"The Space Between" showcases senior art

Last Tuesday marked the opening day for the 2016 senior exhibition, “The Space Between.” Located in the Bryan Oliver gallery inside of the Lied Arts Center, "The Space Between" exhibit is a compilation of works from Whitworth senior visual art students. The show features a wide variety of projects, including a wire installation, graphic designs, screen prints, paintings, photographs and even an artist book. Before graduating seniors are asked to come up with a final project that reflects both their time at Whitworth and their chosen field of study.

Senior art and psychology major Christina Dobbins prepared a four-panel mixed media work, a painted photograph of a bustling city on canvas. Using a photograph and a gel medium, Dobbins transferred the black and white photo to the canvases and then painted over selected parts of the image with oil paint.

“I am from the San Francisco area, California, so I came up with the idea from some pictures I took of street life when I was home,” Dobbins said. “I really like the busyness of cities, and the diversity of people in them, and so that's where I got the idea.”

Dobbins' work is neither fully a photograph nor fully a painting, but rather it is a unique combination.

Senior Britney Baker chose to share both her love for photography and for her older sister. For her project, she displayed a series of photographs that she took of her sister and her husband titled, “The Story of Them.”

“The pictures on the wall is a storyline of my sister and the few big moments that have happened in her life so far, her getting engaged, her newborn pictures and having her first child.”

Additionally, Baker put together a book of photographs she has taken that the viewer is invited to flip through to experience her style of photography.

“The book is a compilation of all the things I have been recently working on,” Baker said. “I wanted the book to be a product I would be able to show to clients in the future.”

Senior Jeff Skaggs’ work “Aging Process” is made of six similar but slightly different labels on aging bottles of wine, to show the evolution of his knowledge and skills as a graphic design major and his aging process.

“My work...is my reflection on the change throughout my collegiate career, a change as a person, and now I am getting ready to enter the workforce and what we would classify as the ‘real world,’” Skaggs said. “It’s a change and a progression, so it’s an aging process, and that’s why I labeled it that.”

The faculty in the art department work to equip and discuss with their students the reality of life after college, but not without presenting some healthy challenges for them along the way.

Dobbins’ challenge has been juggling a psychology and art major, and trying to navigate life after Whitworth.

“I’m a psychology and art major, so it has been interesting trying to balance the two, and figuring out what I want to do,” Dobbins said. “We have some really good professors, that are always willing to help talk through things and come up with ideas, so that’s been really helpful.”

Growing as an artist and a person at Whitworth has proven to be sometimes difficult for Baker.

“It’s definitely been a bumpy road at times, I have learned a lot about myself,” Baker said. “[The professors] really push you to do your best and they push you sometimes when you don’t want to be pushed, but they do anyways, and I am better artist because of that.”

Skaggs has been challenged to grow his knowledge in areas beyond his major and. “I have felt really happy here at Whitworth,” Skaggs said. “I am really thankful that I didn't just spend all my time dedicated in one specific area, because then I feel like I wouldn’t have had the knowledge and skills to apply other areas into my work.”

The artwork of these seniors and their classmates will be on display in the Bryan Oliver Gallery from now until May 21.

 

Kailee Carneau Staff Writer

Freshman Jira Hammond interprets senior Annie Feuerstein’s piece titled “Set Time, Face Self”.

Contact Kailee at kcarneau17@my.whitworth.edu

The writer's life

Junior Josh Tuttle, an English major on the writing and literature tracks and computer science minor, has been passionate about writing from a young age. After learning the alphabet as a child, Tuttle used to type on his family's old typewriter. “I have always wanted to be a writer; the problem was when you’re a little kid, the challenge of being a writer isn’t necessarily the writing, it’s having something to say,” Tuttle said. “I didn’t have anything to say, because I hadn’t had the right experiences to have anything to say.”

Tuttle has come a long way since his typewriter days and over time has found many things to say. “Eventually I got older, and you both get more life experiences, and with practice, you get more facility with language and writing, and mental stamina,” Tuttle said.

