events

“Life Interrupted” explores history of WWII camps through dance & art

 

Xenophobia and perseverance. Isolation and equality.

Fear. Hope. Humanity.

Those are a few of the themes that will be explored through a rich mixture of panel discussions, an interactive art installation, and a dance performance as Drury University hosts the “Life Interrupted” program on campus and at the Drury on C-Street Gallery in early February.

“Life Interrupted” tells the story of the internment camps set up by the U.S. government to hold Japanese-Americans in the days and years following the 1941 surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, and the nation’s subsequent entry into World War II. It explores themes that are as relevant today as they were seven decades ago as it examines the lives of those who were interned in the camps – including one not far from the Ozarks in Rohwer, Arkansas.

The project makes its way to Drury February 2 through 7, and will include public panel discussions, an interactive art installation by Drury students and a theatrical dance performance by the award winning CORE Performance Company of Atlanta and Houston at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, February 4. (Tickets are free but must be claimed – click here to do so.)

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It’s a personal story for Drury architecture professor Nancy Chikaraishi, whose parents were interned in Rohwer as young adults after being forced to move from their homes in California. Chikaraishi’s artwork is digitally projected during the performance and she is the visual arts collaborator on the project. She was instrumental in bringing “Life Interrupted” to Drury and is the lead organizer for the series of events.

“It’s a personal story because my parents experienced it, and my grandparents experienced it,” she says. “And I still meet people who have never heard of the camps, especially the ones in Arkansas. People don’t know it happened, and when they find out they’re really surprised. Surprised, then shocked that Americans did this to other Americans.”

The surprise and shock continues to resonate, Chikaraishi says, when we consider the historical parallels to today as issues such as a Muslim registry and ethnic profiling make headlines.

“It’s 75 years past and we’re still grappling with the same issues – fear of people we don’t know, fear of people who look different from us,” she says.

Chikaraishi first became involved with the “Life Interrupted” dance project through the WWII Japanese American Internment Museum in Rohwer, in rural southeast Arkansas. Her original artwork, which was inspired by the stories her parents told her about the camps, was exhibited by the museum and caught the attention of Sue Schroeder, CORE’s artistic director. The dance performance is the project’s centerpiece and CORE has performed “Gaman,” the precursor to “Life Interrupted,” at the University of Central Arkansas and at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in northwest Arkansas.

Chikaraishi

Chikaraishi

“It’s a really powerful performance,” Chikaraishi says. “It’s amazing that an art form that doesn’t use words is able to process a historical event and express really deep emotions through movement and interaction.”

The series of events kicks off at 6 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 2 with a roundtable discussion featuring community leaders from NAACP, Grupo Latinoamericano, the Mayor’s Commission on Human Rights, the Islamic Society of Joplin, and PROMO (Promoting Equality for All Missourians). On Friday, Feb. 3, CORE will conduct a dance workshop/story circle from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the Drury on C-Street Gallery, followed by an art exhibit by Chikaraishi and the interactive art installation by Drury students from 6 to 8 p.m. Both exhibits will be part of the monthly First Friday Artwalk. The “Life Interrupted” dance performance is at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 4 at the Wilhoit Theater on campus. Finally, a panel discussion on “Architecture, Space & Power” will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7, also at the Drury on C-Street Gallery.

For Chikaraishi, the series of events will be a reminder of what her family went through those many years ago, and she hopes it will be just that – a reminder – for others as well.

“America is a place that is very open to others,” she says, “but we have to keep remembering that.”

This is project is supported in part by awards from the Mid-America Arts Alliance, National Endowment for the Arts, Missouri Arts Council, and foundations, corporations and individuals throughout Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas, Springfield Regional Arts Council and Community Foundation of the Ozarks, DoubleTree by Hilton, Nelson and Kelley Still Nichols, Colorgraphic Printing, Drury University, Drury University’s Hammons School of Architecture and the L.E. Meador Center for Politics and Citizenship.

For more information, email Nancy Chikaraishi at nchikaraishi@drury.edu. You can view her artwork at www.nancychikaraishi.com. All of the events can be found on Drury’s D.Cal event calendar.

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Drury University to dedicate new campus green space on Thursday

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., December 14, 2016 — Drury University will dedicate Russell H. Keller Park, a campus green space, with a ceremony at 10 a.m., Thursday, Dec. 15. The green space itself is located on the north end of campus near the Drury fraternity quad, but the ceremony will be held indoors at Freeman Panhellenic Hall.

