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April 09, 2007
University of Dubuque Celebrates the Arts


The University of Dubuque will host its third annual series of events titled The Character of Art; The Art of Character in a two-week celebration of the arts, April 10-25. This year's theme is "The Artist's Landscape." Artist Gui-Jie Zhang and poet Mary Swander will be on campus as part of this enjoyable and educational week of celebrating the relationship between art and character.

Gui-Jie Zhang, originally from a small city bordering North Korea, is an international artist known for both her writing and her artwork. Skilled in traditional Chinese watercolor painting, she has also developed a style she calls "peasant art." Beginning in the early 1990s her art was being shown in exhibitions in New York, Iowa, Holland, and Norway. In 1993, she came to the United States for a visit, and decided to enroll in the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary. She graduated in 1997 with a Master of Arts in Religion, and is currently enrolled in the Doctor of Ministry Program.

Currently, Zhang serves as the coordinator of the 1+2+1 International Program at the University of Nebraska-Kearney,a cooperative program that started in 2001 and is organized by the Chinese Education Association for International Exchange and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

Zhang's most recent art exhibition (January/February 2007) - "Super String: Exhibition of Three Chinese Artists" - was displayed at the Walker Art Gallery at the University of Nebraska-Kearney, the show also featured Yueh-mei Cheng, professor of studio art, University of Michigan; and Miao Lin, studio artist, Madison, Wisconsin.

Award-winning Iowa poet and distinguished professor of English at Iowa State University, Mary Swander joins the event on Thursday, April 19, at 7:00 pm in the Myers Auditorium. Swander is the recipient of a Whiting Award, a National Endowment for the Arts grant for the Literary Arts, two Ingram Merrill Awards, the Carl Sandburg Literary Award, and the Nation-Discovery Award. She will read an excerpt from one of her works, followed by a book signing.

Swander's most recent work is a book of non-fiction entitled The Desert Pilgrim (Viking, 2003). Other works include her memoir - Out of this World (Viking, 1995); three books of poetry - Heaven-and-Earth House (Alfred Knopf, 1994), Driving the Body Back (Alfred Knopf, 1986), and Succession (University of Georgia Press, 1979); as well as a book of literary interviews - Parsnips in the Snow (with Jane Staw, University of Iowa Press, 1990) which was named one of the best books of 1990 by Publisher's Weekly.

Swander adapted Driving the Body Back to the stage and this piece, along with her co-authored musical, Dear Iowa (with composer Christopher Frank), have been produced across the Midwest and on Iowa Public Television. She is a regular commentator on WOI radio in Ames, IA as well as National Public Radio's Sunday Week-end Edition.

Events throughout the week feature involvement by both the College and the Seminary and include two student art exhibits - The Edge and The Word Became Flesh(John 1:14); Articulate, a literary and visual arts student magazine; gallery talks by UD students on their original artwork; concerts by the University of Dubuque Choir and Band; Improv/Sketch Comedy;a panel presentation and discussion on The Artist's Landscape; and the FACSeminar (Faith, Arts & Culture) on Dementia& An Unraveling: The Art of Pastoral Care.

"We are excited to begin our third Arts Celebration at the University of Dubuque," stated Mary Anne Knefel, university librarian and project director for the events. "The program showcases the creativity of our students and brings celebrated artists such as Mary Swander and Gui-Jie Zhang to share their gifts with the community. I am proud of the faculty, staff, and students collaboration that made the Arts Celebration possible and am especially grateful to the Wendt Center for Character Initiative for its support. I encourage the community to come to these wonderful and diverse events. Celebrate spring by celebrating the arts at UD!"

All events are free and open to the public.


Character of Art * Art of Character

Tuesday, April 10
7:30 p.m.
Speaker Jeremy Begbie
John P. Woods Distinguished Lecturer in Religion and Culture
Blades Auditorium

Wednesday, April 11
11:00 a.m.
Speaker Jeremy Begbie
John P. Woods Distinguished Lecturer in Religion and Culture
Blades Auditorium

Friday, April 13
5:00 p.m.
Launch of:
The Edge, Student CGIM Art Show
Articulate, Student Art and Literary Magazine
"And The Word Became Flesh" (John 1:14),Seminary Art Show
Alumni Hall

8:00 p.m.
Improv/Sketch Comedy
This is Art?The Spartaneous Comedy Crew

Saturday, April 14
8:00 p.m.
Improv/Sketch Comedy
This is Art?The Spartaneous Comedy Crew

Sunday, April 15
3:00 p.m.
UD Jazz Ensemble
Blades Auditorium

Monday, April 16
Student Gallery Talks
Sylvia's Common Ground
10:00-10:30 a.m.
10:30-11:00 a.m.
1:00-1:30 p.m.
1:30-2:00 p.m.

7:00 p.m.
Panel Discussion, "The Artist's Landscape"
Myers Auditorium

Tuesday, April 17
9:30-10:30 a.m.
Worship Service, Joint College/Seminary
Blades Auditorium

Student Gallery Talks
Sylvia's Common Ground
10:00-10:30 a.m.
10:30-11:00 a.m.
1:00-1:30 p.m.
1:30-2:00 p.m.

7:00 p.m.
Hymn Festival
HolyTrinity Lutheran Church

Wednesday, April 18
7:00 p.m.
Gui-Jie Zhang, Artist
The Sound of Creation: Presentation by International Artist
Alumni Hall

Thursday, April 19
7:00 p.m.
Mary Swander, Poet
Readingand Book Signing by the Award-Winning Iowa Poet and Essayist
Myers Auditorium

Friday, April 20
7:00 p.m.
Spring Choir Concert
Blades Auditorium

Saturday, April 21
7:00 p.m.
UD Band Concert
Blades Auditorium

Sunday, April 22
3:00 p.m.
Spring Choir Concert
Immanuel Congregational Church

Wednesday, April 25
7:00 p.m.
FACSeminar(Faith, Arts & Culture)
Dementia& An Unraveling: The Art of Pastoral Care
Couchman Reading Room, Charles C. Myers Library