Last year, Tuttle won the Washington Consortium for the Liberal Arts essay contest and will have one of his short stories published in an anthology entitled “Songs of My Selfie,” a collection of 17 short stories by millennial fiction writers.

“I had always wanted to get a short story published and I hadn’t been able to yet, so that was why I was so excited to hear that it was going to be published," Tuttle said.

Tuttle’s soon-to-be published short story is a fictional work; however, that may not be the writing style he continues to pursue.

“I feel a bit unmoored right now,” Tuttle said. “I sort of stumbled upon creative non-fiction, and I think that will probably end up being more of my thing. That does make me a little sad, because I really wanted to be a fiction writer, but I've discovered that I like creative non-fiction more.”

Before coming to Whitworth, Tuttle served in the army for two and a half years, where he worked as an Abrams crewman and a Stryker Mobile Gun System crewman.

“I picked up a book when I was in the Army called "Reading Like a Writer," by a woman named Francine Pros,” Tuttle said. “I picked it up and it sounded interesting, because I had always wanted to be a writer. The book was fantastic, and that was the first time that I ever really felt like I could see the path forward.”

After the Army, Tuttle attended De Anza community college (CA), where his writing professor, Charles Gray, reminded him of how much he enjoyed being in an English class environment.

“I loved the environment so much,” Tuttle said. “Without that experience, I really don’t think that I would have had the necessary insight to want to come to a place like Whitworth, where I would be in a good place to explore that side of things, so I owe a lot to him.”

After attending De Anza, Tuttle eventually transferred to Whitworth, where he was drawn to the English department.

“I came to Whitworth to be a computer science major, because I wanted to work for Microsoft,” Tuttle said. “I also wanted to explore the writing side [of myself], and I figured my opportunity to do that would be better served at a liberal arts university than some state school. And I was right. Our writing program, on the creative writing side, is just fantastic.”

There has been no single person of inspiration for Tuttle, but rather a whole department of support.

“Our professors are so supportive and so wonderful, after coming from places like the Army and De Anza College,” Tuttle said. “Just the personal relationships with these professors, I don’t think I could name anyone in [Whitworth’s] English department, that I haven’t had something like that with.”

“Songs of My Selfie,” the anthology featuring Tuttle’s short story, will be available in print by April 5.

 

