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Art @ the GTU

From the Spring 2018 issue of SKYLIGHT

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Religion and Resistance

Doug Adams Gallery, Center for the Arts & Religion

2465 LeConte Avenue, Berkeley

“Religion and Resistance” at the Doug Adams Gallery (Center for the Arts & Religion, CARe) has received a good reception, including a positive review in the San Francisco Chronicle. Through photographs, posters, and protest signs, this exhibition considers the role of religion in protest movements from the Vietnam War era to the present day. For additional information about the exhibition, check out CARe’s brand-new app, “Doug Adams Gallery,” where you can see videos, web links to featured artists, and more! Download it for free from the App Store or Google Play.

One of the exhibition highlights is a giant papier-mâché-and-fabric puppet of Archbishop Oscar Romero from Vermont’s Bread and Puppet Theater. It was a long cross-country trip for the Archbishop! Last summer, GTU professors Kate Barush and Devin Zuber happened to be in New England with their families, and graciously accepted the job of acting as CARe representatives to Bread and Puppet, gaining permission to borrow the Archbishop puppet.When fall arrived, CARe made arrangements to bring the 20-foot-tall puppet to California before the Vermont winter set in. After some trial and error, CARe Director Elizabeth Peña called an old friend who lives about two hours away from the Bread and Puppet barn: “Would you do me a favor?” Like the true friend she is, Elise Manning Sterling made the drive to pick up the Archbishop and brought him home. With help from her kids, Elise gently packed the oversized puppet into a giant box—carefully placing his eyeglasses into one of his hollow papier-mâché hands for safekeeping. The box was shipped to Oakland, then brought to the Doug Adams Gallery, where the Archbishop now presides elegantly over the gallery space.

Across the room is a grouping of posters about Archbishop Romero, from the collection of poster expert Lincoln Cushing and from the GTU’s own archives. The Archbishop has been well received by visitors, the subject of many selfies as well as more serious reflection. One Instagram follower commented by quoting Archbishop Romero: “A church that doesn’t provoke any crises, a gospel that doesn’t unsettle, a word of God that doesn’t get under anyone's skin, a word of God that doesn’t touch the real sin of the society in which it is being proclaimed: what kind of gospel is that?”

“Religion and Resistance” will be on display through May 24 and can be visited on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 10am–3pm, or on Saturday, April 7, or Saturday, May 5, 10am–1pm. Exhibition catalogs are available for purchase.

Journeys of Faith: Portraits of LGBTQ Mormons

Badè Museum of Biblical Archaeology

1798 Scenic Avenue, Berkeley

At Pacific School of Religion, the Badè Museum of Biblical Archaeology has long been the place to see exhibitions about the ancient Near East. This semester, thanks to a collaboration with the Center for LGBTQ and Gender Studies (CLGS), the Badè is also the place to see contemporary portraiture, “Journeys of Faith: Portraits of LGBTQ Mormons.”

Through these portraits, Seattle artist Melinda Hannah examines intersections of sexuality and faith and shares stories of perseverance, love, and community. As CLGS Executive Director Bernard Schlager explained, “This exhibition testifies to the growing number of Mormons who are staying in the church while being out of the closet. Melinda’s portraits bring to life the realities—both the joys and struggles—of queer Mormons who are committed to their faith and honest with themselves about who they are. The portraits are dignified and they burst with color; each one invites the viewer to consider – and celebrate – the variety of LGBTQ people who are members of the LDS Church.”

The Badè Museum is open on Mondays from 10am–2pm, or by appointment (contact bade@psr.edu or bschlager@psr.edu); “Journeys of Faith” will be up through May 31. For information about special programs and events, see clgs.org.

“The Beauty of Ink”

GTU Flora Lamson Hewlett Library

2400 Ridge Rd., Berkeley

“The Beauty of Ink” graces the walls of the GTU library throughout the spring semester. This exhibition, organized by the Art of Ink in America Society (AIAS), links the beauty of calligraphy to the spiritual state of the calligrapher, with contemporary interpretations of the traditional art of sho. The works on exhibit are avant-garde expressions of the traditional form, exploring the expressive and aesthetic possibilities of line and space.

Along with the spring library exhibition, the GTU has organized a series of monthly workshops, including a February workshop on Vietnamese tradition led by monk Thich Giac Thein and a March event on Chinese-Japanese calligraphy led by Ron Nakasone. It’s not too late to sign up for a workshop with Debra Self on modern-abstract calligraphy (April 4) or Arash Shirinbab on Arabic-Persian calligraphy (May 2)—but space is limited. To register, email rynakasone@sbcglobal.net.

“The Beauty of Ink” will remain on display in the GTU Library through May 24. For hours, visit www.gtu.edu/library.