Elizabethtown College part of ‘Peacemaking’ art exchange in Europe
Several Elizabethtown College professors and students are spending time in Germany this summer as participants in the exhibit “Peacemaking – An American and European Exchange of Art and Writings,” the second part of an exchange program between Elizabethtown College and Galerie Stuttgart.
The initial part of the exchange brought works of 26 European visual artists to the College in September 2017. The pieces, curated by German gallery owner Andreas Kerstan, were inspired by the subject of peace and peacemaking and accompanied by text panels by American writers.
Supported by an Elizabethtown College Collaborative Interdisciplinary Scholarship Program (CISP) grant, the exchange came about when Kerstan of Galerie Stuttgart contacted Milt Friedly asking him if he wanted to participate.
Friedly, professor of art at Elizabethtown, asked artists across the country to submit pieces for consideration. And, to develop the exhibit even more, Friedly asked writers to be involved. “It’s quite diverse in how the artists and writers interpreted the theme,” Friedly said.
Featured in the exhibit are two catalogs of art and one book of poetry. Alum Meghan Kreider designed the poetry book cover with Kerstan, and Samantha Redles, an Elizabethtown College Class of 2012 graduate, curated the visual art.
Thirteen writers—12 from the United States and one from Switzerland—and 16 visual artists, including three students from Elizabethtown, offered peace-themed works, focusing on the statement “always relevant, very critical.”
Adam Way ’19 is exhibiting a clay and wood sculpture he titled “Human Condition #2;” Georgia Grimm ’19 has a mixed media sculpture “Admination” in the show, and engineering student Cooper Siegel ’19 is exhibiting “The Hand That Holds Us,” a bronze and marble sculpture.
“This interdisciplinary and international poetry and art program is a strong demonstration of different diverse communities of artists coming together to represent an interest—if not a demand—for global attention to peace, nonviolence, compassion and awareness,” said Jesse Waters, director of the College’s Bowers Writers House, who, along with Friedly, curated the writing segment of the exhibit.
The intent of the exhibition is to “show the significance of how and why the world of art can enhance our engagement with different peoples in terms of respect for life and a willingness to strive for peace around the world,“ said Waters.
The CISP grant was significant in helping Friedly, Waters and David Kenley, director of the Center for Global Understanding and Peacemaking and a professor of history, bring together some of the finest writers and artists from around the world. Kenley also contributed an essay to the catalog and book of poetry.
“In addition to our CISP Grant, we have an outside sponsor for the project,” said Friedly. “The Joseph Robert Foundation of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, funded artists’ and writers’ stipends as well as the catalog and book of poetry, which was created for the exhibition and event in Germany.”
Accompanying Friedly to Germany is exhibitor Siegel, who is also helping to install the exhibit. In addition to time spent at Galerie Stuttgart, the two will tour museums in Switzerland, the professor said.
The exhibit continues through July 21.