gail threinen


Minnesota Bridge ….. a Cultural Bridge Between East and West



Featured Artists
Craig Steinmetz
Ben Wong
July 9-August 31, 2019
Artist Reception July 13   5-7pm
224 S Broadway Avenue
Albert Lee, MN
Freeborn County Arts Initiative

Come Early And Stay Late To The 56th Annual SSA Exhibition

Come Early And Stay Late To The 56th Annual SSA Exhibition



Mark your calendar for September 6th for the Exhibition Welcome Reception, September 6,7 & 8 for the 3 day workshop and September 7 for the Awards Banquet at the Artistry at the Bloomington Center for the Arts in Minnesota. Special group rate is available at the Hilton Minneapolis/Bloomington Hotel with free transportation to events. Find the on-line link for registration go to www.mingchiaosumie.org or www.sumiesociety.org


Come early… for September 5th Tour of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA) to check out world renown collections with docent guided the tours. Transportation will be provided. No cost for this early bird event hosted by the Ming Chiao Chapter!


The East Asian section of the MIA contains sculptures,ceramics, furniture, artifacts, recreated rooms such as Japanese tea house, tapestries and clothing, along with paintings, scrolls and screens. The MIA has a huge permanent collection of Asian art which they rotate for display.  The tour will include a Chinese scholar studio and collection of ink stones, plus select works of painting and calligraphy from China, Japan, and Korea. We will also explore a special exhibit “An Art as Lyrical as Poetry” which the MIA describes as follows:
“The history of Chinese art is chiefly a history of painting. That’s because in China, painting has always been regarded as supreme—the only visual art form pure and lyrical
enough to stand on an equal footing with poetry and contemplative thought. In traditional Chinese culture, paintings provided pleasure for the eye and, more significantly, an opportunity for learning and spiritual cultivation. The viewing of paintings was considered a participatory activity, a “noble pursuit” to be shared in the company of others. Such an approach—possible here, in a public art museum—suggests that the value and meaning of these artworks do not derive from their material worth alone, but from contemplation and discussion among viewers.”
Please join members of Ming Chiao for a time to contemplate East Asian paintings at the MIA and find inspiration for the painting and calligraphy workshops over the following days.

Stay late….Check out other possibilities to experience while in Minnesota …

Como Park Zoo & Conservatory Garden: enjoy the award-winning neo-tropical Orchid Conservation Collection, the largest public Bonsai collection in the upper Midwest and  The Charlotte Partridge Ordway Japanese Garden. 



Minnesota Landscape Arboretum: was once again voted the best botanical garden by USA Today for 2019. Some of the many beautiful gardens include the Japanese Garden “Seisui Tei” or Garden of Pure Water which reflects a style of Japanese Garden from the Edo Period (1603-1869) and the Chinese Garden where you can take a moment and immerse yourself in the beauty of the garden’s natural setting and stroll the garden path to view a pace of cultural tradition. 



Normandale Japanese Garden: the beauty and serenity of this garden makes it ideal for contemplation and renewal of the spirit.


The Walker Art Center: internationally recognized as a leading arts venue, the Walker Art Center presents contemporary visual arts and design exhibitions; dance, theater, and music performances; and film screenings. While you are there remember to visit the outdoor sculpture garden that houses more than 40 works including the iconic Spoonbridge and Cherry and maybe play a round of miniature golf.


United Noodles: Minnesota’s largest Asian Grocery Store (est. 1972). Enjoy a delicious bowl of ramen at the Unideli, featured on the Food Network.


Explore Minnesota: find your true North with Minnesotan experts helping you with places to stay, things to do, eat & drink, festivals & events, ideas & resources.



Mall of America: with over 520 stores, there’s something for everyone at MOA. From fashion and food to the nation’s largest indoor theme park and swimming with sharks they have what you’re looking for — and then some.



Grand Rounds Scenic Byway System: one of the country’s longest continuous systems of public urban parkways and has been the preeminent urban parkway system for more than a century. It encompasses natural features, including lakes, creeks, woodlands, riverbanks, and wetlands, as well as constructed  features, like canals, lagoons, greenways and parks, playgrounds, parkways, trails, golf courses, athletic fields, picnic grounds, gardens, and  bridges.

Target Field: check out the spectacular Target Field while watching the Twins vs. the Indians Sept. 6th, 7th &/or 8th



And much more to see……that is only limited by the amount of the time you spend in Minnesota. On behalf of the Ming Chiao Chapter we are  looking forward to hosting you in September!


Safe Travels,


Patricia Gustafson, Ming Chiao President


Journey with Calligraphy

Journey with Calligraphy

Susan Frame

I dance when I create an artwork. I dip and sway in tandem with the push-pull-lift of the brush. I try to breathe with the rhythm of the poem or image (sometimes I have to remind myself to breathe!) For me, brush-writing and painting are deep meditations. I receive relaxation and joy from the process, and I hope my viewers receive something special from the finished piece.

I am honored to exhibit my calligraphies internationally including in Taiwan, China, Korea, Thailand, Paris, New York, and multiple U.S. states, as well as at the Sumi-e Society of America annual exhibitions.

When I first began vertical brush-writing in English, inspired by the grass style of Chinese calligraphy, I used it as vase décor on a series of full page flowers-in-vase paintings. My next major calligraphic project was a series of 30 silk panels (72″ x 14″) on which I used silk dyes with brush painting techniques and vertical brush-writing in English.

I reached a point where I wanted to create large artworks composed entirely of calligraphy, but I wanted the words to be my own. In order for that to happen, I realized I needed to spend more time and effort on the art of “word-crafting”. So my work evolved from one-liners on vases to large stand-alone calligraphic poems.

