West Side-St. Paul

Dublin Core


West Side-St. Paul


This circular pencil drawing contains several interconnected drawings of buildings and or/structures, along with some trees and the suggestion of grass. The building at topmost left is partially cut off but appears to be a residential home with three stories and a wraparound porch. The structures at mid and the upper right up the circle include a series of boxy connected buildings and a campanile like form. A grassy like area present in most of the upper third of the drawing connects the home and the campanile and its surrounding buildings. At lower left there appears a multi-level, stair-like structure extending from a grassy bluff. The grassy bluff-like area continues to the right across the image, punctuated by trees, and separates the upper part of the composition from the lower. The buildings depicted in the lower portion of the circle are a series of connected structures. All are vertical in orientation, the facades differ. The furthest left building has a crenellated roofline and small vertical windows piercing its face. The building to its right has a sloping front covered with a tiled surface. The center structure is horizontally divided into two parts. The lower part is in white with two doors, one on the right and one on the left. The upper part is in gray tone with centralized double window. The building to its right is tall and narrow and has a pole-like form projecting from its roof. The building furthest to the right has a roof with a sloping front and a small gable at its center front. Areas of white negative space can be seen in the upper left and extreme upper right of the drawing.
Gemma Rossini Cullen (1937-2004) was born in Saint Paul, MN. She received a B.A. from the College of St. Catherine (now St. Catherine University) in 1960 and an B.F.A. from Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 1969. She became a member of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Carondelet in 1955 and exited in 1967. She married Walter Cullen in 1969. The couple had two children, Enrique and Tonya, and remained married until her death in 2004. Gemma's work includes large-format paintings and drawings. It routinely depicts women, nature, architectural elements, and abstract forms, at times with an emphasis on repetitive morphing or mutating imagery, and an incorporation of negative space. Like many women were emerging from the Catholic religious community in the 1960s, Gemma was questioning the ways in which the church had marginalized the role of women within its community in the past and, as an ex-sister, exploring new versions of what it meant to be a woman in the present and going forward. In Gemma's case, this meant exploring creating art for women. Gemma was influenced in her exploration by the writings of Carl Jung and his exploration of global cultural histories and archetypal realities. The archetype [and transformation thereof] Gemma was most interested in was that of the Goddess, and she explored this subject in many of her works. As she continued to evolve as an artist, her interest in metamorphosis grew, and she would eventually create a number of successful drawings depicting this concept. In 1992 Rossini Cullen founded her own company, Business Graphics Network. She worked there until 2004 in graphic design, sales, and production. She was a founding member of the Women's Art Registry of Minnesota (WARM) Gallery from 1976 to 1987. Rossini Cullen's domestic exhibitions included venues at the College of St. Catherine, North Hennepin Community College, and Minneapolis Community College, the WARM Gallery in Minneapolis, and the McCrae Gallery at Western New Mexico University in Silver City, New Mexico. Her work is part of collections throughout the United States including Gila Regional Medical Center, Silver City, University of Minnesota Law School, Saint Joseph's Hospital, Saint Paul, Saint Paul Chamber of Commerce, Minnesota Museum of American Art, Federal Reserve Bank, Minneapolis, Dorcy Marquart Law Firm, Minneapolis, and Cardiac Pacemaker, Inc., Saint Paul. Gemma also produced a major suite of drawings for two books, Coulee Deep, poems by Lois Sindelar, Extended Exposure Press, 203, and Twin Cities Perceived, text by Jean Adams Ervin a study of words and drawings, published by University Minnesota Press, 1976. 1,2(Erickson, Elizabeth. (2009). Gemma: Tales of Change. Saint Paul, MN: St. Catherine University.)


Gift of Rossini Cullen Family Estate


circa 1975


18 x 18 inches







Rossini Cullen, Gemma, “West Side-St. Paul,” Digital Collections From St Kate's, accessed May 26, 2024, https://omeka.reclaim.stkate.edu/items/show/3572.

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