Sunday, July 29, 2018

New in the Windows: Nadine Mercil

This is a show that sits smally, quietly in the windows, but on closer examination, packs a punch.  It is worth spending some time with.

Nadine Mercil

My artwork is many things; fragile, elusive, revolting, dramatic, an authentic and visual representation of my inner emotions as I see or define them.  My art, at times, may be provocative, but provocation is not my primary goal.   My primary goal is to develop or create a visual diary of my life, souvenirs of my time here on earth.

My pendants are mementos of my relationship with an abusive man.  They are not meant to be worn – at least not by me – but there is the possibility that at some point they may hang around someone’s neck.  I started out using photographs from family albums, but after going through this supply, have turned to other families photos (bought and sold on EBAY) and since one in three women are abused, I believe there is  a strong possibility that some of the women in the photo’s I have purchased have also been abused.

I think it is important to make this work, because there is often a shroud of secrecy around domestic abuse and I want to remove the shroud and tell the truth, or my truth, about what takes place or what has happened to a woman who has suffered domestic abuse/ violence.   

My work is continually evolving. Depending on what is going on in my life my art can be light and airy – relatively so – or dark and disturbing. 

I have a very strong desire to be seen.  Domestic abuse often makes me feel invisible, that I don’t count, that what I think and feel does not matter – my art challenges that assumption – my art doesn’t have to be pretty – it doesn’t have to be perfect, it can be dark and disturbing, it can be whatever I want it to be, I am free to express myself however I wish – because I rarely show my work, I do not give a great deal of thought to how an audience might react – because the audience is usually just me. 

Monday, June 4, 2018


The JUNEBUG ARTCRAWL, June 16, 10-4

You can also view the most up to date map on the website at:

Wednesday, May 30, 2018



JUNEBUG ARTCRAWL is presented by COPA. COPA stands for Corcoran/Powderhorn Artists - and there are plenty of us! 

Corcoran and Powderhorn are distinct and active neighborhoods nestled in the hub of South Minneapolis. COPA was formed in 2016 to celebrate the many and varied artists that make up our communities.

Our yearly art crawl is when we open our workspaces to meet our neighbors and they, in turn, get to see what artistic talents are living next-door. It's a great opportunity to tour private studios, connect with the artists, and purchase original work.   

There will be jewelry, embroidery, fiber, painting, games, ceramics. animation and more! This year John Akre is bringing a Community Animation Project to Susan Hensel Gallery.  Susan will be exhibiting her digital embroidery in the windows of the gallery; Marcus Larson on 35th st will be showing painting; Sara Stamschror-Lott will exhibit jewelry; Charles Knutson will be showing his well known historic games and accessories...and so much more. 

Keep checking the website.  The artist list will be updated regularly and the interactive map for 2018 will go live soon.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

This is the last week for Platonic Dualities

Kim Matthews and I really do hope you will make the drive to Robbinsdale to see the show.  It is only about 10 minutes up highway 100 from Lake Calhoun/Bde Maka Ska.

Open Saturday, May 26, noon-4 and by appointment.

Gallery 5004, Robbinsdale, MN

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

A few pictures from Platonic Dualities

There is a lot to see in this show.  It will be open again on Saturday, May 19, noon-4pm, and by appointment.  
Gallery 5004, Robbinsdale, MN

photos courtesy of Danielle Moler and Tim Rummelhof

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Platonic Dualities is open until 5/26/18

Platonic Dualities, recent work by Kim Matthews and Susan Hensel, at Gallery 5004, Robbinsdale, MN.  Open Saturdays, noon-4 and by appointment.

Waiting for the first guest
a beautiful entry!
Awaiting the party
Let the party begin!

photos courtesy of Danielle Moler and Tim Rummelhoff

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Platonic Solids

Pla·ton·ic sol·id
plural noun: Platonic solids
  1. one of five regular solids (a tetrahedron, cube, octahedron, dodecahedron, or icosahedron).

Triple Dualities

Platonic describes our friendship...but also certain kinds of geometric solids.  And, within these regular solids are Dualities!

recent art of Susan Hensel and Kim Matthews
opening Friday May11, 6-9pm
Gallery 5004, Robbinsdale, MN

It's an easy drive up 100 N, 10 minutes north of the city.  Just remember that I94 has inconvenient weekend closures right now!

