Nowhere on earth, at the moment, is there an exhibit quite like A Lifetime Pursuit. The show – which has free admission – features the art collection of retired professor of CSB/SJU Art and Art History Professor Baulu (pronounced Bah-loo) Kuan OSB and what a collection it is: an amalgam of show-stopping prints, manuscripts, masks, clothing, carvings and statues from every corner of the planet.
Kuan taught art history to students “on location,” guiding and mentoring students through Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Northern Costa Rica, New Guinea, West Africa, China and Tibet. One former student of hers recalls that Kuan somehow would get permission to enter and study at archaeological sites that were completely closed to the public. “She was tenacious—even language obstacles never slowed her down,” said the student.
Surrounding these awe-inspiring pieces are Kuan’s own artwork. Beginning with some of her art school paintings which burst with color and excitement to her wood carving where she experimented by using a router as a sculpting tool. Kuan tackled all artist disciplines that have crossed her path: jewelry, ceramics, photographs, drawings, and prints.
Spend around two hours at her show. One hour to absorb her world-class art collection and another hour to take in Kuan’swork. Then return to the exhibit a day or two later, bring your friends and repeat.
The exhibit is at the Haehn Museum Exhibit, Art and Heritage Place located at 104 Chapel Lane in Saint Joseph. Hours are Tuesday-Friday, 10 am to 4 pm, and Saturday-Sunday, 1 to 3:30 pm. Free admission. The show ends December 23, 2017.