Jeanne E. Wiger

Jeanne E. (Mossman) Wiger is a 1952 graduate of Luther College. She earned both a B.S. and an M.Ed. in art education from Moorhead State University (Minnesota) in 1964 and 1968 respectively. She pursued post-masters work in psychology and art therapy at various institutions and those areas became the focus of her professional career. From 1970-74 she was a member of the art faculty at Willmar Community College (Minnesota). In 1974 she and her husband, Alfred, co-founded and co-directed Wigerwoods, a treatment facility for schizophrenic adults. In 1984 she became executive director of the Center for Creative Living, Inc. in West St. Paul, Minnesota. In 1986 she and Alfred became the second husband and wife team to receive a Distinguished Service Award from Luther College.

Wiger’s studio art includes work in collage, watercolor, printmaking and sculpture. Many of her pieces explore the psychic and spiritual portions of lives that are often closed off or ignored. In 1993 she finished a series of eight “Spirit Hoops.” Each mixed-media hoop was created on a bent cedar circle about 36 inches across that had been made by Native Americans a century before, perhaps as an aid in the gathering of wild rice. The cedar circles emerged from the bottom of a lake at the Wiger’s summer cabin in 1988. Wiger eventually used the hoops to create symbols of feminine power that represent the developmental stages of life. She used the “Spirit Hoops” in workshops across the country and said of them, “The hoops were sent into a wounded world to teach it a new paradigm. I’m just the conduit.”

There are seven works by Wiger in the Luther College Fine Arts Collection that together form a series based on the last seven words spoken by Christ from the cross. Each of the pieces is an encaustic serigraph on hardboard. They were created as part of the artist’s master’s thesis at Moorhead College and given to Luther College by the artist. In her thesis statement, The Symbolism of the Seven Last Words, Wiger states:

A symbol is … a throwing together or combining of an abstract idea with a visible sign. [These] prints are symbolic in that they are an attempt to express in visible form abstract Christian concepts. … To express ancient truths through interpretable symbols in a contemporary manner was the purpose of this artistic undertaking.

Source of Biography
“Wiger Opens Mother, Son Exhibit.” Luther Alumni Magazine. 32:2 (Winter 1999); Miller, Kay. “Hoops Told Stories …” Minneapolis Star Tribune. Nov. 4 or 5, 1995; Wiger, Jeanne. Moving in Circles. St. Paul, MN. Seraphim Communication, 1995
Related collection
Luther College Alumni