Kailee Carneau Staff Writer

Contact Kailee at kcarneau17@my.whitworth.edu

Living with autism

Students, faculty, local educators and community members gathered in Cowles Auditorium on Friday for a collaborative presentation titled “The World Needs All Kinds of Minds,” hosted by Whitworth’s Center for Gifted Education and the university’s special education department. Among the five presenters was autism and animal welfare activist, Temple Grandin, Ph.D.The main focus of the event was to “provide strategies and practices to address the range of diverse needs of students,” according to event posters. Specifically, the presentation focused on twice-exceptional students: “students who are cognitively advanced, yet their talents may be overlooked due to a disability-often ADHD or an autism spectrum disorder,” according to the event posters. “Temple is coming to provide educators knowledge about the ways that other kinds of kids think, [because] sometimes we think they think all alike, in the same way, and they don’t, and what she worries about is that students sometimes who are on the [autism] spectrum won’t have their talent developed, and many of them will have talent areas that they absolutely adore," said Jann Leppien, the Margo Long Chair of gifted education and event coordinator. “Rather than fixing the child, putting a focus on the strength of the child. So that’s really what the conference is about for educators. The why is to bring recognition to the neurodiversity of the mind.” Grandin is currently a professor at Colorado State University, and remains an active advocate for both animal welfare and students with disabilities. As an individual with autism, Temple presented her perspective on helping students who are on the spectrum, and the value of all different kinds of minds. “Different kinds of people have different kinds of skills, like some people are visual thinkers–they’re very good at art and design,” Grandin said. “Other people are more the engineering and mathematical minded. You take a product like the iPhone: Steve jobs was an artist; he designed the interface, the more mathematically inclined engineers had to make it work, so when you swipe this and swipe this, it would actually work. That’s an example of needing the different kinds of minds.” Approximately 300 educators came from around the Spokane area, and 250 students and faculty signed up for the day-long event. Grandin also spoke Friday evening, at North Central High School to a crowd of about 500 people. This presentation was called “Helping Different Kinds of Minds Be Successful.” “This is really about different kinds of minds and how they can be successful and the focus is on families, who have kids on the spectrum, and how to help their child be successful,” Leppien said. The Robinson Teaching Theatre was filled to capacity for Grandin’s final presentation, “Understanding Animal Behavior.” Approximately 250 people came to listen to Grandin speak. Among them were local farmers, cattlemen, FFA (Future Farmers of America) and 4-H kids. In two days, over 1,000 people heard Grandin present. “The reason she is so doggone popular is she is one of the very first people that spoke out about being on the [autism] spectrum, and being bright, and that it is not such a disability, it’s actually a gift,” Leppien said. Grandin and Leppien first met at a conference 20 years ago where Leppien was speaking about kids advanced for their grade and Grandin was speaking about children on the autism spectrum. Since then, Leppien has invited Grandin to numerous conferences. Leppien works in Whitworth’s Center for Gifted education, which works with students, educators and the university’s special education department to navigate the complexities of students who are on the spectrum or have disabilities, but are also very bright. “Life is too hard to have people beating us up for what we can’t do,” Leppien said. “I’d rather we spend our time on what we can do, and so we have a tendency to be very strengths-based, what are you good at, what do you love, make that your life goal.” Grandin mentioned the tendency for people to look at what others can’t do repeatedly during “The World Needs all Different Kinds of Minds”. “I want you thinking about this; people get too hung up on the labels, the words of the label,” Grandin said. “We've got to start looking at what a kid can do. I want to see kids be everything that they can be, we've got to emphasize what the kid can do, build up on areas of strengths.” “My favorite overarching theme of her presentation was getting rid of the labels, and just really practicing inclusion, thinking more about the individual, instead of their diagnosis,” junior elementary education major Kendall Todd said. Grandin discussed the different types of thinking and processing. She discussed bottom-up versus top-down processing, auditory versus visual thinkers, and best practices for teaching. “I sometimes see way too much of that in education; they want to ram every kid into the same theory and that doesn’t work,” Grandin said. “You see the thing is, one size doesn’t fit all. I want to see kids that think differently, to be successful and get into good careers.” There are many resources available online for people looking for more information about Grandin and her work. Grandin has also written books, her most recent book being “The Autistic Brain,” which talks about the neurological differences of people with autism and how to best nourish those differences. Kailee Carneau Staff Writer

Contact Kailee Carneau at kcarneau17@my.whitworth.edu

Environmental activism through art: "John Holmgren: Selected Works" explores how humans affect the environment

The new art exhibit, "John Holmgren: Selected Works," in the Lied Art Building’s Bryan Oliver Gallery consists of works that encourage students to start a dialogue about their relationship with the world around them.

Artist John Holmgren works at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania where he teaches a variety of courses on photography, mixed media and printmaking. roughout his art career, Holmgren has compiled an extensive portfolio consisting of five main series of work. Holmgren’s selected works at Whitworth portray photographs of the environment in various states of destruction combined with other art media such as screen printing to create works that show many perspectives on a location.

“[Holmgren] explores these places like an archaeologist would,” said senior lecturer and gallery director Lance Sinnema.

The first series of works, titled “Man Camps of North Dakota,” was a collaorative effort between Holmgren and the North Dakota Man Camp Project at the university of North Dakota in Grand Forks. The project documents temporary settlements, called man camps, on the Bakken oil field in North Dakota associated with fracking oil. Holmgren uses photographs from work sites and inkjet prints of archived documents to create pieces that demonstrate what life is like for miners living in these towns.

“Many of them are like ghost towns now,” Holmgren said.

Holmgren’s “Man Camp” project serves as a springboard for discussion about human trends of consumption. The camps depicted exist for the sole purpose of mining oil which is used for human consumption, although they also contain life.

