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The Gallery

From one sister to another

SSND’s Mary Ann Osborne recalls congregation founder in art exhibit


ister Mary Ann Osborne’s exhibit in St. Pauls’ Gallery at the Benedictine Center in St. Paul is, in a word, inspired. Osborn has been a School Sister of Notre Dame in Mankato for nearly 40 years. She’s been a woodcarver almost as long with a catalog of some 1,300 pieces -- the vast majority of which are inspired by biblical tradition and New Testament theology. She’s exhibiting a broad selection of her works at the Benedictine Center through May 30. For this exhibit, however, Osborne took her inspiration one step farther. In tribute to the founder of the School Sisters of Notre Dame congregation, Mary Theresa of Jesus Gerhardinger, Osborne imagined a childhood diary written by Gerhardinger herself. Drawing from several trips to Gerhardinger’s home city in Germany, as well as actual dates and events culled

from extensive research into Gerhardinger’s life, Osborne constructed a robust exploration of her formative years. Osborne then paired one of her works with each diary entry. “I attempted to show that she, like us, was an ordinary person who did ordinary things growing up, but God’s hand was in it all,” Osborne wrote, in part, in her artist statement. “My hope is that what brings truth to us -- her writings, the imagined diary, ad the accompanying images -- will inspire us to act in some way in order to make a better world.” For more information about the exhibit, visit and click on the “Benedictine Center” tab at the top of the page. — Tanner Kent

Songs, surprises Mankato Children’s Chorus celebrating 20 years with April 13 performance


hat’s a birthday without a big surprise? Rest assured, the Mankato Children’s Chorus has a few in store for its spring program at 3 p.m. on April 13 at Gustavus Adolphus College’s Christ Chapel -- which doubles as the organization’s 20th anniversary celebration. “There are a few secrets,” said Leah Ries, who is in her 14th season as a director for the Children’s Chorus, which boasts about 150 regional students (in grades 1-12) in four separate ensembles. “It should be fun for the audience.” In addition to solo and collaborative performances from the Chorus’ four choirs, Ries said the concert also includes a variety of connections to its past members and history. For instance, the Youth Choir (grades 4-5) will be singing a song from the Children’s Chorus’ very first concert, “The Wind.” Past choir directors and piano accompanists have been invited to participate and a choir comprised entirely of parents will also play a role. In addition, former director Julie Aune will guest direct one of the performances. “It’s been fun contacting the different alumni,” Ries said. “It’s exciting to come back and see each other and. ... It’s a special connection that music has given them.” The theme of the concert is “The Power of a Song.”

14 • April 2014 • MANKATO MAGAZINE

Performances include a rendition of a song by the same name composed by Roslyn Sieh, a parent of a choir member who is also executive director of the Mankato Area Youth Symphony. In addition to their annual winter and spring concerts, members of the Mankato Children’s Chorus also participate in several community events each year. This year’s schedule included a guest appearance in the Mankato Symphony Orchestra’s Muppets-themed concert in February as well as performances at assisted-living facilities and community events. Tickets for the concert on April 13 are $10 (adult) and $7 (children/seniors). For more information, visit — Tanner Kent

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People, Places, Lifestyles of the Minnesota River Valley

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