Idealized Imperfection Artist Talks

with Natalia Berglund and Kelly Kruse

Date & Time:

Friday, February 21, 2020
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Join us for artist talks by Natalia Berglund and Kelly Kruse and an exhibition reception for Idealized Imperfection.

Artist talks will begin at 6:30 PM.


An exploration into the spiritual dimension of human experience, Idealized Imperfection showcases two artists who expand on contemporary life while utilizing historical traditions and text. Inspired by Orthodox iconography and fashion photography, Natalia Berglund’s paintings are a commentary on the modern ideals of femininity. Kelly Kruse blends sacred text and personal reflection to create illuminated paintings that consider the duality between time and the reality of pain. While appearing to be idyllic, contemplation and reflection allows the viewer to witness the limitations in life through this visual dialogue.

In memory of Dr. Shelly Nordtorp-Madson, teacher, mentor, colleague, and friend.


Natalia Berglund is a Minneapolis-based (Minsk-born) multidisciplinary visual artist who works in a variety of mediums, with a primary focus on portraiture. Her latest body of work is inspired by Orthodox iconography and fashion photography. Drawing parallels between the high drama of ancient icons and contemporary representations of women in the media, she explores the tension inherent in modern ideals of femininity. With each piece, Natalia represents her subjects both literally and symbolically. She captures the precise facial features, but then makes surrealistic background and color choices that help create a story filled with meaning and visual richness. Natalia has participated in numerous gallery and museum exhibitions. Her work can be found in private collections across the USA, Europe, Middle East, and Russia. Her piece "Vessel" is part of the El Paso Museum of History Permanent Collection. 

Kelly Kruse is based in Kansas City and uses her work to explore the painful, beautiful experience of human transience, longing, and suffering. She developed a visual devotional practice as a response to her battle with depression, through which she wrestles with beauty, history, and theology. Kruse describes her work as contemporary illumination. Like the medieval monks who perfected the art of illuminated manuscripts, she seeks to awake in the viewer a sense of spiritual contemplation. Her first exposure to the idea of illumination came when she studied Medieval and Renaissance music in Italy. Her background in classical music and opera puts her in a unique position to explore the intersections between scripture, poetry, musical works, and the visual arts. She has exhibited her work at galleries and institutions across the country and her work is featured in collections around the world. In addition to her painting practice, Kelly is an active classical musician and maintains a private studio as a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. 


Co-sponsored by the Department of Art History and the Sacred Arts Festival


To make an accessibility request, call Disability Resources at (651) 962-6315.