A Tender Spirit, A Vital Form: Arlene Burke-Morgan & Clarence Morgan

On view at Katherine E. Nash Gallery from January 17 through March 18, 2023
"A Tender Spirit, A Vital Form" on cream background above composite of two artworks: yellow swirls on white above and a person's eyes duplicated in a frame over their forehead below.
Composite image by Nyeema Morgan
Top: Morgan, Fuzzy Thinking, 2015, detail, acrylic, ink and graphite on paper, 16 x 16 in.
Bottom: Arlene Burke-Morgan, Proceed with Caution, 1996, detail, water-base crayon on paper, 60 x 40 in.
Abstract drawing of blue and black lines swirling on white.
Morgan, Untitled, 2017, graphite and colored pencil on Duralar. Image 18.5 x 18 .5 in, frame 25 x 25 in.
Abstract line drawing inside form made of intersecting circles on white
Morgan, Medieval Remnants, 2011, Mixed-media collage-drawing on 3M Scotchcal film, 10.5 x 10.5 in.
Abstract painting of white lines atop red, yellow, and blue swirls on black
Arlene Burke-Morgan, Untitled, 2013, acrylic on paper. Image 27 x 27 in., sheet 40 x 30 in.
A brown bulbous ceramic sculpture on white background, similar to a thumb with score marks near the bottom.
Arlene Burke-Morgan, untitled, undated, ceramic sculpture, 14 x 13 x 9 in.

The Katherine E. Nash Gallery, operated by the Department of Art at the University of Minnesota, presents A Tender Spirit, A Vital Form: Arlene Burke-Morgan & Clarence Morgan. The exhibition consists of 100 paintings, drawings, sculptures, and related ephemera.

Arlene Burke-Morgan (1950-2017) and Morgan (b. 1950) (née Clarence Morgan) epitomized the artist-couple: in love with each other and devoted not only to their art but also to their family and faith, and to the wider community of students and artists. Originally from Philadelphia, they moved to Minneapolis in 1992 when Morgan joined the faculty in the Department of Art at the University of Minnesota. Arlene Burke-Morgan also taught as a lecturer in the Department of Art from 1992 to 1996. Morgan retired his position as Professor of Art at the end of 2021.


January 17 through March 18, 2023

Public Program & Reception

Saturday, January 21, 5–8 PM

5–6 PM, Public Program with the exhibition catalogue essayists Robert Cozzolino, Tia-Simone Gardner, Bill Gaskins, & Nyeema Morgan. This is a ticketed event. A recording of the Program is available on the Department of Art's Youtube page:

6–8 PM, Public Reception. A slideshow from the evening is also available on our Youtube:

Watch the March 13 artist talk given by Morgan as he walks visitors through the gallery to experience over thirty years of work and shares his insights on building a creative life:

Arlene Burke-Morgan

(1950, Philadelphia; 2017, Minneapolis)

Arlene Burke-Morgan earned a BFA from the Moore College of Art and an MFA from East Carolina University, School of Art. Her work has been exhibited nationally, including presentations at the National Academy of Design (NY), The Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (NC), the Alternative Museum (NY), the Nexus Center for Contemporary Art (GA), and the Columbia Museum of Art (SC). She received numerous awards, including the Julius Hallgarten Award for Painting at the National Academy of Design, the North Carolina Arts Council Artist Fellowship, and the McKnight Foundation Fellowship in the Visual Arts.


(1950, Philadelphia)

Morgan earned a Certificate-Diploma from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and an MFA from the University of Pennsylvania, Weitzman School of Design. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including presentations at Ze Zhong Gallery and Dax Art Space, Beijing, Rosenberg+Kaufman Fine Art and Reeves Contemporary (NY), the Minneapolis Institute of Art, Walker Art Center and the Weisman Art Museum (MN), Galerie Resche, Paris, and the Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans. He has received numerous awards, including the North Carolina Arts Council Visual Artist Fellowship, the Art Matters Individual Artist Grant, and the Bush Foundation Individual Artist fellowship.

Exhibition Catalogue

The Katherine E. Nash Gallery has published A Tender Spirit, A Vital Form, the catalogue to accompany the exhibition. The catalogue includes 100 full-page color images of artworks by Arlene Burke-Morgan and Morgan and original essays by Robert Cozzolino, Tia-Simone Gardner, Bill Gaskins, and Nyeema Morgan. The catalogue is distributed worldwide by the University of Minnesota Press and is available at the University of Minnesota Bookstore.

Media Requests

Contact Howard Oransky at horansky@umn.edu


The exhibition is curated by Howard Oransky, Director of the Katherine E. Nash Gallery. The exhibition catalogue was made possible by a generous contribution from the Department of Art, through the Harold Adams Fund. The exhibition is presented with the generous in-kind support of Metropolitan Picture Framing and Wet Paint Artist Materials and Framing.

The Gallery is located in the Regis Center for Art, East Building, 405 21st Avenue So., Minneapolis, MN, 55455. This is in the Arts Quarter area of the West Bank campus.

Open: Tuesday and Friday, 11 am – 5 pm; Wednesday and Thursday, 11 am – 7 pm; Saturday, 11 am – 3 pm. Closed: Sunday and Monday. Regis Center for Art is U-Card access only; please call the Gallery Attendant Desk for entry.

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Learn more about the parking options below:

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Regis Center for Art is accessible to visitors who use mobility devices or prefer to avoid stairs. Service animals are welcome in the gallery.

A fully accessible, gender neutral restroom is available on the 2nd floor of the Regis Center for Art (West). To access this restroom, take the elevator to the 2nd floor and proceed across the skyway towards Regis West. As you exit the skyway the restroom will be directly across from you. Fully accessible gendered restrooms are located directly to the left hand side when exiting the gallery on the first floor of Regis Center for Art (East).

Large bags and backpacks must be left at the gallery front desk with the attendant. In order to protect the art, no food or drink is allowed in the gallery.


The Katherine E. Nash Gallery is a research laboratory for the practice and interpretation of the visual arts


We believe the visual arts have the capacity to interpret, critique, and expand on all of human experience. Our engagement with the visual arts helps us to discover who we are and understand our relationships to each other and society.

The Katherine E. Nash Gallery will be a center of discourse on the practice of visual art and its relationship to culture and community — a place where we examine our assumptions about the past and suggest possibilities for the future.

The Nash Gallery will play an indispensable role in the educational development of students, faculty, staff, and the community.


Professor Katherine "Katy" E. Nash (1910–1982), a faculty member of the Department of Art from 1961–1976, proposed that the Student Union create a university art gallery. Founded in 1979, the gallery moved to its current location in the Regis Center for Art in 2003. Learn more about the remarkable life and work of Professor Nash.

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