I don’t speak Chinese (or any Asian language) except at a two-year-old level. I don’t read or write it, except for a small number of specific characters. It was (and is) exciting to create the works from my own experiences – both the poems as well as the language of the brush-writing. I have created calligraphic artworks in horizontal, vertical and abstract writing formats, all based on brush-writing in English. These works always begin with a poem that I have written myself.

Like my paintings, my poems and calligraphies are very personal. Some are long and complicated, others are sparse and pared down. Once the poem is written, I plan the artwork composition.

What does composition have to do with calligraphy? My calligraphy composition is about letter and word placement, spacing, movement, tonal qualities, and energy. Even to those who read the language, it’s often difficult to recognize and comprehend grass style or “non-conforming” calligraphy because it’s so personalized. With a successful composition, even if one doesn’t understand the writing, the calligraphy work itself becomes an abstract painting. This is true no matter the language.

I’ve always felt very strongly that calligraphy needs to be confident and filled with energy, or “chi”. It’s so much more than a written thought, and the way in which it’s executed helps to convey that. In personalizing my brush-writing, I pay great attention to the strength and energy of every brushstroke, as well as that of the overall composition. I try to match the mood of my brush-writing with both the meaning of the individual words, as well as the mood and meaning of the poem.

My formal study of calligraphy began over 45 years ago, and I’ve spent many hours practicing and experimenting in the same way that I’ve practiced and experimented with painting techniques. The goal, of course, is always to reach the point where it’s not necessary to think, but to just do. It’s that wonderful place where the brush moves by itself and the work is alive.


Calligraphy Artwork Translations (on the artwork, read from top to bottom, left to right)


  1. River Lullaby (54″ x 27″)

riverside sleep


purify my soul


Ode to the North Shore

Susan Frame



  1. Loons Call (27″ x 27″)

cathedral pines

fog sheer cliffs

golden ripples

milky way trails

loons call

my heart sings


Susan Frame




Keep Painting and Get Ready to Take Awards

Keep Painting and Get Ready to Take Awards

https://mingchiaosumie.org/lodging-event-schedule/2019 Sumie Society of America

56th Annual Exhibition & Workshops

by Pat Gustafson, Ming Chiao President/SSA Events Chapter Chair

and Mary Gunderson, Planning Committee Member


Keep painting and get ready to take awards at this year’s SSA Exhibition and Events! Get ready to prepare now for a late summer stay in Minneapolis-St. Paul. The Ming Chiao Chapter is planning a distinctive experience of East Asia through three days of workshops with two honored teachers, *Hong Zhang and Yuming Zhu and a pre-workshop, docent-guided tour of the noted East Asian Collection at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA). In addition, we’ll offer opportunities to visit two public Japanese Gardens as well as the Japanese and the Chinese gardens at the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum with the added bonus of visiting their dahlia collection in full bloom. Artistry at the Bloomington Center for the Arts, our host facility for workshops and for SSA’s 56th Annual Juried Exhibition, is about 15 minutes from Mall of America, an experience in shopping and entertainment await you.



August 9 to September 20: SSA 56th Annual Juried Exhibition,

Artistry, Bloomington Center for the Arts

September 5: Pre-workshop docent-guided tour, East Asian Collection with brush-painting and calligraphy focus at Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA)

September 6: Gallery Exhibition Reception

September 6 to 8: Workshops* with Jurors Yuming Zhu, painting, and Hong Zhang, calligraphy, Artistry, Bloomington Center for the Arts

September 7: Awards Banquet, Hilton Minneapolis/Bloomington


This year, attendees have the opportunity to learn from two masters. Every workshop attendee will spend 1½ days with each teacher. Juror and Teacher Yuming Zhu calls his work a blend of East meets West artistry. He calls it, “Transism.” He says he paints from his evolving interests including observations on modern life, his love of music and exploring his Chinese heritage and his life in the United States since 1991. Zhu works in oils, pastels and Chinese/Sumi-e watercolors. He lives in Seattle.

Juror and Teacher Hong Zhang creates Chinese calligraphy and Chinese landscape paintings inspired by natures and presented in traditional and in contemporary styles. He carries expertise in such subjects as bamboo plum blossom and various calligraphy scripts. Hong teaches at the University of Minnesota and in his private studio. He’s written three books about learning Chinese calligraphy. His works are on display in corporate offices and personal collections and in his gallery. Hong’s work emphasizes symbolism in Chinese art.


Workshop & Awards Banquet Registration Forms and information: A URL link to registration to download will be provided on the SSA and Ming Chiao Websites next month.


Lodging arrangements have been made for a block of rooms at one of the top ranked hotels in Bloomington, the Hilton Minneapolis/Bloomington, a full service hotel centrally located in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and renovated in 2016. The discounted rates are $107 for king, $115 double queens (2) and $137 for executive king with concierge service. All rates are for both single and double occupancy. Rates do not include occupancy tax on 14.525%. Lodging includes complimentary WiFi, parking and complementary shuttle service to/from the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport, Artistry Bloomington Center of the Arts for reception & workshops and also to the Mall of America, other shopping centers and anywhere in a 5-mile radius of the hotel from 6am to 11:30pm. There will be a host room for meeting, greeting and gathering for all registered guests at the hotel.

Lodging Registration can be made via the direct Lodging & Event & Transportation link or by calling reservations department at 844-856-8554 before August 5, 2019. All individuals will be required to guarantee their first night’s guest room and tax with a credit card. Cancellations can be made until 48 hours prior to date of arrival without cancellation charge. 


We look forward to hosting you in September!