Now Showing

The Windows on Cedar Project

The focus of the Windows on Cedar Project is on up and coming local Minneapolis artists. Experienced and emerging artists are invited to design an exhibition for the large shop windows of the Susan Hensel Gallery building.  The windows are lit 24-7 and are at a well lit bus stop in South Minneapolis.  It is ideal space for experimentation or for early forays into designing a solo exhibition.  Since the gallery opened in 2004, over 80 shows have been mounted, many with separate Windows on Cedar exhibitions. The scheduling is generally 6 shows per year, made loose and flexible by the Covid 19 pandemic.  Stay tuned for updates.

Willow in Motion

Susan Hensel Gallery is proud to present Minneapolis, multidisciplinary artist Marth Bird’s new show Body Work on Artsy and in the Windows.

 Running from November 15th, 2021 to January 15th, 2022, Body Work exhibits Bird’s intricately created natural fiber works. Using willow the artist raises and/or harvests herself according to sustainable practices, Bird creates captivating pieces that talk about the complex struggles and triumphs of the body.

These works include her well known spiral forms that mimic the organic geometry of everything from the smallest creatures to the largest galaxies. The exhibit also contains sculptural objects that examine personal experiences of trauma and injury in diverse ways.

ndemic, its impact, its interaction, and ripple effect has forcibly demonstrated new ways of navigating. This body of work represents my navigations through this present time.

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Neutral Territory

August 15, 2021-November 15, 2021.

As part of her artsy show, Neutral Territory, Kim Matthews sculptures are on display.Th

The show spans three venues as a mini-retrospective of Matthews’ work. 15 are represented on Susan Hensel Gallery’s online platform . The two large works occupying the windows of the brick-and-mortar Susan Hensel Gallery in Minneapolis  are Ludus and D+ W. An additional solo exhibition of colorful recent sculptures, Objects of Affection, opens at Douglas Flanders & Associates in Minneapolis on October 2.e pandemic, its impact, its interaction, and ripple effect has forcibly demonstrated new ways of navigating. This body of work represents my navigations through this present time.

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Navigating New Waters

April 15, 2021-June 30/21

This new work by Kate Vinson represents her continued love of the tactile. Art making for her is often a full body kinesthetic experience. She enjoys the physicality of materials, the whole body engagement of creating hand made paper, and the deliberate, mindful journey of the artistic process.

Stitching and collage was a creative way to maintain an artistic practice while navigating the exhausting work as an educator during an pandemic that has turned everything on its head.


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November 15, 2021-January 15, 2022

Willow in Motion

Martha Bird Biography

Born in Upstate NY (Newark) and growing up primarily in the outskirts of Milwaukee, WI, Martha Bird is a Minneapolis-based interdisciplinary artist specializing in Sculptural Basketry. As basketry reaches back to the beginning of time and stretches across all continents, her childhood practice of creating shelter in the neighboring woods and playful attitude of adventure provide a significant backdrop for her current artistic practice.

Bird has exhibited regionally and nationally, including the Minneapolis Institute of Art,

Minnesota History Center, Boston’s Society of Arts and Craft, and with the National Basketry Organization. Her work has been acquired by the Minnesota Historical Society and can also be found in collections in New York and as part of the National Cause Based Art Program in partnership with a large national healthcare provider. Bird has received several Minnesota State Arts Board grants in support of her work. Committed to community, she has been involved in the arts as a presenter, curator, writer, arts organizer, teaching artist and arts advocate. Bird gives presentations to organizations, health care professionals and the general public, using her life experience and research to highlight the health benefits of creating art, and challenging the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

Recent shows include Art Ability, an internationally juried exhibit at Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital in Malvern, PA; Woven, a three person exhibit at Artistry in Bloomington, MN; and Momentary Certainties, an outdoor showcase in Eagan, MN that featured a collaboration of Bird’s Sculptural Basketry with a performance by a dancer inspired by the weaving. Bird’s current work is utilizing her Sculptural Basketry and artistic process to activate the people and places within rural communities while instigating positive change. She will be an Artist-in-Residence for the 2022 Lanesboro Artist Residency and is invited for a 2023 solo exhibit and teaching opportunity at Kaddatz Galleries in Fergus Falls, MN.

Artist’s Statement

As a sculptor of natural fibers, my work weaves together personal experiences of trauma and disability with finding the hope and resilience within the body as a way to engage with the world and stay in it.

My work plays with the contrast of utilitarian and non-utilitarian. There is a year-long process to working with my primary material of 6-10 foot chromatic varieties of willow that I grow and harvest locally utilizing sustainable practices. I am drawn by the medicinal, aromatic, and visual beauty of the material, careful to limit encounters with the bitter aspirin taste from the inner bark and feel of the sting from the whip-like movements as I weave.

What reveals in my sculptures are configurations of spirals, mirroring the growth that happens in nature, the body, our environment, and even the galaxy connecting the individual to the cosmos. I use my body as a tool by holding willow with my mouth, shaping it with my knee, using my whole body as in a swimmer’s stroke to move the flexible willow into curves and patterns. I do this with practiced patience, regulating my breathing into a smooth, rhythmic inhale and exhale with focus and consistency. The tension of my hands, how I am leaning, and the thickness of the material, as I weave and sculpt, ultimately impact the final visual expression and contours of the work.

