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Roberts artist wins award

Barbara Bend

Barbara Bend, a 30-year resident of Roberts, won third place in a juried art show sponsored by the Benedictine Center in Maplewood, Minn.  

Her mixed media sculpture, called “Compassion,” reflects the human spirit in its tenderest, most vulnerable moment.

Her intent, she explains, “is to use whimsy, archetypes, legends, love and raw expression by incorporating the fabrics I love.”  

She constructs forms that honor the integrity of these fabrics and draw attention to her rural surroundings.

Besides winning third place in this Juried Art Competition, Bend won the “Innovative Art Techniques Award in the 2015 Wisconsin Regional Arts Partnership State Show.  

The Spirit on the St. Croix competition awarded her second place in 2014 and Best in Show in 2012.

Her works are currently on exhibit at Seasons on St. Croix in Hudson; Carnegie on Maine in Zumbrota, Minn.; and Art Beat in Hayward.  

This May she will be showing her latest works at The Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson and in September at Great River Arts in Little Falls, Minn. Her art is also part of permanent collections at Temple Ner Tamid in Bloomfield, N.J; Unity Unitarian Christ in St. Paul, Minn.; and Anna Marie House in St. Cloud, Minn.

While Bend taught science for 25 years at St. Croix Central High School, she also squeezed in time to attend art classes and experiment with diverse media. After retiring as a teacher in 2008, she devoted her life to art and is currently welding two, six-foot sculptures that will be featured this spring at The Phipps Center.

In addition, she is a studio artist at Color Crossing, located in Roberts, which consists of artists offering classes, selling yard and upcycling discarded fabrics.  

She is active in the What We Need is Here artist group at The Phipps Center. This group works to support sustainable practices in the arts, empower artists to have an impact in their community and build community

through the arts in the St. Croix Valley Watershed.

She and her husband, Harold, have three children, Torry, Eric and Merodie (Libby).

The juried exhibit, called “Seeing God,” features area artists whose creative process captures a sense of the divine when seeing the world.

Nearly 50 artists submitted their work, which will be on display at St. Paul’s Monastery until March 4. The top three winners share a $375 prize.

This exhibit is part of the Benedictine Center’s “Art & Spirituality” series designed to show how art sustains and expands the spiritual imagination and deepens awe for the beauty of creation.  

The Center sponsors five exhibits annually, featuring area artists. They are open to the public free-of=charge from 9 a.m-6 p.m.

For more information, call 651-777-7251 or email  

The Benedictine Center, a ministry of the Benedictine Sisters at St. Paul’s Monastery, is located at 2675 Benet Road in Maplewood.