“The St Croix River flows through the body of work. The river and its tributaries carve out and define the land. The roads move us along it, the rail lines follow it, the bluffs were sculpted by it, and towns develop alongside it.” – Painter Joshua Cunningham
Oil paintings of the St. Croix River by Joshua Cunningham will be displayed at Christ Lutheran Church in Marine on St. Croix from March 18 to April 22. The works were all created based on Cunningham’s two-week stay last summer on the banks of the river at the Pine Needles Cabin, an artist-in-residency program operated by the St. Croix Watershed Research Station.
The residency gave St. Paul-based Cunningham an understanding and appreciation of the river that went much deeper than its appearance and aesthetics. Even though he works in a visual medium, natural history, science, and close study gives his images their meaning.
Cunningham’s residency was recently the subject of a story in Plein Air magazine, a national publication for painters that work outside.
“While the light, season, and prevailing weather set the palette, tone, and mood in my work, my curiosity about the natural history of a place set the subject of that palette,” Cunningham told the magazine.
This new show will be dedicated to the paintings created in the field during his residency and some larger studio pieces created afterwards.
During his residency, Cunningham immersed himself in his work, creating paintings nearly every day. He also spent a day in the field with Senior Scientist Mark Edlund taking sediment core samples on regional lakes. Local artist Tom Maakestad took Cunningham out to a few of his favorite spots to paint on the St. Croix River from Maakestad’s pontoon.
Joshua previously engaged the public with a demonstration of Plein Air techniques during a bustling Saturday morning in Marine. He also installed an exhibition of his non-residency artwork at the Marine Community Library, showing previous works largely depicting places up and downstream on the St. Croix River.
Exhibition of St. Croix River Valley paintings
by 2015 Pine Needles Artist in Residence, Joshua Cunningham.
March 18th – April 22nd
Christ Lutheran Church
150 5th St.
Marine on St Croix, MN
Open 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily,
Sunday Services 8:15 & 9:45