I start with difficult to learn basketry weaves, pushing and expanding them into a conceptual form through inner listening that is a record of a journey in time and space, marking moments and emotions from the past. Significant influences of my art process include poetry for connecting metaphors found in life and bringing emotion into the visual. I am also drawn to Japanese aesthetics, specifically Ikebana, an asymmetric arrangement consisting of empty space reflecting shadow and light, along with Wabi-sabi, a philosophy and technique incorporating the possibility of beauty in imperfection. Also deeply connected to my process is Shinrin-yoku, the experiencing of nature through the senses. The mindfulness of breathing-through-the-moment to see that things shift and change, invites reflection on “what is.” I do this to create the essence through a singular vulnerable piece of fiber joined in with others to express a manipulated layered interrelationship.

Willow in Motion  by Martha Bird

Recent Exhibitions

Neutral Territory

October 15, 2021-November 15,2021

Artist’s Statement- Kim Matthews

I’m interested in the ineffable qualities of “objectness”—what is sometimes called aura—as well as materiality and process as vehicles for spiritual engagement. My work is rooted in a long-term medita­tion practice; making drawings and sculptures is a complementary discipline of devotion. I use tactility to draw the viewer into the work and toward introspection through the seduction of intense looking.

The works in this exhibition, made over the past 12 years, reflect an ongoing interest in monochrome and a long-term tendency to alternate between organic and geometric bodies of work.

The 108 Series drawings are a kind of art medicine spurred by profound loss. They are influenced by the Tantric drawings of Rajasthan in their format, simplicity, and potential use for prayer or contem­plation. They tend to emerge in response to current world events or personal ones; I’ve made them throughout the Australian wildfires, COVID, and the aftermath of the George Floyd murder, for instance, although they began in response to a breakup of a long-term relationship. They are not topical but are intended to make space for silence and healing in the user’s life

Navigating New Waters

April 15, 2021-June 30,2021

Artists Statement

Kate Vinson

This work represents my continued love of the tactile. Art making for me is often a full body kinestic experience. I enjoy the physicality of materials, the whole body engagement of creating hand made paper, and the deliberate, mindful journey of the artistic process.

This current body of work began as hand pulled sheets of paper made from a variety of fiber pulps and experimentation with inclusions and laminated sheet forming.

This resulted in hundreds of pieces of paper waiting for the next timely transformation. Color was applied through marbling knowing this technique would react to the dimensionality of the paper while preserving its overall inherent qualities.

Stitching and collage was a creative way to maintain an artistic practice while navigating the exhausting work as an educator during an pandemic that has turned everything on its head.

The pandemic, its impact, its interaction, and ripple effect has forcibly demonstrated new ways of navigating. This body of work represents my navigations through this present time.

Navigating New Waters by Kate Vinson

Remaking by Kathryn D’Elia

Artists Statement

Kathryn D’Elia

This exhibition is a collection of work created through gathered observations: a person, a moment of speech, shapes of a curtain, bodily structures, snow-blanketed objects. They are exaggerated, warped, stacked, built and lit to “remake” them into something new–to create something familiar, but on edge.

Further discoveries can be made between artworks. Bridges of color and value marry mold structures, into lung tissue, into the curving forms of an elderly woman’s cheek–into a larger and larger environment of association, one that reaches, leans, sucks, and grows, one that changes dramatically in theme and propensity once rearranged and reassociated.

Kathryn D’Elia was born and raised in Jacksonville, FL. She attended a high school for the arts before attending Flagler College to earn her BFA in 2011 and The University of Washington for her MFA in 2014. She moved to Minnesota in 2016 and currently resides in Saint Paul. She enjoys her work teaching drawing and painting at Perpich Center for Arts Education in Golden Valley and adult painters at Artistry in Bloomington.

Artist Website:

Instagram:  @kathryn_delia_studio

all? by Sandra Brick

Artists Statement

Sandra Brick

(white shirts from second-hand stores, hand-dyed thread and clothes pins)


The U.S. Declaration of Independence begins with the assertion that all are endowed with “certain unalienable rights.” Specifically, the nation’s founders listed, “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

The last three words of the Pledge of Allegiance, an expression of loyalty to country and flag, promise, “justice for all”.

With these shirts, I wonder if the US Government is protecting these “unalienable rights” for ALL. Is our government truly providing justice for all?’

I ask the viewer, “Are you a bystander just waiting to see if the promise of the Declaration of Independence is upheld or a upstander making sure everyone’s unalienable rights are protected?


Working with my hands has been an integral part of my daily life since childhood. Being a textile artist is, for me, an ongoing activity. I dye and stitch and invent new ways to embellish fabric. By sculpting with fiber, I incorporate space and texture into my designs. Creating art involves solving problems, discovering possibilities, merging ideas, and sharing who I am.

Over the past 20 years I have developed a diverse body of work including a set of 42 embroidered pieces that visually interpret haikus written by a local poet, 24 visual “translations” of memories written by a local Holocaust survivor, ten separate works of art depicting different themes for an interfaith artist circle.

Embracing ambiguity is the start of my process. Knowledge is part of the process. Yet there is room for discovery and confusion. For me, art is really about being open to surprise.

Recently I have started aiming my work toward exploring social justice. Can the needle be used as a call to action?

We Help Other Artists

Susan Hensel is a highly productive, multimedia artist who exhibits frequently. She also represents herself as an artist. This means she shows in academic settings and artist-run spaces and a few select online commercial galleries. In her 50+ year career, she has exhibited in well over 300 exhibitions, with 35 solo shows, from coast to coast, with a brief foray into Mexico. Susan Hensel mentors other artists who are looking to establish themselves in the industry.

Contact Susan For Mentorship