Mahtomedi alumna Annie Hejny, Class of ‘07, will showcase more than 20 original paintings at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum in Winona for her first major solo museum exhibition titled, “Waterlines.” After graduating in the top 10 percent of her Zephyr class and summa cum laude from the University of St. Thomas, Hejny is quickly advancing in her professional art career.
Hejny said she lived a creative childhood and dreamed of becoming a schoolteacher. Her focus on art did not develop until after entering the teacher education program at St. Thomas.
“I remember the day during my sophomore year, when I declared my elementary education major and then called my mom to explain that I wanted to pursue an additional major in studio art. My family was incredibly supportive as I worked between two universities to receive my Minnesota State Teaching Licensure at St. Thomas and complete an art major at St. Catherine University (SCU).”
After graduation, Hejny felt called toward art more strongly than teaching; thus, she made a commitment to her paintings and her artistic voice, and took a leap of faith into the art world.
Through completion of a professional mentorship with the Women’s Art Resources of MN and attending the Women’s Art Institute at SCU, Hejny discovered the root of her creative inspiration in the waters of Minnesota. Her painting process starts well before approaching the canvas. Immersing herself into the natural environment of the Twin Cities to build a relationship with the earth, Hejny harvests her materials at the shoreline, primarily of the Mississippi River.
“Being in nature is scientifically proven to heal both body and mind. My paintings are an extension of this healing, reconnecting us to water. The river needs us as much as we need the river.”
Over the past year, Hejny has been painting full time to create an impressive number of never-before-seen works that will be revealed at “Waterlines.” This includes one 6-by-9-foot canvas, the largest scale that she has ever produced.
“Waterlines” opens Thursday, Aug. 30 and runs through Jan. 6, 2019. All are welcome to meet Hejny at the opening reception from 5-7 p.m. Aug. 30. For more, visit www.annie-hejny.com
The Minnesota Marine Art Museum is located at 800 Riverview Drive, Winona. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.