The Peaceful Painting Project
February 27, 2019   //   By:   //   Arts & Culture, Arts and Culture, Campus & Community, Campus and Community, Real-world Learning

Through Mellon Grant, an E-town Class Shares Artistic Views with Community

Elizabethtown College Peacemaker-in-Residence Jon Rudy and Associate Professor of Music Kevin Shorner-Johnson combined their expertise to form a new class to offer to students in the spring 2019 semester—Artistic Peacebuilding.

In this unique course funded by a Mellon grant, students participate in various forms of art including music, dancing, and painting and then reflect on their changes and growth the experiences as a group and as individuals.

“Art is a metaphor to gain a deeper understanding of an event or issue,” said Rudy. “It creates space for a larger dialogue.”

Recently, the class met in the Baugher Student Center to paint a piano donated by a professor at the College to explore how art can change the disposition of a space.

“This activity is a collaborative art form,” said Shorner-Johnson. “We’re interested to see how it will build or change the group dynamic.”

E-town freshman and art education major Grace Hardy developed the artistic design and drew it onto the piano before she and her classmates transformed the instrument into a colorful illustration of their collective ideas.

“As we brainstormed themes, we came up with ‘where flowers bloom so does peace,’” Hardy said. “We thought it fit nicely with the concept of our class.”

The piano will be on display at the BSC for the community to enjoy. It also will be used during the 2019 Ware Lecture on Peacebuilding on Thursday, April 11 at 7:30 p.m. The Elizabethtown College community will welcome SilkRoad, a Grammy Award-winning group developed by Yo-Yo Ma that seeks and practices radical cultural collaboration in many art forms.

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