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Color of Kindness: Anne Beffel

Anne Beffel: Jiryu Compassionate Dragon 4HANCOCK, MI – “Color of Kindness: Anne Beffel” will be featured at the Finlandia University Gallery, located in the Finnish American Heritage Center, Hancock, October 25 to December 1, 2012.

An opening reception for the artist will take place at the gallery on Thursday, October 25, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

With eyes, minds, and hearts open to color, artist Anne Beffel and the Finlandia University community will explore how people visualize kindness by asking, “What is the color of kindness?” Beffel asked friends and strangers this question for four months and translated their responses into nearly 100 paintings.

The paintings will be on display at Finlandia University Gallery and will serve as a springboard for conversations about visualizing kindness. During her weeklong stay, Beffel will talk with students and hike the far northern Michigan landscape in search of examples of the “color of kindness.”

Finlandia University Gallery will be awash with gestural sparks of color. Each painting is inspired by one of Beffel’s conversations about kindness. Beffel’s neighborhood gardens as well as vast land and seascapes The artist Anne Beffelprovided color sources.

“Sometimes, after I ask this question about kindness and color, a story revealing an important memory of kindness emerges: an exchange between a teacher and student or a neighbor’s experiences as a peace worker in nine different African countries,” Beffel says.” However, most people remain with the description of the color itself, and linger there briefly. I often see them moved to joy. This exchange is in and of itself a moment of shared kindness.”

Known for working with ideas such as attentiveness and apologies on the East and West coasts, Beffel welcomes the opportunity to explore the far north coast of her home state. “I’ve been working in the public realm for over a decade, so this return to studio work naturally includes a social aspect. I welcome the curiosity of strangers as I paint out of doors. Our conversations are as much art works as the paintings themselves.”

Beffel is an associate professor of art at Syracuse University, New York.  Since earning degrees from the University of Michigan and the University of Iowa, and participating in the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Independent Studio Program in New York City, she has worked within contexts as diverse as the World Financial Center in Lower Manhattan, Saint John’s Benedictine monastery in rural Minnesota, and the New York Downtown Hospital and surrounding streets, offices, and community centers.

Her most recent projects have been at the Everson Museum, Syracuse, New York; the Gandhi statue in Union Square, New York; and Occidental Square Park, Seattle, Washington.

“Color of Kindness” will be on display through December 1, 2012.

The Finlandia University Gallery is in the Finnish American Heritage Center, 435 Quincy Street, Hancock. Gallery hours are Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and Saturday, 12:00 to 4:00 p.m., or by appointment.

For additional information, please contact Carrie Flaspohler, gallery director, at 906-87-7500 or

Photo Cutlines:

Photo 1:  Artist Anne Beffel

Photo 2: Jiryu Compassionate Dragon 4