by MaryAlice Bitts-Jackson
The arts can inspire us to see the world differently and then engage the world in new ways. That’s certainly true at Dickinson this spring, as the college gears up for five months of illuminating public arts events that include artistic residencies; sponsored lectures; annual ensemble concerts, performances and exhibitions; and a wide variety of thought-provoking student and faculty work.
A Trout Gallery exhibition, launched in February, connects art with contemporary social issues as it places conversation-sparking prints and photographs acquired through Dickinson’s student-selected art acquisition initiative under the gallery lights. A Mermaid Players production commemorating the 100th anniversary year of Armistice Day views conflict from an in-the-trenches standpoint. A photography exhibition, curated by a faculty member, highlights photographers whose work examines the landscape and humans’ impact on their natural surroundings, and a one-man puppet show tackles water conservation and water rights in the style of an Appalachian Jack Tale.
Two anticipated concerts—one staged by a Dickinson professor and the other by a historian and concert pianist—examine African-American contributions to musical culture, while another music faculty member joins colleagues onstage to present thought-provoking works inspired by nature, Greek and Roman tragedy and universal human experience. Faculty members also join colleagues, students and community members in a variety of concerts featuring the works by Schubert, Brahms and Barber, as well as pop songwriter Joni Mitchell and jazz legends such as Duke Ellington and John Coltrane.
Students also make an indelible mark. The Department of Art & Art History shows off the talents of its 2018-19 post-baccalaureate-in-residence this spring, and the departments of music and art join forces to showcase two members of the class of 2019 who've earned the college's coveted Weiss Prize for the Arts. The music major will debut an original oratorio, while the art major will screen a digital animation. Art & art history majors will present their capstone exhibitions in The Trout Gallery, performance majors will deliver noontime recitals and capstone and ensemble concerts, and student-choreographers will present new works. Dickinson’s Department of Theatre & Dance will put on a show for the college community.
And, as in years past, all of the visiting artists will meet with students and faculty in small groups to share what they know as accomplished professionals in their fields. These include this year's Sylvia J. Smith '73 Artist-in-Residence and the 2018-19 Jane L. and Robert H. Weiner Lecturer in the Arts, a poet-novelist and a musical ensemble that's made a mark in the contemporary classical scene.
For dates and details about this semester's arts events, visit dickinson.edu/coa.
Learn more about the arts at Dickinson.
Published January 23, 2019