The space is the result of a real estate gift from Drury alumnus Russell Keller. Keller earned an MBA from Drury in 1967, and spent nearly three decades serving the public as Greene County Recorder of Deeds. Formerly the site of two adjacent single-family properties, the now open space runs along the south side of Calhoun Street between Robberson and Jefferson avenues.

“Drury University is very grateful to Mr. Keller for this gift,” says Drury President Dr. Tim Cloyd. “Russell has been a friend and supporter of Drury for decades, and this gift will help us continue to shape the physical campus for decades yet to come.”

Speakers will include Ron Cushman, Director of Facilities, and Brian Shipman, a Drury faculty member who is a highly active volunteer with the Midtown Neighborhood Association. Remarks from Drury alumnus Larry O’Reilly, a friend and former neighbor of Mr. Keller, will also be read at the ceremony.

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Drury & Student Veterans of America to hold Veterans Day ceremony

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., November 7, 2016 — Drury University and the Drury chapter of Student Veterans of America will hold a public Veterans Day ceremony at 11 a.m., Friday, Nov. 11 at the Plaster Gallery in the O’Reilly Family Event Center.

The event will feature guest speaker Clayton Jones, an Army veteran who served in the Vietnam War and is a member of the Order of the Purple Heart. Also present as a special guest will be 96-year-old World War II veteran Jim Maudlin. University Chaplain Dr. Peter Browning will offer the invocation and Lorelei Valkenburg, treasurer of the Drury chapter of Student Veterans of America, will lead the Pledge of Allegiance. Drury choral music students will sing the national anthem and Dr. Tijuana Julian will play “Taps.”

Refreshments will be provided after the ceremony. Visitor parking is available in Lot 7 on Summit Avenue, just north of Harrison Stadium. For more information, call, (417) 873-6908.

Drury’s tradition of serving those who have served our country dates back to the days following World War II, when buses brought soldiers from Fort Leonard Wood to classes held on the Springfield campus. The commitment continues today. Drury has been named a “Military Friendly School” by Victory Media for five straight years. The university is also a supporter school of the Order of the Purple Heart and is a Yellow Ribbon School. Drury supports federal initiatives that help veterans and active-duty service members apply for, pay for and complete their degrees and has designated staff to help coordinate these services.

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Barker connection brings free screening of award-winning “Lion Ark” to Drury

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., November 2, 2016 — The award-winning film “Lion Ark” – the story of the dramatic rescue of 25 lions from circuses in Bolivia – makes its Missouri premiere at 7 p.m., Monday, November 7 at Drury University’s Lay Hall Auditorium ahead of its release on DVD later this month.

Moviegoers can enjoy “Lion Ark” free of charge, followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers and rescue team. Director Tim Phillips and Jan Creamer of Animal Defenders International will be present. The film is opening a nationwide roadshow in Springfield in honor of Bob Barker, who funded the dramatic rescue mission documented in the movie. The Drury University Forum on Animal Rights, which is hosting the screening, is entirely supported by the Bob Barker Endowment Fund for the Study of Animal Rights.

Tickets can be claimed online or by calling (417) 873-7328.

“Lion Ark” tells the story of the daring rescue by Animal Defenders International (ADI) to enforce a ban on the use of animals in circuses in Bolivia. More action adventure than traditional documentary, “Lion Ark” is up close and personal, in the thick of the action. Circuses defy the law but are tracked down, animals are saved, and a joyous finale sees 25 lions airlifted to freedom. The critically acclaimed movie took film festivals by storm, earning 11 awards and garnering praise from critics and outlets such as the New York Times and National Geographic.

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“I am delighted to have helped ADI give these animals a wonderful new life after they have endured so much misery,” says Bob Barker, a 1947 Drury graduate. “Circuses are no place for animals, and lions and tigers should not be forced to live in small cages on the backs of trucks, or elephants forced to live in chains in the name of entertainment. Circuses with animals are cruel and archaic.”

“We are absolutely thrilled to be hosting the Missouri premiere of the dazzling, magical, and award-winning, ‘Lion Ark’ at Drury University,” says Dr. Patricia McEachern, Dorothy Jo Barker Endowed Professor for the Study of Animal Rights. “The evening will be made even more special by the presence of Jan Creamer and Tim Phillips who will share their amazing experiences with the audience. We are so proud of alumnus Bob Barker, a genuine hero to animals, without whom this event would not be possible.”

