Reassurances: Incantation Bowls Reimagined

Reassurances: Incantation Bowls Reimagined: video of lit bowls & summary of exhibit.

After Reassurances: Incantation Bowls Reimagined, Take-away Points from exhibit and community engagement at Cedar Crest College, Allentown, PA.

1. Most things are more than worth the wait. Here I am seeing the exhibit for the first time at Cedar Crest College in Allentown, PA, relieved and grateful that LouAnn and I didn’t drop the ball over the last four years. Thank you to Jill, Brian, Nancy, the entire Cedar Crest Art department, driver Chuck, students, staff and administration of Cedar Crest College, and photographer Tom. They all made us feel welcome, even though our zealous Minnesota hugging habits surprised a few!

2. Community engagement connects us in unexpected and lovely ways. Fellow artist, Minnesota native, and Cedar Crest Art professor and department chair, Jill Odegaard, led a community engagement project in conjunction with our exhibit. 100 college student and staff bowls, made from paper pulp, clay and mixed-mediums and inscribed with their own writing against fears, were on display in the entrance of the gallery. Most of the bowls were created by students for art courses, but a few were created by college staff. Students started with an online Skype writing workshop with LouAnn, and then made bowls. Later, Cedar Crest staff were invited to participate in bowl-making too… bonding ensued. And, we’re told, the closing reception was more highly attended than usual. A student shared with us the story about how she got to know a staff member from another department at one of these community bowl-making workshops, and they were excited to find out just how much they have in common and exchanged phone numbers. New connections that may not happen otherwise–this was a whole new scale of collaboration for us, and we thank Jill for teaching us more about it! (NY Times article, The Art of Community Engagement.)

Gifts of Collaboration, Reassurances, a poet & artist collaboration.

Tiffany Besonen

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