This fall, Catherine G. Murphy Gallery exhibits honor the past

2019 Fall Exhibition Season

This fall, The Catherine G. Murphy Gallery offers shows that explore the past, paying homage to past collaborators, wronged Hmong elders, and family artifacts preserved through antiquity.

"What is Forbidden?," on view through October 19, celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Women’s Art Institute (WAI). In the exhibit, 60 artists who have participated in the annual studio-intensive art course present their responses to the titular question.

“The work on view is diverse and complex, revealing artists who are socially engaged and self-aware,” says Nicole Watson, Gallery director, of the WAI retrospective. “I am proud to highlight this remarkable program and all of its students in the gallery space.”

Concurrently, the Minneapolis College of Art and Design is mounting the invitational exhibition, "With, Through, and Beyond: Visiting Artists Celebrate 20 Years of the Women's Art Institute." On view in the Concourse Gallery through October 13, this show features twelve national and regional visiting artists who have worked with the Women’s Art Institute over the past twenty years.

"After the Fall of Hmong Tebchaw," by photographer Pao Houa Her, opens in November. Her’s portraits explores the loss of the Hmong homeland as well as the recent swindling of over 400 Hmong elders in the U.S. via a fraudulent investment scheme. Her is the 2019 Amy Marie Sears Visiting Artist.

Also opening in November, Linda Brooks’ "lifecycles objects" documents garments and belongings used by the women in her family as far back as the 1920s. Brooks’ photos reveal her interest in the creation and materiality of these items, and the ways they narrate a lived experience.

“Despite the fact that these women worked outside the home, the domestic environment … provided an acceptable realm for women to explore creative ideas,” Brooks writes of the items depicted in her photographs. “This collection of items demonstrates these women were inventive and serious makers who cared deeply about the quality of their craft.”

The fall exhibitions will be on view November 2–December 14.

The Catherine G. Murphy Gallery



Opening reception for "lifecycles objects" and "After the Fall of Hmong Tebchaw"
November 2, 5–7 p.m. 

Amy Marie Sears Visiting Artist Lecture by Pao Houa Her
November 14, 7 p.m.

Gallery talk by Linda Brooks
December 5, 7 p.m.

Upcoming exhibitions

This spring, look for "Cartography of Desire," curated by Katayoun Amjadi and John Schuerman, and "The Heart’s Bright and Dark Light" by Jill Evans. Both exhibitions run February 8–March 20. For more information, visit

About the Amy Marie Sears Visiting Artist Series

Established in memory of Amy Marie Sears, a promising 1995 studio art major who passed away in 1997, the annual Amy Marie Sears Memorial Visiting Artist Series invites a distinguished artist to St. Catherine University for a short-term residency.