Find out more about “Lion Ark” and view a trailer at www.lionarkthemovie.com.

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Political science lecturer will explore “The Angry Electorate” on Nov. 15

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 28, 2016 — Ever get the sense that voters are angry – about the issues, about the state of politics, and even about their choices amongst candidates? The 2016 elections are nearly over, but the emotions surrounding them will live on regardless of the outcomes.

The next lecture in this year’s L.E. Meador Center for Citizenship & Politics speaker series will explore this topic. Dr. Lilly Goren, professor of political science at Carroll University will speak about “The Angry Electorate” at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 15 in the Lay Hall Auditorium at Drury. This year’s series theme is “45: Conversations on the Presidential Election and the New Administration.”

Lilly Goren

“Anger has manifested itself in American civic life to varying degrees since before our country was even founded,” said Dr. Dan Ponder, L.E. Meador Professor of Political Science and Director of the Meador Center. “This election cycle is the latest manifestation of it, but the tenor and character are more intense than we’ve seen in some time. Lilly Goren is one of the leading experts on anger in American politics, she will be able to provide us with a look at the ‘big picture’ as we move forward as a nation.”

Goren has written extensively on anger in politics and has recently completed a book manuscript about the topic. She will share insights gained from her research and focus specifically on the 2016 presidential election and how anger might play out after the ballots have been cast and the race is over.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Visit www.drury.edu/meadorcenter for more information.

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Media Contact: Dr. Dan Ponder, Professor of Political Science: (417) 873-7394 or deponder@drury.edu.

Tickets for Drury’s annual Christmas Vespers available Nov. 7

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., October 25, 2016 — Fans of Christmas traditions will want to mark two upcoming dates on their calendars. Tickets for Drury’s annual Christmas Vespers choral concert will be available beginning Monday, November 7. Due to high demand in recent years, there will again be two Vespers performances this year at 3 and 7 p.m. on Sunday, December 4 in Stone Chapel.

New this year: a live video stream of the 7 p.m. performance will be available online at www.drury.edu/music.

Vespers candles

Tickets to attend in person will be available via the Drury website at www.drury.edu/music. Tickets are free of charge; however, there is a limit of four tickets per order. Tickets must be ordered online and cannot be reserved by phone. Tickets tend to go quickly, so please order early. Guests will be able to pick up their tickets at Stone Chapel one hour prior to the performance. In-town guests are encouraged to attend the 7 p.m. performance, and out-of-town guests, such as parents of Drury students, are encouraged to attend the 3 p.m. performance.

Vespers is based on the traditional lessons and carol service and will include classic carols such as “Silent Night” and “O, Come All Ye Faithful,” as well as more contemporary choral works. The Vespers celebration has been a tradition at Drury for more than 60 years.

Video highlights from the 2015 Vespers performance can be viewed online. For more information regarding the event, please call the Drury Music Department at (417) 873-7296.

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Media Contact: Dr. Allin Sorenson, Professor of Music: (417) 873-7296 or asorenson@drury.edu.

Drury’s humanities film series returns to Moxie Cinema for fifth season

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 12, 2016 — Drury University’s Humanities & Ethics Center has again partnered with the Moxie Cinema in downtown Springfield to host a series of screenings and open discussions at the local independent theater. The Drury Humanities & Arts Film Series is made possible by a grant from the Missouri Humanities Council.

The film series returns at 1 p.m. this Saturday, Oct. 15 with a talk from Dr. Kevin Henderson following a screening of landmark British film “The Third Man.” The partnership between Drury and the nonprofit Moxie Cinema places a spotlight on films that ask enduring questions about the human condition and adds an open, facilitated discussion to the mix. After each showing, a Drury professor leads a group discussion about the movie’s themes. The post-film discussions are about 30 minutes each. Tickets are $5 and all screenings begin at 1 p.m.

“Our series continues to offer an eclectic mix of powerful films,” explains Dr. Kevin Henderson, director of the series and Assistant Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. “We screen movies that audiences enjoy weighing in on and may not have other opportunities to see in theaters.”