Thursday, May 3, 2018


noun: duality; plural noun: dualities
  1. 1.
    the quality or condition of being dual.

    "the novel's deep duality about human motive"
      the property of two theorems, expressions, etc., being dual to each other.
      the quantum-mechanical property of being regardable as both a wave and a particle.
  2. 2.
    an instance of opposition or contrast between two concepts or two aspects of something; a dualism.

    "the photographs capitalize on the dualities of light and dark, stillness and movement"
late Middle English: from late Latin dualitas, from dualis (see dual).

Among the ideas that Kim Matthews and I have been working with is DUALITY.  Obviously, there can be a series of plays on words, taking us off into commentaries on human nature, spirituality and vice.  But we discovered, with the amazement that only non-math-nerds can muster, that if you place a dot in the center of each plane of a regular polyhedron, you will define another shape within.  Too Cool!

PLATONIC DUALITY, opening Friday, May 11, 6-9pm, Gallery5004, Robbinsdale, MN

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Torus Fever

I have become fascinated with the geometric form torus.  It is, fundamentally, a donut...which is something I used to love and can no longer eat!  But more than that, it can be seen as a depiction of a black hole, or a universe...or...or...The online dictionary defines it thusly:

noun: torus; plural noun: tori; plural noun: toruses
  1. 1.
    a surface or solid formed by rotating a closed curve, especially a circle, around a line that lies in the same plane but does not intersect it (e.g., like a ring-shaped doughnut).
    • a thing of this shape, especially a large ring-shaped chamber used in physical research.
  2. 2.
    a large convex molding, typically semicircular in cross section, especially as the lowest part of the base of a column.
  3. 3.
    a ridge of bone or muscle.
    "the maxillary torus"
  4. 4.
    the receptacle of a flower.
mid 16th century (sense 2): from Latin, literally ‘swelling, bolster, round molding.’ The other senses date from the 19th century.
Cushion Torus

Cushion Torus: Universe

Intersecting Torus 1

Intersecting Torus 2

Torus 1
PLATONIC DUALITIES, opening May 11, 6-9pm, Gallery 5004, Robbinsdale

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Why Geometry?

I am not a math nerd.  I always struggled to like working with numbers and, God-Help-Me, proofs! My father and I would wrangle the homework evening away over missed steps in proofs!   But, I will admit the shapes fascinated me.  However,  we did not do much with drawing or building the shapes in high school geometry and trigonometry class.  I was very relieved when my teacher suggested that I was a bit over matched by the accelerated classes I was in. 

And so, we come to today and the upcoming show

Much of Kim Matthews' work has always involved the structures of geometry. She uses  unusual materials to slowly build mostly regular objects.  It has been a deep and practical way of working.  She developed a modular practice that allowed her to work in the tiny spaces between a full time job and daily obligations.  That practice also reflects the rigor and the peace of a decades long meditation practice.

My work has been disparate over the years.  I have always worked in multiple materials developing large bodies of work around themes.  For the last 30 years my  themes have often been overtly feminist and political, with naturalistic drawing at the core. 

But something happened with the last election.  My creative mind was ignited by the rigid rules and shapes of geometry.  For the longest time, I could not figure out where this was coming from.  It was so different from my last 30 years practice.  But it consumed me and gave me a true sense of peace.  Kim suggested that it probably gave me some sense of control in the chaos.  As we talked more over the months, we concluded that the drive may be more cosmic/ recognize and reflect what we both hope is an underlying order to this life on earth.  And that, my friends, is fundamentally political.  It is quiet.  It is not harsh nor hateful. But it also asks for a new way of being.


Susan Hensel and Kim Matthews
opening May 11, 6-9 pm
5004 42nd Ave N
Robbinsdale, MN 55422

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Platonic Dualities: Put it on your calendar!

Have you put this on your calendar yet?
Kim Matthews and I are very excited to have this oh so brief show!  We have been bouncing ideas off each other for the better part of a year...and then this opportunity arrived late this winter!  Boy did we have to go into High Gear in our studios!
We both are showing lots of new artworks  and really hope to blow this opening reception out of the water.

Let's show Robbinsdale how we do it!  Let's work together to make a HUGE impact and a HUGE opening reception.  Come join us and celebrate our exhaustion!

The gallery is on the left just before the railroad tracks, pretty much across the street from the Robbin Gallery and Historical Society.

There is a smallish parking lot behind the gallery and ample street parking.