Healing Arts Program

During the design planning for the replacement hospital in Owatonna, we realized that the healing process for patients must involve more than medicine and technology.  It also must involve human touch, personal caring and overall healing environment that makes a difference in a patient’s recovery.

The Owatonna Hospital Healing Arts Program seeks to engage viewers momentarily in reflective and trans-formative experiences that naturally contribute to lessening anxiety, stress and worries and promoting healing.

The visual arts, music, natural light, images and elements of nature, and healing interior design have shown to contribute to the comfort, safety , privacy and wellness of every individual involved in the healing process. The Healing Arts Program is a collaboration between Owatonna Hospital and the Owatonna Arts Center.

Works by regional and local artists that speak to the essence and spirit of healing are displayed in waiting areas, conference rooms, patient and staff corridors. Exhibitions are rotated every four months, offering variety and interests for patients, families, visitors and staff as well as opportunities for many regional artists to participate.

Patients, visitors and staff can also purchase selected pieces of art on exhibition. To purchase a piece of artwork, call the Owatonna Art Center at 507.451.0533.

now showing: november-february

Adele Beals, Painting

I’ve always had an interest in the arts, since I won my first art competition in first grade.

I grew up and graduated from a small town in Minnesota. During my high school years, I took a correspondence course from the Minneapolis Art Instruction School, where I received my first formal art instructions. After graduation, I went on to school to become a cosmetologist. The first art that I began selling was painting on glass, which I sold at art fairs. This type of painting became quite boring for me. I decided to make a switch to the fine arts. I now work in four different mediums: watercolor, oil, acrylic and pastels. I’ve taken instruction from very well-known artists, Karen Knutson, Karlyn Holman, Fred Sommers and nationally known portrait artist Daniel Greene.

People always seem to ask, what is your favorite medium? I say, it is the one I am working with at the time. I love them all! I guess for me, it is the challenge of using different mediums to try to accomplish what I am trying to communicate. Being creative in the process is the reward!

I’m drawn to scenes of contrast and drama, often using the source of light and color to produce that drama. I continue to expand my knowledge by taking more art classes when I can and put more mileage on my brushes. You never stop learning in this profession. Practice may not make us perfect but moves us a step closer—one step at a time. I am a member of the Artists of Minnesota. My work has been featured as Featured Artist at Owatonna’s Festival of the Arts.

Rita Kirsch Dungey, Painting

My paintings are layered snapshots and documents of the beauty, variety and subtle shifting of moment-to-moment thoughts and feelings related to the natural seascapes and landscapes I’ve encountered. I am interested in color, process, materials and energetic flow. My intention is to explore and create works that generate positive life
force and present a conduit for infusion of health, joy, courage, spontaneity or a time to simply be in the present moment.

I start a painting with complete openness and allow the interplay of my intentions and
the natural properties of the materials to unfold moment-to-moment. The processes of
construction, destruction, veiling, unveiling, building texture, scraping, sanding and incising, all represent a journey through layers of time, forms, colors and spaces.

By stepping into the flux and surrendering to the natural currents of the creative process and materials, the stage is set for seemingly unrelated components to cross paths, interact and organize. Often, the end result is larger and more vital than anything that could be predicted before starting the journey.

My paintings are a continuation of my journey to discover the emergence of vitally organic and provocative images that result from going with the flow.

Jodi Gasner, Painting

“If you hear a voice within you say, ‘You cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” –Vincent Van Gogh

Jodi Gasner is a native of Owatonna, Minn. As a child she had a passion and desire to create. In high school, she took every art class. After high school, she spent her free time at the Owatonna Arts Center crafting pottery and working on her drawing skills. Then in 2008, she spent two years exploring her passion for art by studying at the Institute for Worship Arts Resources, IWAR. While attending school she had the opportunity to collaborate and illustrate two books, Breathing In With God Exhaling and Butterfly Wings Are Splendid Things.

She went on to receive a degree in illustration and graphic design from Solano College in Fairfield, Calif. After moving back home to Minnesota, she got involved with many different projects, some of which included: teaching art classes at the OAC and for community education, designing business chalkboards, making commissioned work, and
selling at a variety of conferences. She also became actively involved in MNCBIG, the Minnesota Children’s Book Illustrator Guild, in which she collaborated with a team of illustrators to create a nursery rhyme book.

In the summer of 2013, Jodi finished illustrating the book called The Happy Place. This story has become an invitation for children to use their imagination for the better.

Carol Stott, Painting

Carol Stott grew up on a farm close to New Ulm, Minn. and has lived in Mankato, Minn. for many years. With a background in illustration, she considers herself a self-taught watercolorist. Her paintings have been exhibited locally and regionally over the years. Watercolor is her medium of choice.

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Small Towns: A series of watercolor paintings set in small towns surrounding Mankato, Minn. 

The inspiration for this project developed from our travels through many small towns and villages in Minnesota. Some of them, I have a personal connection to; while others, I visited for the first time when I started painting for this series. In all, I observed a quiet dignity and a relationship to their agricultural heritage. I tried to focus on their uniqueness and similarity—shapes and shadows of each town. I wanted the basic subject to be recognizable but adjusted the elements around it to bring the painting to life.

Tressa Sularz, Fiber Art


My art has always been organically intertwined with my life.

After a major health challenge, I find myself dancing back to life again. During this time, because of some physical limitations, a new body of work evolved. I left my comfortable world of creating rattan baskets and began working with new complex techniques and different materials. I am very energized by my new work and look forward to each day, when I can begin working. Creative energy abounds.

My recent work has grown into more sculptural forms. I am learning to listen to my materials and techniques and follow my heart. The graceful shapes reflect a newfound, hard-won grace in life.