Oct. 15 – “The Third Man” with Dr. Kevin Henderson, assistant professor of English

Nov. 5 – “The Passion of Joan of Arc” with Dr. Shelley Wolbrink, professor of history

Nov. 19 ­– “Like Water for Chocolate” with Dr. Elizabeth Nichols, professor of Spanish

March 25 – “Life is Beautiful” with Dr. Richard Schur, professor of English

April 1 ­– “Son of Man” with Dr. Teresa Hornsby, professor of religion

April 22 – “The Sea Inside” with Dr. Chris Panza, professor of philosophy

For more information, go to http://www.moxiecinema.com.

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Media Contact: Kevin Henderson – Director, Humanities and Arts Film Series: (417) 873-7426 or khenders@drury.edu.

Exhibit shines spotlight on “outsider” artists from the Ozarks

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 29, 2016 — Drury University’s Pool Art Center Gallery will host the exhibition “Ozark Outsiders” October 7 through 28. The show features eight regional artists known for works that fall outside the confines of the traditional art world, and who were largely untrained. The show’s curator is Patricia Watts, who moved to Springfield in 2013 after living in California for 32 years. Her family settled in the Ozarks in Webster County in the early 1800s, where she spent her summers growing up in the 1960s-80s, with a regional appreciation for self-directed creativity.

The term “outsider” can be off-putting to some in the art world, and determining if an artist is an outsider depends on a number of traits and conditions, including the artist’s motivations, skill set, and training.

“One of the more difficult ways to assess this work is to make a judgment on the level of authenticity of expression,” says Watts, the curator. “This begs the question: can a pure form of creativity be taught in art schools? Is a naive approach more pure than having the technical skills and access to art-making materials?”

The Ozark Outsiders exhibit includes artists who, whether for reasons of mental health, physical disabilities, or because they simply like to use the visual arts as a medium of expression, ultimately made their art for themselves. The featured artists include:

James Edward Deeds, Jr. (1908-1987) was raised in Christian County and was confined at the Missouri State Hospital No. 3 in Nevada for most of his life. While there, he made hundreds of drawings. His “electric pencil drawings” were first shown in 2014 at Art Inspired in Springfield, where artists with disabilities explore their creativity through art activities.

Joseph Elmer Yoakum (1889-1972) grew up in Ash Grove and made hundreds of animated landscape drawings after an emotional breakdown while living near Chicago in the 1960s. Yoakum has yet to be given his due locally, even though he was featured in a solo show at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City one month prior to his death.

"Ozark Mts. St. Jeneeveive Mo" by Joseph Elmer Yoakum

“Ozark Mts. St. Jeneeveive Mo” by Joseph Elmer Yoakum. Pen, pencil, and watercolor on paper. Image courtesy of Carl Hammer Gallery in Chicago.

Robert E. Smith (1927-2010) lived in Springfield for 40 years and is well known to the regional art community for his childlike mappings painted on canvas, often accompanied with a letter and/or a cassette tape. His work is portrayed in a large mural downtown at the corner of Campbell and Walnut streets.

Ralph Doss Lanning (1916-2009) was born and raised in Greene County, and also is well known in the local art community. His outdoor sculpture garden of cement and carved limestone figures was previously located in a roadside setting along Highway 70 in Republic.

Lucille Stoll (born 1922) is one of three included artists still living. Born at home in Christian County, she has lived off of Highway Z all of her adult life, painting landscapes in oils. After a stroke at age 73, she returned exclusively to her childhood expression of making drawings with pencil on paper. She is self-taught and has not previously shown her work in an academic art venue.

Tim West (1938-2012), from Winslow, Arkansas, is the only artist in the exhibition who was formally trained, but due to family problems and his desire to live “off the grid” in the woods, his art became more informed by visions of his mental states rather than his exposure to an arts education.

Sammy Landers (born 1957) lives in a group home in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, where he has resided since the early 1980s. He is autistic and a self-taught artist who uses his art as a means of visual expression to communicate daily life events. He draws human figures, plants, and buildings using markers, pens, and crayons on paper.

Ed Stilley (born 1930) is a preacher from Hogscald Hollow in northwest Arkansas. In his mid-50s, he says he was told by God to make guitars from scrap wood and give them away for free to children. By 2005, he had crafted more than 200 instruments with Biblical verses carved and painted on them. Springfield photographer Tim Hawley recently published a book on Stilley titled Gifted, which helped put the artist on the “outsider” map.

