ART STUDENTS COMPLETE MURAL PROJECT AT LYNN COMMUNITY CENTER
Working collaboratively, students from painting and advanced drawing classes at Gordon designed an installation for the two storefront window cases at the Lynn Community Minority Cultural Center (CMCC), located in Lynn, Massachusetts. The installation features six hinged panels in each window case, with a grid of over 90 images displayed in a quilted pattern. Each one-foot-square image expresses a different aspect of the diverse ethnicities and architectural sites of the community and celebrates the work the CMCC has done in Lynn, placing its work within the larger history of the Civil Rights Movement. The panels were presented to the community at an unveiling celebration December 15, 2006.
"It was exciting to learn about the cultural diversity in Lynn," said Kirsten Eichenauer '08, "and to explore ways of representing its themes." Junior Angela Yarian said that the more she engaged in research about the community, "the more engaged I became with the richness of our subject matter. As the last weekend rolled around before our deadline, excitement was high, and we worked on this project with fervor."
Students found the process of collaboration arduous but rewarding. "It took a lot of patience and energy during the planning process," said Annika Knibbe '08. And senior Sarah Lupton shared that a major concern for the students was "how all the panels would come together with all the different images and varying painting styles. But as we continued painting we began to see how perfect this diversity of approaches was for Lynn."
Tanja Butler, associate professor of art, noted that this opportunity to engage in art projects for public spaces is a valuable part of an undergraduate art education. "At Gordon we encourage our students to consider the broader social function of art," she stated. "A number of our courses include projects created in collaboration with community organizations. Art students are often involved in internships and ministries, using their artistic gifts in community settings."
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CHRISTIAN ETHICS AUTHOR LAUREN WINNER VISITS GORDON
Lauren Winner, author of Mudhouse Sabbath, Girl Meets God and most recently Real Sex: The Naked Truth about Chastity, spoke to the Gordon community in December 2006 on subjects that included "Lies the Church Tells Us about Sex," "Communal Sex: Or Why Your Neighbor Has Any Business Asking You What You Did Last Night" and "Writing the Naked Truth."
Winner, who grew up Jewish, converted to Christianity while in college. With wit and theological acumen, she makes a compelling case for premarital chastity, speaking and writing with disarming honesty about her own "slow conversion to chastity." She readily admits that chastity is not always easy or fun--in fact, as she writes in Real Sex, it is sometimes "strange and difficult and curious. But it is also a discipline, and like any spiritual discipline, it gets easier and better with time."
In her December 8 chapel address "Communal Sex," Winner opened by stating that her theme was actually less about sex than about community and about "what it means to live as a community in this area of embodiment." One of Winner's central points, in fact, is that sex is not a purely individual matter--a profoundly countercultural belief in these times. Winner argues in Real Sex that an important part of Christian discipleship is "to transform seemingly private matters into communal matters. Of course, premarital sexual behavior is just one of many instances of this larger point. Christians also need to speak courageously and transparently, for example, about the seemingly private matters of Christian marriage; there would be, I suspect, a lot fewer divorces in the church if married Christians exposed their domestic lives, their fights and tensions and squabbles, to loving wisdom, advice and sometimes rebuke from their community."
Winner has appeared on PBS's Religion and Ethics Newsweekly and has written for The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post Book World, Publishers Weekly and Christianity Today. Her essays have been included in The Best Christian Writing 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2006. She will return to Gordon in May to address the Class of 2007 at Gordon's 115th Commencement.
JARS OF CLAY AT GORDON
The award-winning Christian rock band Jars of Clay performed at Gordon November 10, 2006, as part of their Good Monsters Tour. Many alumni turned out for the concert. Jars of Clay is a four-member Christian rock band originally from Greenville, Illinois. The band is renowned for its unique mix of rock and pop, and has found its niche in the pop wing of alternative rock radio. They are also known for the graceful way they communicate their beliefs through their music. The band's name is drawn from a biblical reference: "But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us" (2 Cor. 4:7, NIV).
THOUGHTS ON GROWING UP CHRISTIAN
Growing Up Christian, an original ensemble-created work about growing up Christian in late 20th- and early 21st-century America, was one of six selected for performance and competition in the 2006 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.
GORDON LAUNCHES PODCAST SITE THROUGH APPLE'S ITUNES U
On the heels of its website redesign, Gordon launched a new podcast site providing anyone with Internet capabilities an opportunity to virtually experience many campus activities--from visiting lecturers and music concerts to student-produced video journals and sporting events coverage. The podcast is hosted on Apple's newly introduced educational software interface iTunes U. The site features the categories listed below and will continue to include new activities as content becomes available.
Gordon podcast: www.gordon.edu/itunes