OWU to explore power, potential of art


Special to The Gazette - delnews@aimmediamidwest.com



Ohio Wesleyan University’s 2018-2019 Sagan National Colloquium will explore “Art and Engagement,” showcasing artists and academics working to improve the world through their creative skills, scholarship and service.

“This year’s colloquium understands art to be an essential part of building cultural heritage, a framework for understanding ourselves in the present moment, and a means for imagining a collective future,” said Erin Fletcher, director of the Richard M. Ross Art Museum and director of this year’s colloquium. “The presenters, exhibitors, and performers will help us to imagine what our tomorrow may look like so that we can make better decisions today.”

The Sagan National Colloquium – an OWU tradition since 1984 – kicks off today at 6:30 p.m. with a free choral performance by The Harmony Project, in Benes Rooms A and B of Ohio Wesleyan’s Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 40 Rowland Ave., Delaware. Visitors are invited to park in the campus center’s east lot, located on Spring Street between Sandusky and Franklin streets.

Following the performance, David Brown, founder and creative director of The Harmony Project, will participate in a roundtable discussion about the Columbus, Ohio-based organization and its work to connect people across social divides through experiential arts, education, and volunteer community service.

What began in 2009 with fewer than 100 voices has grown to more than 1,000 people dedicated to building a stronger, more inclusive community. Learn more about Harmony Project at www.harmonyproject.com. This event is presented in collaboration with Ohio Wesleyan’s Department of Music.

Additional events scheduled for “Art and Engagement,” Ohio Wesleyan’s 2018-2019 Sagan National Colloquium include the following: (For the latest, most up-to-date schedule, visit www.owu.edu/snc.)

Aug. 28-Oct. 7 – “What We Make,” an exhibition drawing upon “socially and politically engaged art practices to consider how we build communities that are capable of working together across difference.”

In addition to traditional media, the exhibit will incorporate sound and video, and selections from the Interference Archive. “What We Make” will fill all four galleries in the university’s Ross Art Museum, 60 S. Sandusky St., Delaware.

The exhibit’s diverse artist list includes Doug Ashford, Robby Herbst, Tomashi Jackson, Christine Sun-Kim, Anna Teresa Fernandez, and 2013 OWU alumnus Andrew Wilson.

During the academic year, the Ross is open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The museum is handicap-accessible and admission is always free. Call (740) 368-3606 or visit www.owu.edu/ross for more information.

7 p.m. Sept. 6 – Sharif Bey, Ph.D., a ceramicist and associate professor of art at Syracuse University, discusses his work as an artist, educator, and art-teacher mentor.

Bey’s ceramic/mixed-media artworks examine traditional and contemporary notions of function, ritual, and identity, and his current research explores the identity and political agency of African-American artists. He will speak in Benes Room B of Hamilton-Williams Campus Center, 40 Rowland Ave., Delaware.

1 p.m. Sept. 8 – Sara Trail discusses the California-based Social Justice Sewing Academy and the group’s OWU quilt exhibit, “We Hold These Truths: Artistic Voices of Youth.”

Trail, founder and executive director of SJSA, will share insights about the academy and discuss the young artists who represent the “resilience, brilliance, and existence of promising individuals who are most at-risk for their dreams to be deferred and their life outcomes marginalized because of America’s unresolved racist and entitled history.” She will speak in the Bayley Room on the second floor of Beeghly Library, 43 Rowland Ave., Delaware. Learn more about SJSA at www.sjsacademy.com.

Trail’s presentation will be followed by a hands-on workshop from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the same venue. Pre-registration is required for the workshop and is limited to 25 people. Cost is $10 for adults, free for students. To register, call 740-368-3606, email ramuseum@owu.edu, or visit www.owu.edu/snc.

The “We Hold These Truths: Artistic Voices of Youth” quilt exhibition is on display now through Sept. 25 in Beeghly Library’s Gallery 2001. Curated by Tammy Wallace, associate director of the Ross Art Museum, the exhibit is open during library hours, available online at https://library.owu.edu.

