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Seen and Heard: Alyssa’s paintings are being seen in Sweden

October 2, 2016 GMT

Artist Alyssa Hoerl, a 2006 Century High School graduate, recently had the honor of painting a piece that Mayo Clinic commissioned to be given as a gift to its Swedish partners at Karolinska Institutet.

The original painting was given to the president of the institute, and the image was featured on the cover of a conference handout, and everyone in attendance received a pack of greeting cards with the image on the front.

Hoerl credits her receiving this commission to media exposure in “Seen & Heard.” It “really got my name and my work out around town, and someone from Mayo Clinic saw it, and that’s what led to this commission piece,” she said.

Mayo Clinic is one of the reasons Alyssa is so passionate about painting glass, so it’s fitting that it all came full circle for Hoerl with this piece.

“A lot of people don’t know this, but my inspiration comes from (American glass sculptor Dale) Chihuly, and I love his glass blowings up at Mayo Clinic,” she said. “He has very unique designs.”

Hoerl is a self-taught artist who got her fine arts degree from the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities, where she learned to perfect her technique. She has always focused on glass and the distortion of light, which has become her artistic niche.

For the commissioned piece, Mayo Clinic “wanted it to be abstract. If you look at some of my other pieces, they are more realistic, but this one was fun because it was more free-form than I usually do. I always strive for a new challenge that I haven’t had in previous paintings and this was one.”

There is more to her painting than meets the eye: The focus around glass science beakers expresses the deeper purpose behind them working together for a greater cause. The yellow and the light blue beakers symbolize the Swedish flag, the maroon beaker symbolizes the institute’s flag, and the royal blue is for Mayo’s flag, all strategically placed close enough to one another to distort the light and blend the colors in the reflections to symbolize them coming together for research.

The piece was done in just two months, an intense challenge for Hoerl to take on, because her pieces usually take six to eight months to make.

“But by far, (it was) one of the most passionate for me,” she said. “Recreating my glass photographs into oil paint is extremely rewarding. When I pair that with Mayo Clinic research it’s beyond gratifying. This commission is such a huge thing for a Rochester native like me. It’s just amazing. I’m extremely honored that they knew about me, and that they asked me to do this.”

Hoerl considers herself an artist who doesn’t do it for money or fame, she just paints because she is passionate about it.

“My goal in life is to just make people happy, so I hope they can be happy when they see this piece,” she said. “I always want my art to draw out emotions in people and make them stop and feel.”

Game, set, match

Congratulations to the Aqua Storm tennis team! They just went to the U.S. Tennis Association League Adult National Championship and won the Sportmanship Award. It’s typical Minnesota nice in action.

The team consists of Coach Brad Dorsher and players Claudia Tabini, Lisa Doering Lee, Colleen Arey Timimi, Carrie Robinson-Cannon, Debbie Moynagh, Nicole Bice Taggart, Meg Sharpe Repede and Karina Keogh. Congrats!