The Aesthetic of Simplicity and Humility

In 1983 on a visit to the Miller Art Museum (where her work was on exhibit), Bonnie Hartmann fell in love with Door County. She moved here, and with her husband Bob, created a sanctuary on their five acres south of Sturgeon Bay.

Hartmann was Executive Director of The Miller Art Museum from 1992 to 2015. Before then, as a full-time studio artist, Hartmann received many awards and her work is included in a number of Permanent Collections. She was an art instructor for both adults and children at the Peninsula School of Art for 20 years and has been a juror for several exhibits.

The primary influence on her work was her early experience in Japan, where she became immersed in the culture and aesthetic of simplicity and humility. Concepts of Haiku, Ikebana, Buddhism, tea ceremony, and more, shaped her sensibility.

Working primarily in pastel, Hartmann finds it provides an immediacy, color intensity, tactile satisfaction and direct connection to the working paper/panel, allowing for direct color mixing. The beauty and mystery of nature, its themes, patterns, and variations are a never-ending source of inspiration. For Hartmann, making art is a search for the clearest and simplest way to record a moment of visual magic or poetic thought. Recent work is an attempt to create visual haiku where one encounters the simple and singular, leaving space for a moment of quiet thought.

The UU Gallery is located at 10341 Hwy. 42 in north Ephraim. Gallery hours are 1-3 pm Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and by appointment. For more information call 920.854.7559.

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