100 years is a big milestone, worthy of some extravagant art-making. I am honored to be one of five artists commissioned as part of the Centennial celebrations of my alma mater Eastern Mennonite University in 2017. We are each tasked with creating 100 ten-inch-square works (10x10x100) reflecting on some aspect of the University’s history, daily life, mission or vision for the future.
My “six-oh-six” project highlights Mennonites’ traditional love of four-part harmony a cappella singing — a throw-back to a time when instruments were considered too “worldly.” Using my system for re-interpreting music as color patterns, I will be translating the so-called “Mennonite anthem,” a doxology numbered 606 in the Mennonite hymnal, into a series of 100 paintings. The abstract acrylic-on-wood-panel paintings will capture the spirit of four-part singing, collectively representing the entire hymn and individually standing alone as studies of color and texture.
Metaphorically, the project speaks to a worldview in which distinct voices following different lines of music create a powerful and inspiring whole. This “four-part worldview” embraces diversity, listens to and draws out marginalized voices, and acknowledges that no single part holds all the answers.
Learn more about all of the commissions here.
View all 20 Soprano paintings.
View all 20 Alto paintings.