“We need to come to grips with the damage that we are doing to the earth and to people,” Sinnema said. “The camps are not a very sustainable way of living in the same way that reliance on oil and gas is not sustainable.”

Holmgren’s interest in environmentalism was piqued by the dams on the Columbia River near his hometown of Lakewood, Washington. Another of his collections, “River Relations: A Beholder’s Share of the Columbia River Dams,” depicts the dams along the river. Holmgren, in collaboration with artist Nick Conbere, uses photos from the dams and Conbere’s drawings to construct pieces that show the history and the present state of the dams and their impact on the environment.

“We ask how aesthetic relationships can offer compelling ways to consider human constructions that alter natural forces, re-shaping the flow of a river,” Holmgren said.

The gallery also features Holmgren’s work from his collection “District of the Penguins.” This body of work utilizes photographs from Holmgren’s time stationed on the Polar Sea as a member of the U.S. Coast Guard.

“I am reappropriating my own archives of Antarctica,” Holmgren said. “These photos were never really intended to be artwork.”

Holmgren used innovative photography techniques to create intricately layered art.

Holmgren’s art exhibits human impact on the world and works to start a dialogue that may ask questions about how people can work to create change, Sinnema said.

“Today’s students are the ones that really need to lead the charge, to stand up and say we need a change,” Sinnema said. In order to help create a healthier relationship with resources, Sinnema recommended that all people be involved in researching and voting which work to tackle the issues.

Holmgren’s works will be on display until Jan. 29. The gallery is integral to the art department as it provides art students with a place to interact with a variety of art forms and collaborate with artists, Sinnema said.

While on campus during the opening of the art exhibit, Holmgren gave a lecture pertaining to his works and creative process. He also was able to spend some time with art students in constructive critique groups.

“This presents an opportunity for students to have an experience in the arts that is outside of their regular classes,” Sinnema said. “Art is about communication. It is about questioning and raising questions and getting people to start to think about stuff.”

The exhibition is an important part of the community at Whitworth, both in its impact on art students and in its message for students and the world as a whole, Sinnema said.

 

Melissa Voss

Staff Writer

Contact Melissa Voss at

mvoss19@my.whitworth.edu

Artist Spotlight: Eva Arochena Garcia paints in light of adversity

Senior Eva Arochena Garcia has loved art since she was young. Growing up as an only child, she found entertainment in painting and coloring — especially watercolor. As she grew up, she stopped painting, but rediscovered the passion at age 14, before her move to the United States from Spain.

“I came to the U.S. when I was sixteen and had an art teacher that was super encouraging,” Garcia said. “And she made me realize that I could do this and I had something to show.”

Since coming to Whitworth, Garcia has dedicated herself to her passion, and is currently working on building her portfolio. Influenced by artists like Canadian photographer Petra Collins, Garcia often uses images as inspiration.

She also enjoys the material style of painters Lucian Freud or Francis Bacon, and how they leave the brush stroke visible, the large use of paint and expressiveness of their work. This leaves the images not “super perfect,” which is very fresh to her, Garcia said.

“I guess I’m interested in the darker side of life. I’m interested in private moments that are not supposed to be seen, and showing that intimacy and at the same time try to make the viewer a bit uncomfortable,” Garcia said. “I approach it from a photographic perspective. I’m a photographer too, so I always base all my paintings in photographs.”

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Garcia has not always been encouraged to pursue art, however. Initially, her parents wanted her to study English before she switched her major, and she had some bad experiences with art teachers. Past teachers spoke negatively of her work, focusing on technique and not relating to her style.

After specializing in art in high school, Garcia came to Whitworth, and found herself with more freedom in her art.

As a senior, she has flexibility with her schedule, and can focus on classes to build her skill set while choosing her own subjects for her pieces.

One of her art professors, Gordon Wilson, enjoys her style, and encourages her to portray her visions, especially those that have centered her in life, Garcia said.

