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Gallery Curator heads south

Ray Dirks is curator of the art gallery at the Mennonite Heritage Centre. Photo by Dan Dyck.

Winnipeg, Man.—Ray Dirks is heading south this fall.

The curator of the Mennonite Heritage Centre Gallery has accepted an invitation for a September-December stint as artist-in-residence at the Overseas Ministries Study Centre (OSMC) in New Haven, Connecticut. Through the Centre’s close connection with the adjacent Yale University campus, Dirks will also be a research fellow at Yale.

The OSMC web site (, click "Artists in Residence") calls Dirks "an artist whose painting focuses on international images of dignity, integrity, and respect for working people.

"For both the gallery and the Mennonite World Conference exhibit, this will be a very valuable experience." One of Dirks’s current projects is putting together an exhibit called "Our Family", featuring the works of Mennonite artists around the world, for the 2003 Mennonite World Conference in Zimbabwe.

During his residency at OSMC, Dirks will contribute to seminars and workshops and will also be expected to pursue his own artistic endeavours.

The OMSC was founded in 1922 as a learning and renewal centre for missionaries on furlough.

During Dirks’ absence, talented young artist Ruth Maendel (see Canadian Mennonite, February 11, 2002) will serve as curator and artist-in-residence at the Mennonite Heritage Centre gallery. "She’s an accomplished painter and photographer, but is mostly into installation art," said Dirks, who encourages people to visit the gallery this fall to see what Maendel is doing. "She’s a very positive, refreshing person."