Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Gallery show for 92-year-old artist opens tonight January 14, 2011

The artist, Rhody Yule

TONIGHT MARKS A MOMENTOUS occasion for my friend Rhody Yule.

Tonight his first-ever art gallery exhibit opens in The Carlander Family Gallery at the Paradise Center for the Arts in downtown Faribault.

Maybe to most artists, this would not be a big deal. But, when you’re 92, like Rhody, and have been quietly painting for 76 years, it’s a very big deal to put your art out there for all to see in a gallery setting.

During the past six months, as I’ve worked to make this show happen, I’ve met many times with Rhody. Every time we’ve talked, he’s humbly downplayed his talent. That’s just Rhody—a gentle man who prefers not to be the center of attention.

Yet, tonight, along with Adam Kuehnel, a watercolor artist about 60 years his junior and who is exhibiting in another gallery, Rhody will receive the public recognition he deserves for his oil paintings.

I’m glad this night has finally arrived because, more than once, Rhody joked, “I might die before then (the art show).”

I always responded: “Don’t you dare!”

Then he would smile and laugh. Truth be told, though, I worried.

But tonight, ah, tonight we’ll celebrate as “A Lifetime of Art: The Rhody Yule Collection” opens with an artists’ reception from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

 

For decades, most of Rhody's paintings were stored in this trailerhouse behind his rural home. (He has since moved.) The roof leaked and some of his art was damaged.

One of Rhody's rural landscapes, among several now exhibited at the Paradise.

Rhody specializes in portraits and religious paintings like this one of Christ, which he calls "Misery."

Rhody's exhibit also features several of his sketchbooks, including this drawing.

FYI: The exhibit runs through February 26. Gallery hours are Tuesday – Friday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturdays from noon to 5 p.m.

© Copyright 2011 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

 

3 Responses to “Gallery show for 92-year-old artist opens tonight”

  1. Dorothy Bowman Says:

    What a great thing to take place for him. I am sure he is excited about it. Long overdue. The best to him and the show.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Yes, this show is long overdue. And, yes, Rhody, and all members of Team Rhody, are excited about tonight’s opening reception. Now…if the snow holds off…

  2. Bernie Says:

    I had to read this before I saw how it turned out. I’m behind on catching up with blogs. I’m sure you both were all a twitter that day.


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