|Programs » Art Gallery» Manitoba Hutterite Art|
|The art gallery of the Mennonite Heritage Centre|
Manitoba Hutterite Art
Thursday, May 15, 7:30PM
Wednesday, May 28, 7:30PM
As the number of young Hutterian artists increases, interest in art and awareness of its importance escalate. During the month of May, the Mennonite Heritage Centre Gallery will host an exhibition of art created exclusively by young Hutterian artists. The first exhibition, Hutterisches Leben, was featured in the gallery from January 11 – March 2, 2002.
For the past few years high-school courses for a number of Hutterian schools have been taught via our HBNI, (Hutterian Broadband Network Inc.) IITV (Interactive Instructional TV). Using fiber optic cable to connect remote Hutterite communities, quality courses are delivered, with class sizes of twenty to fifty students -- as opposed to the handful in each individual school. In their respective schools, IITV students hear and view teachers by means of a huge TV monitor, interacting verbally and visually via remote-controlled cameras. Some teachers teach from their respective sites; others drive to Fairholme Colony School to teach.
Carmen Hathaway – who commuted from Portage la Prairie – instructed hundreds of students from different Hutterian communities from 2001 to 2006. Her students have produced complex sketches, water, acrylic and oil paintings, as well as photo compositions.
Currently, Serena Maendel of Fairholme is teaching art via IITV. This school year she instructs 47 students from 12 different Hutterian communities. Her students are creating numerous pieces in a variety of media.
This Hutterian art exhibit features work from past and present IITV art students, including artists from at least 18 different Hutterian communities, some as far flung as Lauder and Petersfield, Ste. Agathe and Oak River. Also included are pieces from talented adults such as Victor Kleinsasser, a teacher at Crystal Springs Colony near Ste. Agathe. Victor has taught a series of linocut lessons via IITV.
Historically, during the last half of the 16th century, Hutterites were known for their beautiful ceramic pottery. Many of the pieces they produced were dinnerware and china: plates, bowls, vases, basins, silverware and pitchers, many of them having artistic value. These pieces typically featured nature motifs, with trees, twigs, flowers and animals, and often a short text – a proverb or a rhyming couplet or quartet from a German hymn. Many were used for gift purposes by the nobility.
When the Hutterites were expelled from Moravia in 1622, they took the secret of manufacturing faience pottery with them. They used not only special kinds of yellow and white clay, some of which had to be procured from distant places, but also definite dyes and mixtures for the ornamentation of the glaze. Hutterite pottery, a.k.a. Habanware is still featured in museums and art galleries today, most recently in the UBC Museum and in the Museum of Decorative Art in Budapest, Hungary. These displays include documented acknowledgement of the Hutterites important contribution in preserving pottery methods through war, pestilence and other disasters.
Why exhibit Hutterite art?
The rationale for exhibiting the art work of a distinct Manitoba ethnic group is compellingly simple and relevant: Hutterites themselves sharing and teaching about Hutterite life is equivalent to visiting a Hutterite community and interacting with its people. What better way to combat the stereotypical analyses of Hutterites than by informing and enhancing public awareness through the presentation of contemporary Hutterite art?