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December 5, 2014- December 20, 2014

KIRA!: June Stechler's Burundi Women

Kira! Burundi Women

Homewood Studios presents Kira! 18 abstracts and portraits by June Steckler to benefit the work of World Relief Burundi.

About the Work
Earlier in 2014, Colonial Church entered into a partnership with World Relief to fund the organization’s development work in the African country of Burundi. One result is the Kira! (meaning “bless”) series, which is inspired by Burundi’s women. As is its usual practice, Homewood Studios declines a commission on work sold and June Steckler will donate all proceeds from sales of the art to empower these women through World Relief.

Burundi is a small landlocked country in the Great Lakes Region of central Africa. With 80% of its population surviving on less than $1/day, it is the third poorest country in the world. Like Rwanda to its north, Burundi suffers a history of genocide between Hutus and Tutsis. From 1993 to 2003, 300,000 died in that conflict. More than 10% of the population fled. Beginning in 2004, World Relief Burundi formed a network of Burundian churches to reach the mostly rural country.

June Steckler’s Paintings at Homewood
“I bear a debt of love to those in the world around me who face grave circumstances and dire realities,” June Steckler writes in her artist statement. “I am humbled to do something—anything—that might afford my neighbors in Burundi greater opportunities to know more of what life offers, the potential they each have, and who their Creator is. The beauty of Burundi’s people, as well as their acute needs, was the inspiration for the pieces in this series.”

On Tuesday, December 9, at 7:00 pm, Kira! curator, Dawn Duncan Harrell, and Homewood Studios artistic director, George Roberts, will host “Find Yourself in Burundi,”an in-depth conversation, using critical response protocol techniques, to explore Burundi’s stories and June Steckler’s artwork from the viewer’s perspective.

We invite you to participate in the rebuilding of Burundi.

  • View June Steckler’s paintings, read the stories that accompany them, and so bear witness to Burundi’s beauty and strength. View the Kira! exhibit: Fri, December 5–Fri, December 20, 2014; Tue, 5–9 pm; Wed & Fri, 1–6 pm; Sat, 1–4 pm.
  • Engage in the “Find Yourself in Burundi” discussion and so identify with both the women of Burundi and the woman who painted them. Tuesday, December 9, 7:00 pm.
  • Watch June Steckler’s artist talk here and learn how her art and her world view intersected to produce this celebration of women half way around the world. Contact her here.
  • Purchase art and so empower Burundi’s women to heal their nation themselves. Contact curator Dawn Duncan Harrell here.

From Dawn Duncan Harrell:

As the Minnesota curator of Kira! Burundi Women, I've shepherded these paintings through a series of events this fall (2014). Their December stay at Homewood thrilled my socks off. As Burundian eyes gazed through the windows into North Minneapolis eyes and, of course, drew people inside, I found the art not only serving its subjects but its viewers as well. George Roberts led an engaging critical-response-protocol gallery event, training us to see Kira! with our (untrained) observations and to understand it by making connections with our own experiences. June Steckler's work came to life again as community members stopped in to look and read and purchase. World Relief Burundi received exposure and financing as June donated all proceeds to its development work. And Minneapolis will continue to enjoy those paintings that stay to grace her walls, even as the show moves on. Many thanks to George Roberts for hosting Kira! and making Burundi's women welcome in his neighborhood.