“Does This Make Sense?” is a ballpoint pen drawing on clayboard (18″ x 14″) that I recently completed for an exhibition in conjunction with next summer’s conference, Crossing the Line: Women of Anabaptist Traditions Encounter Borders and Boundaries, at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, VA, June 22-25, 2017. Rachel Epp Buller, Associate Professor of Visual Arts and Design at Bethel College in N. Newton, KS, will curate the exhibit.
This piece includes words that have personal meaning for me about critical thinking. Borders between cultures, between different ways of thinking, between different sets of values, even between groups within a shared culture offer both a dividing line and, if we can look across these borders, the possibility of thinking critically about the ideas on each side of the line. And I am of course never fully on one side of the line or the other at any given time; these borders are permeable. Who I am is formed out of ideas and values from my Mennonite heritage and from my experiences and commitments in the wider world. When I think across borders I often find myself asking the important age-old question, “Does this make sense?” By looking both ways, I find new ways to engage my commitment to decency and peace.
“The Toll” is a ballpoint pen drawing, 22″ x 30″, that I made for the exhibit “Currently Nontraditional”at the Lawrence Arts Center through Oct. 22, 2016. The exhibit includes works on paper by 12 artists, each responding to some aspect of what 2016 has meant to them.
Artist Statement about “The Toll”
2016 has been a year of violence, mass shootings (including one in Hesston, Kansas, near my hometown), terrorism and war. To depict the pain of 2016, I drew many individual paper cranes as the overall pattern in my drawing. Most cranes are marked, wounded or shot, crumpling and falling to the ground. A few shots miss and a few cranes survive. The paper crane became a symbol for international peace after Sadako Sasaki, a Japanese girl who was a victim of radiation sickness from the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, attempted to fold a thousand paper cranes before she died. My drawing is about the fragility of peace and the toll of violence, with an awareness that every person killed in a mass attack, is an individual who was loved and will be missed.
Here’s a poster I made for the Kansas People’s History Projectcoordinated by artist Dave Loewenstein. My poster celebrates the peace vigils sponsored by the Lawrence Coalition for Peace and Justice (LCPJ), in Lawrence, Kansas, calling for peace in Iraq and Afghanistan. The LCPJ is a community organization that began in the 1970′s to promote education and action for a just world, free of war. Look at the entire poster gallery here. More posters will be added as they are submitted.