newsart auction aims benefit emu campus community hosting visiting artists
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Art auction aims to benefit EMU, campus community through hosting visiting artists

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McCaggBurmaPainting, collages, and photography will be offered at a silent art auction hosted by the visual and communication arts department at Eastern Mennonite University (EMU). The three-week fundraiser will help bring professional artists to campus to interact with the campus community and to exhibit their work.

Past visiting artists at EMU have included New York City-based filmmaker and cinematographer Jun Oshima, documentary filmmaker Lisa Madison, Student Academy Award winner Tal Shamir, and photojournalists Susan Sterner and Tyrone Turner.

“All of these artists have an interest in culture and the way that media affects us,” said associate professor of media arts and peacebuilding Paulette Moore, who also serves as art galleries director. “Being able to host visiting artists is rewarding both for our campus community and the wider community, but also for the artists themselves who are working on these issues of social justice.”

Thirteen pieces of art for sale were donated by EMU professors Barbara Fast, Cyndi Gusler, Jerry Holsopple, and Steven David Johnson; current student Katherine Burling; alumnus Frank Ameka; and other artists who are appreciative of EMU’s vision, including Winslow McCagg, Eric Kniss, Floyd Merrell Savage, Thomas Zummer, and Leslie Thornton.

Sterner and Turner have also donated two images from a February 2014 exhibit at EMU titled “Sonhos e Saudades.” The couple spent two years documenting issues in northeastern Brazil, including land rights, literacy, public health and women’s lives. Many of those photos are now being compiled into a book.

Turner says their donation is one way of supporting EMU’s message of initiating positive societal change.

“When we had our opening photo exhibition last February, it was such an amazing experience and such a wonderful community that is attuned to issues of social justice,” Turner said. “Bringing working artists to interact and exchange ideas with students, and to exhibit art with important social justice themes is really important. I love that we can be part of and support that kind of work at EMU.”

Bidding began Nov. 7, at the Darrin-McHone Gallery, owned by the Arts Council of the Valley, at 311 South Main St. in Harrisonburg. The exhibition is part of the First Fridays Downtown event.

Photos of artwork with artist biographies is available online at emuartauction2014.wordpress.com.

The auction culminates with a reception and final bids at the Darrin-McHone Gallery Saturday, Nov. 22, from 2-5 p.m.

“The Arts Council of the Valley is happy to collaborate with Eastern Mennonite University in order to provide gallery space for the artists,” said Lindsay Denny, marketing manager. “As part of its mission, the Arts Council of the Valley provides memorable arts experiences for individuals in the City of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County through our visual, literary, and performing arts programs. The partnership with Eastern Mennonite University affords us another opportunity to support art and artists in our community.”

Article by Lauren Jefferson.

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