An Inspiring Event

The idea for my series of rings was inspired by a show I went to last winter by Minneapolis artist Mimi Holmes. 50 Self-Portraits for Turning 50 - it was the first time I had heard of, or thought about, an artist creating a number of pieces to commemorate a milestone event.

Held at Mosaic on a Stick in St Paul, the fifty distinct and inventive images of Holmes wound 'round the gallery in order of completion. The colorful descriptions of each piece were as much a part of the experience as the visual work itself.

The opening drew a very large crowd of former and current students, protegees, mentors, friends, family and newcomers. The final piece was an ephemeral one, Chalkboard Gingerbread Mimi, where viewers were encouraged to draw their own impressions of the artist. I think mine lasted less than 15 seconds before being erased and replaced. The many versions of Mimi seemed not to be limited by her age but rather by every life she's touched. And like I said before, there was a very large crowd.

In addition to her studio practice, Holmes is an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and teaches the very popular course: Women's Images and Images of Women. She is also the Mentor Program Coordinator for the Women's Art Registry of Minnesota.

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