“A lot of people influence me — everything that I see influences me,” Garcia said

Currently, Garcia is working on five full paintings that she hopes to finish by the end of the semester. In the spring, she plans to compose another five to complete a ten-painting series.

Garcia is unsure if she wants to pursue an Masters in Fine Art program, but she wants to continue painting. Garcia hopes to build enough work to show at a local coffee shop back home, or to show work in a community center or even at Whitworth.

“I just want to develop a body of work that I can show,” Garcia said. “ at’s where I’m at right now.”

While she is still young and does not have much work for a gallery showing yet, she aims to simply have her art shown, Garcia said.

Whether it be in Spokane or back home in Michigan, Garcia wants build a collection that she can move around to feature in different places and start building a name for herself.

 

Meghan Foulk

Staff Writer

Contact Meghan Foulk at

meghanfoulk19@my.whitworth.edu

Painted pumpkins embody Fall spirit

Pumpkins of all shapes and sizes filled the tables in the HUB Multipurpose Room. Ranging from short and squat to long and oblong, some full of warts and others that fit neatly into the palm of a hand.

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All of the pumpkins were grown in the Kipos garden near Whitworth off Lola Lane.

On Friday, Oct. 9, the Kipos Garden hosted a pumpkin painting gathering at 6 p.m., which was quickly filled with students painting pumpkins with various characters, Halloween motifs or simply creative designs.

The garden, which is run by student volunteers, produces beans, pumpkins, squash, various tomatoes and tomatillos, apples, asparagus, kale, Swiss chard, sunflowers, and many different kinds of herbs such as fennel, dill, mint, parsley and taro.

Sophomore Shelby Beedle painted her pumpkin as Frankenstein due to a small scar on the surface.

Beedle was excited to paint, but was also enthusiastic about the cause.

“It’s really exciting to see the Kipos garden getting involved in campus and being on campus, where we can come and support them, and the money stays here so that’s really nice,” Beedle said.

Senior Kiersten Signalness organized the event, and has been involved with Kipos and is the ASWU Sustainability Coordinator.

“I really want people to realize that the Kipos garden exists, and that we actually have a lot of produce. So why not make it available to the public?” Signalness said.

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Students were free to bring their own pumpkins to the event, but the ones from the garden were sold at the event for people to paint. The money will go toward the garden and the Kipos club, Signalness said.

“Yeah, I told our garden manager that since [the pumpkins] came from the garden, I would love to raise money for the garden,” Signalness said. “Maybe we

can brainstorm towards putting it toward Kipos, because Kipos is becoming a club this year.”

The group began as a club and, despite not being one last year, they are currently going through the process to become a club once more.

The Kipos garden reaches out through little events such as this, but also does other things to get involved in the community.

When there is surplus produce, like apples, Kipos takes them to Sodexo so that it can be used in some of the food, Signalness said.

Kipos is also working with organizations such as Second Harvest, a hunger-relief organization, and The Campus Kitchens Project, which is a program that provides meals for low- income families. They donate extra produce to these organizations.

Anyone who comes to help on a garden workday can leave with produce, as there is so much produce that they do not want to go to waste, Signalness said.

Junior Brittany Boring commented on how the event was a good way to bring awareness to the Kipos program.

“I think that the more that students see the things from the garden on campus...the more awareness can grow about the garden,” Boring said.

For students who are interested in learning more about Kipos, they meet Saturdays from 9:30-11 a.m., and can receive updates on the Kipos Facebook page.

 

Meghan Foulk

Staff Writer

Contact Meghan Foulk at

meghanfoulk19@my.whitworth.edu

Students create fiber-based projects with 'Devil is in the Details' featured artist Joetta Maue

“The Devil is in the Details” art showcase in the Lied Center for the Visual Arts houses a rotating gallery that changes twice a semester. Along with the galleries, the art department occasionally hosts classes to coincide with the featured art.

In a workshop on Saturday, Oct. 10, students had the opportunity to work with Massachusetts-based artist, Joetta Maue, to create unique textile art.