4:15 p.m. and 5:15 p.m. Sept. 11 –Laurie Jo Reynolds, M.F.A., of the University of Illinois at Chicago, presents a lecture followed by an RSVP-required talk-back and dinner exploring, “We Shouldn’t Have Criminal Justice Policies We Are Afraid to Talk About.”

An assistant professor of social justice in UIC’s School of Art and Art History, Reynolds’ work challenges the demonization, warehousing, and social exclusion of people in the criminal legal system. Learn more about Reynolds at http://artandarthistory.uic.edu/profile/laurie-jo-reynolds.

To evaluate state responses to sexual abuse and violence, it is necessary to know what the policies are. In the 1990s, state legislatures began establishing public registries, public exclusion zones, and laws restricting housing, employment, education, travel, loitering, and even holiday activity. Some states now have up to five different conviction registries.

Reynolds uses artistic and cultural approaches to consider some of the unintended consequences of public registration and notification laws, and related restrictions, and how they represent a missed opportunity for both prevention and justice.

Both events will be held in Benes Room B of Hamilton-Williams Campus Center.

Reservations are required for the 5:15 p.m. dinner, presented in collaboration with the Ohio Wesleyan Department of Philosophy. To register, email professor Shari Stone-Mediatore, Ph.D., at ssstonem@owu.edu.

1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Sept. 21 – Black Quantum Futurism (BQF) Collective of Philadelphia presents workshops on “Alternative Temporalities and Quantum Event Mapping.”

BQF Collective – a collaboration between musician and poet Camae Ayewa and public interest attorney, author, and Afrofuturist Rasheedah Phillips – explores personal, cultural, familial, and communal cycles of experience, and solutions for transforming negative cycles into positive ones using artistic and holistic methods of healing.

The workshops will explore linear time constructs in contrast to indigenous African and Afro-diasporic traditions of space, time, and the future. They will explore alternative and Black-womanist temporalities as well as how to build future maps and quantum time capsules, shift cause-and-effect, and the interaction between timescapes and soundscapes.

Workshop capacity is limited to 15 people per 90-minute session, with the 1 p.m. session reserved for the Ohio Wesleyan campus community. The workshops will be held at the Ross Art Museum. To register, call 740-368-3606, email ramuseum@owu.edu, or visit www.owu.edu/snc.

4:15 p.m. Sept. 26 and 7 p.m. Sept. 27 – Interdisciplinary artist and critical writer Robby Herbst of Los Angeles presents a free artist’s talk and “I+We” workshop.

On Sept. 26, Herbst will discuss how politics, language, and ideology are manifested in bodies as expression, movement, history, and action. He will speak at the Ross Art Museum, where his work will be on display through Oct. 7 as part of the larger “What We Make” exhibit.

On Sept. 27, Herbst will host an “I+We” workshop, a free experimental and participatory (political) movement exploration that borrows techniques from dance, social sculpture, and New Games to explore collective identity, play, and movement.

The 90-minute workshop also will be held at the Ross. Capacity is limited to 20 people. To register, call 740-368-3606, email ramuseum@owu.edu, or visit www.owu.edu/snc.

Oct. 18-Dec. 13 – “Culinary Roots/Migratory Routes,” an art exhibit exploring food production and consumption.

The exhibit shows that “how what we eat is not just a source of nourishment but a force that creates, dissolves, and reforms communities as immigrants both preserve and lose the taste of home.” It will be on display at the Richard M. Ross Art Museum.

“Culinary Roots/Migratory Routes” is curated by Nancy Comorau, Ph.D., associate professor of English, and student curatorial-assistant Anna Davies, a senior from St. Clairsville, Ohio. It will feature a curator-led tour at 4 p.m. Oct. 25 followed by a public reception from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

During the academic year, the Ross is open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The museum is handicap-accessible and admission is always free. Call (740) 368-3606 or visit www.owu.edu/ross for more information.

