Artist Frida Khalo wrote this about a still life she created: “I paint flowers so they will not die.” I recently visited the still life exhibit currently gracing the walls of the Mary and Charlie Babcock Wing Gallery at the Reynolda House Museum of American Art. The exhibit includes “both traditional and unexpected approaches to still life” presented in “examples of still life from across the state” (from the exhibit description). Here are some phrases and insights that emerged for me as I viewed the exhibit and read the descriptions of the various pieces:
The exhibit, which bears the title “Things Wondrous and Humble,” along with Khalo’s quote, stirred some questions for me:
The irony, for me, is that many of these things are at the same time both still lifes and still alive.
This summer I discovered a new personal interest—photography—that has further expanded my reflections on how elements of theological education and ministry are still lifes and still alive. With a new digital camera now with me on my daily travels, I began to see the world and its aliveness in a new way and to preserve or set apart my own still lifes of that new perspective. The photo below is a sample. I captured it while standing near my end-of-summer vegetable garden. As I began to save my photos to computer files, I recalled that some of the still lifes in the Reynolda House exhibit have been given titles that attempt to communicate something about what the artist intended. Alas, I am not adept at crafting insightful titles or captions, so I invite you to imagine a caption for this photographic still life that reflects something that you hope to preserve from these first days of the fall 2013 learning season. More broadly, as the third week of the semester begins, I invite you to consider what images, insights, and ideas you might set apart out of these initial days of classes to celebrate, remember and return to again as days of the fall term continue to unfold.
|Applications for Multicultural Context Courses||Due by 12:00noon, September 18|
|Last Day to Add Classes||September 10|
|Last Day to Drop Classes||October 1|
Blessings on the week ahead,
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs