The Value of One Life | 2.11
Simplicity of Beauty Award | 2.11

The Value of One Life, Transforming Life’s Setbacks into Triumphs | 2.11
A New Exhibit at the Minnesota History Center

Tragedy, for some, can be a roadblock; but for others, it’s a part of the journey. Dr. Robert O. Fisch is a Minnesotan pediatrician, visual artist and Holocaust survivor. He is a living example of overcoming catastrophic life circumstances to reach joy and success.

This is the theme of the new exhibit “The Value of One Life,” conceived by Dr. Fisch and developed by the Minnesota History Center. The exhibit runs through April 10, 2011.

Dr. Fisch and seven other triumphant Minnesotans who survived serious illnesses, accidents, wars and forced relocations are featured. Their stories are brought to life in intimate black-and-white photographs taken by St. Paul photographer Petronella Ytsma.

Hailing from Hungary, Taiwan, New York, Ethiopia, Somalia and around the United States, this group all now live in Minnesota. Each individual was asked the same two questions: “What happened?” and “Where do you find joy?” Their responses vary as much as their circumstances; yet all share a common chorus — how a simple, meaningful and appreciative life can lead to a happy one.

This exhibit is part of St. Thomas University’s “Interfaith Art pARTners: a Twin Cities Festival,” a celebration of the way arts can help to advance the understanding of communities of faith. The festival includes programs and events held at venues across the metro area in late winter and spring of 2011.

The Minnesota History Center, 345 Kellogg Blvd W., is open Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Wednesdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sundays, noon to 5 p.m. Cost: $10 adults, $8 seniors and college students, $5 children ages 6-17; free for children age 5 and under and MHS members. Phone: 651-259-3000, 800-657-3773 or see

(left) Shegitu Kebede: Raised in an orphanage in southern Ethiopia, Shegitu Kebede was 17 when she moved to a resettlement camp in Kenya. Three years later she and her son came to the US. After settling in the Twin Cities she became a community activist committed to helping East African women and children succeed in their new homes. Today Shegitu and her best friend Frewoini Haile raise money for the community work by operating the Flamingo Restaurant in St. Paul at 490 Syndicate Street North.
(right) Robert Fisch, MD: A survivor of Nazi concentration camps, Robert Fisch was born in Budapest, Hungary. After completing medical school in Hungary, he settled in the Twin Cities, where he was a professor in pediatrics at the University of Minnesota. Today he shares his story through a number of books and through his Yellow Star Foundation,

Credit: Minnesota Historical Society
Simplicity of Beauty Award [IMAGE]
Open World Learning’s Jennifer Lor won the
Honorable Mention Merit Award for “Simplicity of Beauty”
in the Scholastic Art Competition.

Women’s Art Registry Minnesota (WARM) Exhibition Deborah McWatters Padgett, Lauri Rockne[IMAGE]

Both Deborah and Lauri work with images of nature and make the most of the natural world’s vibrant colors and fractal structures. Work is meant to be spirit-lifting and almost other-worldly to take the viewer beyond the two-dimensional experience and into the world of the artists’ imagination. Lauri is a multimedia artist whose exhibited works are natural plant and digital prints. She uses these prints as layers behind her digital photos, epoxied in furniture and handbags that light up, and as originals in their own right. Lauri says, “The color and energy offer a positive alternative to the alienation of our current age.” Deborah’s acrylic and torn paper paintings reflect the connection she experiences with all living things and the world around her. This exhibit features images of flowers, trees, birds, oceans and mountains and is about the healing calm and freedom found in art and nature.

Opening reception is Feb. 4, 5-7 pm. Exhibition runs through February 18 at the MN Women’s Building, 555 Rice St., St. Paul. Building is open weekdays 9am–4pm.

For information call 651-228-0338 or e-mail For further works by and information about these artists, visit: and
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