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Peaceable Kingdom
Date Monday, February 13 - Sunday, April 16, 2023
Thursday, March 23, 2023
6 - 8 p.m.
Location Olson Gallery - View maps and directions
Bethel University
3900 Bethel Dr St Paul MN 55112
Instructions for GuestsIn-Person Wayne Adams Curator's Talk is Thursday, March 23, at 6 p.m. in the Eastlund Room. Reception following in the Olson Gallery.

Event Description

Peaceable Kingdom

Participating artists: Wayne Adams, Brent Everett Dickinson, Michelle Mackey, Steve Prince, Kenneth Steinbach, and Michelle Westmark Wingard

Peaceable Kingdom is a group exhibition, organized by Wayne Adams, featuring the work of six artists whose work responds to the series of over 100 paintings titled Peaceable Kingdom by the 19th century artist and Quaker minister, Edward Hicks. This exhibition was first shown at Equity Gallery in New York City in 2018 and has been reimagined to include additional works that each of the artists have made during the pandemic.

Hicks based his paintings on a passage from the Bible, Isaiah (11:6): “The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them” (NRSV). In Hicks’ paintings, the biblical prophecy is used to invoke a hopeful relationship between enemies—carnivorous predators like lions and leopards lounge among domestic livestock and children. Early in the series, the background contains another scene depicting political enemies—indigenous Americans and European colonists. It’s as if the passage is a prescription for what Hicks desired for his beloved Quaker church in the 18th century—itself in the midst of a painful division. Hicks repeatedly presents an idyllic scene in the midst of the pain and chaos of his present reality, perhaps as a prescription for what was needed or a vision of what he desired.

The sheer volume of tumultuous news surrounding the current political and cultural landscape around the world seems an appropriate motivation to reconsider the need for a Peaceable Kingdom today. Are there new images that can similarly point us out of political upheaval, violence, and racial and gender discriminations, and toward some new heaven of calm and tranquility? Can heaven be present, among us, while the systems of our culture rage against each other? The artists in the Peaceable Kingdom approach these questions in making their own propositions and prophecies about the present and future.


Virtual Artist Panel Discussion: Thursday, March 2, at 6 p.m. on Zoom

In-Person Wayne Adams Curator's Talk: Thursday, March 23, at 6 p.m. in the Eastlund Room. Reception following in the Olson Gallery.

On View in the Olson Gallery: February 13-April 16, 2023

Virtual Viewing: Instagram @bethelgalleries

Image: Steve Prince, Hallelujah Anyhow, woodcut print, 2022


If there are any questions regarding the show, please contact Michelle Westmark Wingard at m-wingard@bethel.edu.