“We are working autobiographically with stitches,” Maue said. “Working from ourselves.”

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The workshop taught students stitching techniques in order to create their fiber-based projects.

Textiles and fabrics, which some students brought or were provided in the workshop, served as their canvas upon which to create their projects.

They used embroidery thread, water soluble markers and even buttons to create their vision on the textiles.

“I discovered that stitching and textile art is cool and easy,” junior Annette Peppel said. “You can do it anywhere, even in a dorm room.”

Working with textiles and embroidery, or “drawing with thread,” as the artist called it , was a new experience for some students.

“It is peaceful and therapeutic,” senior Olivia Newman said. “Very calming.” Newman worked to create a piece reflecting on the experience of relationships, and the struggles that go along with them.

“Embroidery and textile is a cool way to create,” senior Kolina Chitta said.

Students were encouraged to find inspiration through meaningful words or concepts for their projects, each finding a vision that was unique to them.

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They spent time brainstorming and mapping out these words as well as how the colors, images and senses associated with them, may be interpreted into their art.

“We are pulling from our own experiences,” Peppel said.

Peppel’s project, a skirt, was inspired by the loss and mess of high school relationships and friendships, and the feelings that go along with it.

Each student that participated in the workshop chose to tell his or her story differently.

Junior Annika Stough’s project was a clock with gears in it to represent the chaos of experiencing anxiety.

"I'm trying to make the concept of anxiety with a physical representation" Stough said.

“I am working off the theme of ‘Where is Home’, which is a big question for people, especially in college,” Chitta said.

The goal of the workshop, as well as for the art exhibit in the gallery, was influenced by the grant that helped to fund it.

"The theme of the grant was ‘Making as Knowledge’," Art professor Katie Creyts said, "We wanted to make an exhibit where handicraft played a role with contemporary materials."

Maue taught students unique ways to create, and encouraged them to work from within themselves.

“Your intuition is a really powerful thing,” Maue said.

Students in the workshop were exposed to new art forms and concepts that are not the most common ways to create. The workshop as a whole supplied students with the opportunity, skill and mindset to create their personalized projects and communicate their own message through them.

“The goal of an artist is to communicate,” Maue said.

This is the goal that she taught students to embrace in their art.

“As an artist, I celebrate, question, and reveal beauty in the sloppiness of our lives,” Maue said in her artist statement in the art gallery.

"The Devil is in the Details" art gallery will be on display in the Lied Center for the Visual Arts until Oct. 30.

 

Melissa Voss

Staff Writer

Contact Melissa Voss at

mvoss19@my.whitworth.edu

"The Devil is in the Details" exhibit features intricate pieces made from unusual materials

Hana Hetty ManuelaStaff Writer

If you are a detail-oriented person, come and explore the details at the art exhibition “The Devil Is in Details” put on by Whitworth University. As the title suggests, the art exhibition expresses a catch or mysterious element hidden in the details. Photographer: Stuart Beeksma  Anna Osten (left) and Dana Bretch admiring the details in Andy Messerschmidt’s work.

The artists used recycled materials such as bed sheets, blankets, gift-wrap, pillows, rubber bands and even doll house flooring, and transformed the materials into beautiful artworks with deep details.

The collaboration between materials, colors, textures and shapes create the beauty of 17 pieces by artists Benjamin DeMott, Claire Hedden, Elisabeth Higgins O’Connor, Andy Messerschmidt and Joetta Maue.

The opening reception for the exhibition was held in the Bryan Oliver Gallery in the Lied Art Center on Tuesday, Sept. 15, and was attended by students, professors and community members. After attendees viewed the pieces for an hour, the event continued with an artist talk with O’Connor and Messerschmidt.

During the talk, the artists explained their pieces and their creative process. Messerschmidt, who is predominantly a painter, spoke about his inspiration to include gift-wrap, stickers and other ornaments in his artwork.

O’Connor, who creates large animalistic sculptures, said she drew inspiration from the original illustration of Alice in Wonderland that haunted her imagination when she was child. She described the behind-scenes process of her art, and explained about the characteristic of her artwork.

