the viewer to reconsider the way in which they perceive the photographic image in relation to the subjects it portrays.

Paula McCartney’s images in A Field Guide to Snow and Ice illustrate her interpretation of the idea of winter. After moving from San Francisco to Minneapolis she decided to explore the snowy landscape, however, at times without being out in the cold. She now sees winter everywhere, in every environment, in every season and categorizes it by pattern, shape, and line rather than merely by substance. This guide includes images of snowfalls and wildflowers, frozen waterfalls and stalagmites, snowdrifts and piles of gypsum sand, as well as other icy forms in order to explore and reinterpret natural structures and the way they can reference multiple ideas on both micro and macro levels. Elements are abstracted from the vast landscape to illustrate the winter of her imagination. The ambiguity of scale and substance helps the subjects transcend their source. With less, there becomes more.

Breaking Wave

Lex Thompson’s series of color photographs, Mahalo is titled after the Hawaiian word for “gratitude”, one of the few Hawaiian words that tourists learn, and subsequently overuse – a word added to the Hawaiian language only after early visitors noted the generosity of the native people despite their lack of a word for gratitude. This series explores the collisions that occur within the modest perimeter of these socially, ethnically, religiously, and environmentally diverse islands. The body of work is composed of photographs made on five different islands, images made from television and cinema depictions of Hawaii, photographs of collected artifacts, and drawings of photographs that he wish he had made but failed to. The images create a portrait of Hawaii that both reinforces and subverts the prevalent image of the islands perpetuated by Blue Hawaii, Magnum P.I. and Fantasy Island. Film and television create a mythic Hawaii in our popular imag ination that is distant from reality—a distance that is just as difficult to traverse as the Pacific Ocean was to settlers and colonists. The breadth of images in the series collapses the distance of the Pacific Ocean and the idealization of media portrayal of the Hawaiian Islands.

Michael Johnson

Michael Johnson in Concert
Friday, December 13, 2013, 8:00 p.m., Björling Recital Hall

Beginning on April 20, 1968 and the days of The Mitchell/Trio of Denver, Boise and Johnson, Michael Johnson has appeared (almost) annually on the Gustavus campus. The singer, guitarist, songwriter and storyteller, returns to Gustavus for this special concert. Michael has written and recorded such hits as Bluer Than Blue, Give Me Wings, That’s That, and performed with a depth and heart that comes only from years of dedication to the art of music. In 2012, Michael released his newest recording, Moonlit Déjà Vu, on a tour that included his concert at Gustavus.

An accomplished composer, guitarist and singer, Michael would say that he is a soloist at heart. Billboard Magazine calls him a “dazzling guitarist and a wonderfully expressive singer.” Amy Kurland of Nashville’s Bluebird Café writes that Michael is “one of the greatest and most sensitive guitar players I know. His singing is warm and captivating and his songs are the best.” Björling Recital Hall has become his second home. Over 45 years of performing on the Gustavus campus, we have come to call him our friend and we have invited him back into our “living room” for a very special evening. Bring your friends and don’t miss this celebration of music with Michael Johnson.


$15 adult, $12 seniors/students/staff, free to Gustavus students

The Bach Society of Minnesota

The Bach Society of Minnesota: Bach & Jazz
Friday, February 28, 2014, 7:30 p.m., Björling Recital Hall

The music of Johann Sebastian Bach has been described as a reflection of the harmony of the universe, and also, by extension, a model for a harmonious society. It is this inspiration that forms the mission of the Bach Society of Minnesota, bringing musicians (professional and amateur) together to hear, perform, and promote the music of J.S. Bach. However, if you’ve heard one of the Bach Society’s past performances, this one will be a bit different.

In this, the Bach Society’s third year of collaborating with the jazz trio Framework, the Society is continuing its energetic exploration of the commonality between these two genres: classical and jazz. Artistic Director Paul Boehnke explains, "Bach expected his musicians to improvise and bring more to the music than what was written. And jazz musicians, in their playing of American jazz standards, are expected to improvise and bring more to the composition than what's found on the page." Past Bach & Jazz concerts have been hailed for the kinetic connections felt by all.


$12 adult, $9 seniors/students/staff, free to Gustavus students

The Aeolus String Quartet

The Aeolus String Quartet
Friday, March 7, 2014, 7:30 p.m., Björling Recital Hall

The Aeolus Quartet makes it first appearance on the Gustavus Artist Series this season. The quartet has acquired numerous awards and plaudits in that last two years, winning major prizes at the Fischoff, Coleman, Plowman, and Yellow Spring chamber music competitions. These awards are a testament not only to their virtuosity as a quartet, but also to their dedication to educational outreach. They were awarded the 2012 Jon Lad Prize this past August for their "high level of musicianship and also for the passion, the dedication, and the great generosity of spirit, they have demonstrated en route to becoming true ambassadors of chamber music.”

As alumni of the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Aeolus Quartet designed and performed a program for elementary students in the Cleveland Public School system in April 2009. The significant impact of this program has led to its becoming an ongoing project in the Cleveland Public School system. While pursuing their masters degrees at the University of Texas at Austin (under the direction of the Miró Quartet), the ensemble worked in collaboration with the university's Rural Chamber Music Outreach Initiative, presenting educational programs and performances in communities throughout Texas. As the current resident string quartet at the University of Maryland (where they are pursuing doctoral degrees), the Aeolus Quartet splits their time between educational and performance activities.


$15 adult, $12 seniors/students/staff, free to Gustavus students