Virtual ODU Summer Arts Series Announces Events for July and August
By Joe Garvey
The inaugural Virtual ODU Summer Arts Series resumed on July 16 with "Letters from Quarantine: Storytelling Through Calligraphy and a Live Demonstration" featuring Christen Turney.
The series is sponsored by Arts@ODU, The Office of Community Engagement, and The College of Arts and Letters.
Turney shared how a worldwide community of 150 calligraphy artists is connecting during the pandemic. She also demonstrated how to scribe a calligraphy envelope in elegant, traditional Copperplate script using a pen nib dipped in ink and how to achieve a calligraphy look with items you have at home, aiming to inspire participants to send a handwritten word of encouragement to someone they care about.
Turney is a penwoman and calligraphy teacher in Norfolk as well as ODU's marketing and advertising coordinator. She enjoys sharing calligraphy and handwriting with her local community group, Tidewater Scribes, and beyond. As owner of her small business, Allocco Design, Turney specializes in traditional calligraphy scripts and custom commissions. She is also the co-host of The Calligraphy Podcast, which provides a forum for calligraphers to talk about, share and grow in their art while cultivating community.
Other events scheduled in the series:
(en)closure: An artistic exhibition by Heather Bryant, Sylvie Green, Manuela Mourão, and Christina Lorena Weisner
When: 4 p.m. July 21 (RSVPs due July 20)
"(en)closure" features the work of four artists exploring the concept of being caught, trapped or enclosed in particular ways -what artist Betty Gowans calls the "personal subjugation of isolation" -to make meaning of recent events.
For the past decade, Bryant has worked in sketchbooks as a daily ritual to investigate thematic content, explore materials and therapeutically digest stimuli from the outside world. The enclosed environment of the sketchbook helped her to process thoughts about the ideas of closeness and connection (or lack thereof) during the pandemic.
Green will demonstrate finding closure from a bad break-up through the assemblage, in both a fishbowl and a birdcage, the collection of small gifts from an ex-boyfriend. Her aim is to convey the theme of enclosure, both in their structure and as part of Green's self-imposed enclosure in an unhealthy relationship.
Mourão will address the systems that alienate us from social injustice and exploitation through an assemblage sculpture and mixed-media painting and collage. Her art will tell the story of the COVID-19 virus, Black Americans recently murdered by police, the demonstrations occasioned by the murder of George Floyd and other images to allude to tensions in our society.
Weisner's sculptural work references geological lines drawn from the artist's home in the Outer Banks to other intertidal zones. By soliciting samples of sand from around the world and collaboratively creating works of art, she hopes to create newfound connections between the landscape, the individual and the public during the pandemic when geographical lines are often used as racial and economic divides.
Voices Across Borders: Poetry Reading in French and English
When: 4 p.m. July 27 (RSVPs due July 25)
Peter Schulman, professor of world languages and cultures, will talk with former Radio Canada reporter and Quebecois author Mélanie Loisel about her globetrotting project to preserve the memories of those who lived through the 20th-century's most significant events in her book "From the Shoah to Syria: Those Who Lived The Century." They will also discuss her latest book on Marly Fontaine and her fight for justice and truth on a reservation in Northern Quebec. She will read passages from her books in French (with English translation) and discuss the imperatives of keeping memories alive from one generation to the next.
Resilient Stillness: A Theatre Workshop about Stillness and Togetherness
When: 4 p.m. July 30 (RSVPs due July 28; guests can register as an attendee or participant)
"Resilient Stillness" features Brittney Harris, who teaches Acting One and The Theatre Experience in the Department of Communication and Theatre Arts.The presentation blends each participant's physical embodiment of embracing the theme of "stillness" during this pandemic. Community participants ranging from youth to adult, with little or no performance experience, are invited to participate. This workshop is a guided exploration, inspiring all participants and attendees to look at stillness as more than confinement or a method of hiding, but as an opportunity to ground and encourage ourselves in the basic gifts of the current time.
Music of the Mayflower: Reconstructing and Performing Communal Music During a Time of Physical Isolation
When: 4 p.m. Aug. 6 (RSVPs due Aug. 4)
Using original prints of the music that passengers on the Mayflower brought with them, music they would have known, and music about mariners, this presentation demonstrates the resilience of individuals - not only those who braved the voyage across the Atlantic, but also of musicians now who, during this unique time of physical distancing due to COVID-19, continue to find ways to connect with others near and far. This virtual concert presents music for solo voice, vocal quartet, and voice with lute and brings together professional musicians and educators from across the US who, due to the restrictions of COVID-19, have used technology to rehearse and record their parts from their homes. It is being produced by music lecturer Bianca Hall.