 

About the Curators

Patricia Watts is Consulting Curator for the Marin Community Foundation in Northern California, since 2012, where she organizes large monographic exhibitions of under recognized mature artists. She was formerly Chief Curator at the Sonoma County Museum in Santa Rosa. Watts feels that the Ozarks are rich with independent, creative people who are waiting to be discovered. Learn more about her endeavors at wattsartadvisory.com.

Assistant Curator Kate Tuthill graduated summa cum laude from Dartmouth College with a B.A. in Art History, focused on modern and contemporary art. A Northern California native, Tuthill has worked in the New York art world at: the Whitney Museum of American Art; The Museum of Modern Art; Christie’s; and Gagosian Gallery. She relocated to Springfield with her husband in 2014, and serves as board member for Sculpture Walk Springfield and docent for Springfield Art Museum.

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Media Contact: Patricia Watts, Curator: (310) 704-2395 or patricia@wattsartadvisory.com.

Drury community marks Banned Books Week with readings Thursday

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Sept. 27, 2016 — The Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society will host a banned book reading from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 29, at Olin Library on the Drury campus in recognition of national Banned Books Week.

“The Banned Books Reading has become one of our signature fall events,” said Dr. Kevin Henderson, Assistant Dean of the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences and advisor to Sigma Tau Delta. “The list of what some districts still deem inappropriate for high school students – including ‘Harry Potter,’ ‘The Giver’ and ‘Of Mice and Men’ – always inspires college students to celebrate what these books meant to them and what they have to offer all readers.”

Banned books stack

This year’s reading will feature some of these familiar selections but will also include novels such as “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” “Persepolis” and “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.”

“The Banned Books Reading is about the celebration of the transformative and liberating aspects of literature,” said Hayden Gann, president of Sigma Tau Delta and a senior English and writing major. “We believe that censoring or restricting the reading material for young people, or anyone, because it is deemed ‘inappropriate’ is a huge limitation to gaining a broader understanding of the world. Reading these banned books aloud for everyone is one great way to show our support for not only the texts, but for the freedom of ideas.”

In order to help make literature more available to everyone, Sigma Tau Delta will also accept book donations during the event for a Little Free Library located in the neighborhood west of Drury’s campus.

Banned Books Week was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982 according to the American Library Association. Check out a list of the 10 most challenged titles of 2015.

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Media Contact: Dr. Kevin Henderson, Associate Dean of the College of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences: (417) 873-7426 or khenders@drury.edu.

“Chromatic Pop” exhibition opens Friday in renovated C-Street space

SPRINGFIELD, MO., Aug. 31, 2016 – The Drury on C-Street Gallery will open its September exhibition “Chromatic Pop” with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m., on Friday, September 2 in its newly renovated space. Returning artist Jessie Schwartz will present his solo show as the opening to the gallery’s exhibition season. The Drury on C-Street Gallery is located on 233 E. Commercial Street. The opening reception is a free event with food and refreshments provided.

Chromatic Pop

“Chromatic Pop” is a retrospective of pop icons from history, films, television, and classic rock. Growing up in the late 60’s and 70’s has influenced Schwartz in a way that he only recently realized. Music, television, and films were a way to escape and helped him get through some very tough times. He is not only captivated by the body of work of his subjects but the character in their faces and what they convey. Each piece is targeted for a specific memory and time for each viewer.

The process of “Chromatic Pop” in which Jessie paints is highly intuitive. Unsure of the outcome until it is complete, Jessie relies on the songs and images of the retrospective pop. Using large canvases and brushes forces him to paint in a large scale and lets the subject have a visually bigger impact when viewing.

Schwartz’s solo exhibition will run September 2 through 30. Gallery viewing hours after the opening reception will be 1 to 5 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on two Saturdays, September 13 and 27.

For more information, call (417) 873-6359 or visit Drury on C-Street’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/DruryCStreet.

Media Contact: Rebecca Miller, Director of Arts Administration: (417) 873-6337 or rmiller01@drury.edu.

About Drury on C-Street

The Drury on C-Street Project is an initiative by Drury University, in partnership with other local organizations, to establish a Drury Center on Commercial Street. This center includes an art gallery, a business resource center, space for weaving looms, architecture classroom and a multi-use area for additional classes and seminars. The Drury on C-Street Gallery is a professional, student-run gallery featuring emerging and established artists. Drury University’s Drury on C-Street Gallery provides arts administration majors the experience of promoting the work of local artists. The gallery connects the community to new and relevant art in an accessible and welcoming environment.

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