Claiming the Spotlight

Lalla Essaydi, Harem 14c (detail), 2009, chronographic print.

Lalla Essaydi, Harem 14c (detail), 2009,

Dickinson gears up for illuminating arts events

by MaryAlice Bitts-Jackson

Women and global cultures hold the spotlight this spring, as Dickinson gears up to present another semester of illuminating arts events.

The all-women vocal ensemble DIVA Jazz Orchestra embodies women’s contributions to big band and jazz. DIVA's campus residency will include a performance, a documentary screening and Q&A about their glass-ceiling-shattering career.

Three women artists challenge traditional notions of femininity. Lalla Essaydi explores the image of woman in Islamic society. Substantia Jones, a London photographer, activist and founder of The Adipositivity Project, reexamines conventional standards of beauty. The most famous photograph by Lida Moser (1920-2014), on display as part of a Trout Gallery exhibition of her work, defies social conventions as it depicts a fashion photo shoot gone ironically awry.

The Department of Theatre & Dance tackles gender and racial divides during the Mermaid Players’ production of the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning Clybourne Park and in the Dance Theatre Group’s spring concert, which brings to light a host of contemporary issues. Celebrated Arab-American poet Naomi Shihab Nye contributes to the conversation about cultural differences, and emerging women artists Ellie Krakow of New York and Sif Ankergård of Norway come to Dickinson to exhibit cutting-edge works on social themes and offer individual critiques to seniors in the studio art program. 

Dickinson also celebrates the work of our faculty members, past and present. A retrospective of works by the late Barbara Diduk, Charles A. Dana Professor of Art at Dickinson, covers the depth and breadth of a keenly missed artist and educator. Rachel Eng, Dickinson’s newly appointed assistant professor of ceramics, explores the natural world in an exhibition that includes a response to climate change. Director of Dance Sarah Skaggs and Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance Erin Crawley-Woods will be among the professional choreographers highlighted during this spring's Dance Theatre Group concert.

barbara diduk

Barbara Diduk

Contributing Faculty in Organ Brian Rotz spans centuries of music on the Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ, and Professor of Music Blanka Bednarz and guest artists ring in early Chinese New Year’s celebrations with joyful music. Assistant Professor of Music James Martin (baritone) presents a celebration of jazz, spirituals, modern American art music, ragtime, gospel and Broadway that includes the poetry of Langston Hughes and music by contributing faculty member Michael Cameron on cello. Martin will also join forces with the Dickinson College Choir, the Hershey Symphony and Hershey Festival Choir to present Verdi’s Requiem at the historic Hershey Theater.

Learn more about this semester’s visiting artists and view the full listings on the most recent Calendar of Arts.


Published January 8, 2018