The Sordoni Art Gallery at Wilkes University presents Peasant War and Sacred Sisters from Jan. 15 to March 1. The exhibitions offer insight into the female perspective through visual arts and poetry. During the exhibitions, the Sordoni Art Gallery will be divided into two spaces, each exhibition showing concurrently.
Peasant War is a series of etchings by Käthe Kollwitz that represents the brutal treatment of peasants in 16th century Germany, their rise to revolution and battle, and their subsequent humiliation and death. Kollwitz worked on these pieces from 1903 to 1908 and although they are based on historic events, the series anticipates tragedies that unfolded across Europe during the first half of the twentieth century. The exhibition is on loan from the Trout Gallery at Dickinson College. Kollwitz’s artwork will be displayed along with poetry from J.C. Todd, a Philadelphia poet with a forthcoming book on Kollwitz. Todd was awarded the 2016 Rita Dove Poetry Prize and was named the finalist in the 2015 PSA Robert Winner Memorial Contest. She holds fellowships from the Pew Foundation, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and the Ucross and Ragdale Foundations.
In conjunction with the exhibition, Todd will read her work at 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 23 in the gallery. The event is sponsored in part by the Allan Hamilton Dickson Fund.
Sacred Sisters is a collaboration between visual artist Holly Trostle Brigham and award-winning poet, Guggenheim fellow and former Connecticut poet laureate, Marilyn Nelson. Brigham is a figurative painter whose work explores feminist narratives through paintings that are enriched by her research into the art, symbolism and history of her subjects. Brigham’s paintings depict eight nuns who represent many centuries, religions and cultures. Each nun was an artist or writer. While Brigham imagines the nuns in the midst of their creative work, Nelson gives voice to each nun with a poem phrased as a prayer. Included in this exhibition is an artist book that Brigham collaborated with artist MaryAnn Miller to create. It is an edition of 12 with one version housed at the Smithsonian Institution artist book collection.
In conjunction with Sacred Sisters, an artist lecture and reception will be held at 5 p.m. on Jan. 30 in the gallery.
Wilkes students of the literary journal Manuscript are partnering with the gallery to host the Visible Poetry Project at 5 p.m. on Feb. 20. The Visible Poetry Project partners 30 filmmakers with 30 poets to create visual interpretations of original and classic poems. Students will curate a selection of films and pair them with their own creative pieces for a unique evening of reading and viewing poetry. Light refreshments will be served.
The $3 million, 7,000-square-foot Sordoni Art Gallery is a culmination of a gallery revitalization plan to enrich the arts for students, faculty and staff while contributing to cultural life in the local community. More than double the size of the former gallery, the new space opened in 2017 and is outfitted for high-end national art exhibitions and includes versatile opportunities for teaching and learning. The gallery shares space with the Karambelas Media and Communication Center at 141 S. Main St. in Wilkes Barre.
About Wilkes University:
Wilkes University is a private, independent, non-sectarian institution of higher education dedicated to academic and intellectual excellence through mentoring in the liberal arts, sciences and professional programs. Founded in 1933, the university is on a mission to create one of the nation’s finest small universities, offering all of the programs, activities and opportunities of a large university in the intimate, caring and mentoring environment of a small college, open to all who show promise. The Economist named Wilkes 25th in the nation for the value of its education for graduates. In addition to 47 majors, Wilkes offers 25 master’s degree programs and five doctoral/terminal degree programs, including the doctor of philosophy in nursing, doctor of nursing practice, doctor of education, doctor of pharmacy, and master of fine arts in creative writing. Learn more at www.wilkes.edu.