4:10 p.m. Oct. 3 –Kiese Laymon, M.F.A., professor of English and African American Studies at the University of Mississippi, presents “What’s the Point in Lying if You Don’t Want to Get Caught?”

Laymon is the author of the novel “Long Division” and a collection of essays titled “How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America.”

His talk is presented in collaboration with the Department of English’s Poets and Writers Series and will be held in the Bayley Room on the second floor of Beeghly Library, 43 Rowland Ave., Delaware.

8 p.m. Oct. 4-6 and 2 p.m. Oct. 7 – Theatre production of “Cloud 9” by Caryl Churchill, directed by OWU senior Ares Harper of Columbus, Ohio.

Gender and power face-off in this masterful comedy, where people’s disjointed identities relate to their lack of autonomy. Join these sexually repressed characters on a journey that transcends time and space, as they fight to find their place in a swirling world of self-discovery. Contains adult themes and strong language.

“Cloud 9” will be performed on the Main Stage inside Chappelear Drama Center, 45 Rowland Ave., Delaware. Tickets to this OWU Department of Theatre & Dance production are $10 for general admission and $5 for senior citizens, Ohio Wesleyan employees, and non-OWU students. Admission is free for Ohio Wesleyan students with a valid university ID. To reserve tickets, call the box office one week before opening night at 740-368-3855.

Oct. 1-Dec. 15 – “Stateless,” an exhibit of portraits by Columbus, Ohio-based photographer Tariq Tarey depicting people who, under national laws, no longer enjoy citizenship in any country.

Tarey’s insightful portraits capture the self-defined identity that led these now-stateless individuals to make the sacrifice of leaving their countries. The exhibition will be on display in Beeghly Library’s Gallery 2001.

At 7 p.m. Oct. 18, Tarey will present an artist’s talk in the library gallery, followed by an exhibit reception. The exhibit is curated by Tammy Wallace, associate director of the Ross Art Museum. The exhibit is open during Beeghly Library hours, available online at https://library.owu.edu.

6 p.m. Oct. 26 – Archaeologist William Lipe, Ph.D., presents “Rock Art, Cliff Dwellings, and the Battle Over Bears Ears.”

President Barack Obama established the Bears Ears National Monument in 2016 as a 1.35-million-acre tract in southeastern Utah.

Lipe, a retired Yale University professor with expertise in the North American Southwest, has conducted research in the Bears Ears area for more than 50 years. He will show examples of its rock art and architectural treasures and discuss its scholarly and public importance, including what is needed to protect it.

His 90-minute presentation will be held in Benes Room B of Hamilton-Williams Campus Center.

8 p.m. Oct. 27 – Theatre production of “How to Be a Respectable Junkie” by Greg Vovos, starring Christopher M. Bohan.

Based on a true story, this guest-artist event provides a humorous, heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful look into the nation’s opioid crisis, an in-depth look into the troubled soul of a Northeast Ohio man caught in heroin’s deadly grip. Contains depictions of drug use and adult language.

The performance will be held in the Studio Theatre inside Chappelear Drama Center, and conclude with a post-show discussion with the actor, playwright, and members of the OWU and Delaware communities. Tickets are free but required because of limited seating. To reserve tickets, call the box office after Oct. 22 at 740-368-3855. Learn more at www.owu.edu/TheatreAndDance.

4:10 p.m. Nov. 5 – Terese Mailhot, M.F.A., author of “Heart Berries: A Memoir,” presents a reading from her New York Times-bestselling book.

Mailhot is a Native American author from Seabird Island Band and postdoctoral fellow in the English Department at Purdue University. In addition to reading from “Heart Berries,” she will share thoughts on the power of activism through writing.

Mailhot’s reading is presented in collaboration with the Ohio Wesleyan Department of English’s Poets and Writers Series.

About the Sagan National Colloquium

Now in its 34th year, the Sagan National Colloquium seeks annually to address in-depth an issue of national or global importance. The colloquium is funded by an endowment from 1948 OWU alumni Margaret Pickett Sagan and John Sagan, both deceased.

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Special to The Gazette

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