The Liberation From Bondage show at the Methodist Theological School in Ohio opened yesterday with a panel discussion.
I graduated from this school in 2000 and haven’t been back since, so it was a nostalgic, interesting day.
I arrived early to spend time with the show and visit old haunts. Many happy, stimulating hours were spent at this library table, poring over obscure theological texts. A quick perusal of the periodical section offered the usual array of Christian, Jewish and Islamic publications but nothing from the Buddhist or Hindu traditions. I offered to supply the library with a subscription to Hinduism Today a few years ago but the school declined, citing a desire to save paper. Some things never change.
The show was nicely put together by current student, Ellice Park….
….who arrived wearing a pair of Lady Gaga boots.
She gave a moving talk about the similarity between these boots, Chinese foot-binding and gender issues during the panel discussion. Even without the explanation, I admired the audacious theater of seeing such a bold, freaky sight in a seminary context.
Ellice added pizzaz to the space with a power point loop of short artist statements above the welcome table. This acts as a sort of “stop, look & listen” sign for the show. For a culture immersed in technology, this is a savvy move.
The artists represented are Sherry Farris, Ellice Park, Sarah Hahn and myself.
Sarah Hahn had several large ceramic pieces riffing on ancient Greek sculpture and contemporary celebrities.
Sarah couldn’t make the panel discussion, which is a shame. I have seen her work in other shows and was looking forward to spending time with her.
Sherry Farris had many mixed- media pieces in the show. I particularly enjoyed the wood and hair in this piece….
…and in this one. Sherry’s work is free in a way mine is not, so I really paid attention. Of all the pieces in the show, hers looked the best on power point. I hope she makes prints and sells the heck out of them!
I had four pieces in the show, “Blue Boy Unbound” being one of them. It was delightful to see it hung between two doors, with the Exit sign above and fire alarm beneath. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud.
A mix of paintings and sculptures keeps the show interesting.
The panel discussion went well, with many sweet and often probing questions. This show was a long time coming but was worth it in the end. Who ever thought I’d get my picture taken with the Dean of a Methodist Seminary? What a privilege to spend time in such company!