"It becomes mysterious,” O’Connor said. “They are animals, but they are not animals, they are some kind figure, but we don't know who they are."

Ayobami Adedeji, a freshman art student who attended the event, enjoyed and was intrigued by O’Connor’s work.

“I got the idea that the artist is not only painting or using the computer,” Adedeji said. “[The art] is about life.” Adedeji appreciated the exhibition and the artist talk and question and answer session that accompanied it.

“I think this is a nice event for freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors," Adedeji said. "It was creative, different and inspirational.”

Many other students attended the opening event, including junior Mykaela Hendrix.

“I enjoyed the variety of artwork that was presented in the exhibition and I enjoyed that the artists talked about their work,” Hendrix said. “It’s so inspiring.”

For Whitworth students who have interest in art and would like to gain experience, some of the featured artists will teach workshops this fall. Covering a wide range of mediums from clay and sculpture to embroidery, the workshops are open to everyone regardless of skill level.

“The Devil Is in Details” is open until Oct. 30 at the Lied Center for the Visual Arts Bryan Oliver Gallery. It is free and open to the public. Gallery hours: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturday

The exhibit is closed on official university holidays. For further information, please call (509) 777-3258.

The Qadim Ensemble promotes unity through music

Melissa Voss Staff Writer

When people think about the Middle East, they first think of the political turmoil that frequents the news. However, On Friday night, Sept. 18, the Qadim Ensemble showed a different perspective of the Middle East that is often overlooked.

The Bay Area-based music group performed ancient, soulful music of the Near East in the HUB Multipurpose room. Their repertoire included music spanning several centuries. From traditional Andalucian music written over 700 years ago to modern Arabic style music incorporating western and flamenco influence, the trio’s array of music was as wide as it was beautiful. Similarly, the band performed music from many Middle Eastern regions: Morocco, Iraq, Yemen and Turkey being among the nations represented.

The Qadim Ensemble offers an important look into the Middle Eastern culture. The trio, comprised of Eliyahu Sills, Bouchaib Abdelhadi and Faisal Zedan, are all from distinctly unique cultural and religious backgrounds, a fact that they were open about throughout their performance. Despite their differences, they come together to make incredible music.

Whitworth senior Marianne Sfeir attended the event and was enthusiastic about the message and the music that the ensemble had to offer to Whitworth students and the world. Due to her half-Arab identity, Sfeir said the music reminded her of back home.

“Given the political conflicts in the Middle East, the common pleasure of music to unite religions in important for the Middle East,” Sfeir said.

The event was put on by the Associated Students of Whitworth University (ASWU) cultural events coordinator, senior Kaysee-Li Tomkins.

“The goal of the event was to destigmatize diversity by showing students how we are all diverse,” Tomkins said. She also lauded the ensemble for their ability to express religion through music, stating that people often overlook religion as something that makes us diverse.

“Everyone is diverse,” Tomkins said. “From race and religions to hair color and eye color.” Tomkins hopes the event helped students to expand their horizons on what it means to be diverse, as well as give them an opportunity to listen to good music.

Not only was their message inspiring, the Qadim Ensemble also provided an exciting performance. The band was very involved with the audience, encouraging them to clap, sing and even dance along to the music. They played numerous exotic Middle Eastern instruments including a Riqq, which is similar to a tambourine, an Oud, the predecessor of guitars, and several reed flutes known as Ney, each with distinctive regional identities.

Photographer: Stuart Beeksma The Qadim Ensemble performs a historic song from Arabic culture during their concert on Friday, Sept. 18.  They play traditional instruments from several Middle Eastern countries. Photographer: Stuart Beeksma  

In Arabic, Hebrew, Farsi and Turkish, the word Qadim means “ancient,” but it is also commonly taken to mean “moving forward”, Sills said. The ensemble embodied this meaning in their artful of ancient music and instrument, making music that connects the past with their goal of moving forward into the future, as well as providing a picture of global unity through the increasingly divided world of the Middle East.