Paintings & "Skinnfell Prayers"

by Ashley Dull (LC '05) and Becky Franklin (LC '05)
Center for Faith and Life
September 1 - October 10, 2010

There will be a Gallery Reception on Saturday, October 9, 2010 from 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. All are welcome.

Ashley Dull

Ashley Dull is a 2005 graduate of Luther College who first displayed her work publicly when she was nine years old.  Since graduating from Luther, Ashley has created a name for herself and developed a market for her work through numerous shows and gallery affiliations; including The Artist Gallery, Wayzata, MN; Tamarack Gallery, Stillwater, MN; Kelley Gallery, Woodbury, MN and Hudson, WI; and Wilcock Gallery, Excelsior, MN.  She has also shown her work at several churches and community centers and in 2009 was a featured artist at the Perfect Edge in Decorah, IA.   

Several local and regional publications have highlighted Ashley and her work, including the MN Sun; Eden Prairie News; Decorah Newspapers; Inspired(ed) Media; and most recently the Lake Minnetonka Magazine.  Ashley is currently located in the Twin Cities where she works as a full-time studio artist.

Although Ashley’s marketing and aesthetic practice includes the production of Giclée prints of her work, the current exhibit contains only original paintings from which the prints are produced.  Additional information about the artist and her work, along with contacts for purchase, are available on her website.

Becky Franklin

Becky Franklin graduated from Luther College in 2005 with a major in art and minors in music and religion. While at Luther she completed work study programs as a gallery assistant to gallery coordinator David Kamm, and as a fine arts collection assistant to Jane Kemp, circulation librarian and special collections supervisor. In the summer of 2004, she interned under Mike Brenner, director and curator of Hotcakes Gallery and executive director of the Milwaukee Artist Resource Network.  Those work experiences led her to establish an annual endowed scholarship at Luther in 2007 for current Luther students hoping to pursue professional art internships outside the studio.

From 2004 to 2007, Becky completed several public art projects in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, including a “Beastie” for the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s Beastie Beat and art installations for the Milwaukee Art Service Corp. She was a featured guest artist at the Current Gallery of Fine Art and Unusual Finds in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin in 2007 and at the Bleeding Heart Bakery in Chicago, Illinois. In 2008, she was invited to contribute work to the Eckheart Tribute Collection, which is permanently housed in the Luther College Fine Arts Collection. She also contributed work to the Foot in the Door Exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in 2010.

Becky lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her husband Sam. She currently works as the office manager and organization assistant for the Weavers Guild of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Past and current art projects and contacts for purchase are available on her website.

Artist's Statement

"Scientists say that we have an advantage over other mammals because of our ability to think symbolically, manifesting our thoughts into means like language, art, and music.  Archaeologists tell us that our ancestors left paintings on walls and caves, pottery with geometric patterns, textiles adorned with beads, and other decorated artifacts. We are predisposed to decorate our environment, sometimes for pure aesthetic purposes, sometimes to tell a story, and sometimes in an attempt to relay a message to a higher power, like a prayer.

The people of Scandinavia used sheepskin for warmth during the long, cold winters. Surviving a winter was tolerable when luxurious sheepskins (or a large, pieced-together sheepskin, called a skinnfell) were between their bodies and the cold wooden furniture or the chilly air. These treasured skins could not exist in the home just as is, especially since the suede side of the skin is essentially the perfect canvas. They would print, with wooden blocks and alder-bark dye, a collage of symbols that represented their prayers for protection, good harvest, fertility, and energies that fueled life. The symbols reflected elements in their environment, which were most often rooted in nature.

Like our ancestors, we still hope for the things that we need to exist comfortably. For this collection, I used iron-on transfer paper to print our prayers onto sheepskin. Each piece consists of traditional designs and a modern translation in the symbols we understand today."

-Becky Franklin on her show "Skinnfell Prayers"