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Covenant Hosts a Series of Conversations on the Arts

During the fall 2009 semester, the Covenant College faculty is hosting "Minding the Audience," a series of five lectures and conversations focused on the arts. The series seeks to provoke discussion about the arts and to develop an audience on campus.


"We work within community, and therefore the public voice and community input is important to us," says Professor of Art Jeffrey Morton, who is heading up the project. "In order for art to function in a vibrant way, there has to be engagement between ideas and reception."


Morton and Professor of English Cliff Foreman recently presented the first two discussions, and Professor of English Bill Tate, Professor of Theatre and Film Studies Camille Hallstrom, and Associate Professor of Music Brandon Kreuze will lead the remaining three this semester.


"Covenant has a pretty solid handle on scholarship within the Christian context, but there seems to be some discomfort when it comes to concepts such as beauty and artistic expression," says Kreuze. "I hope these discussions will begin to remedy this, by informing the community about how artists think about what they do, how to encourage them in their work, and how to receive artistic works as a community."


Morton's address, "Landscape Renewal Project," focused on the importance of place as it affects art. "Artworks need to be experienced to be understood," he says. "If we're going to have art on campus, we need an environment in which to experience it, to dialogue and to critique."


Foreman's lecture, "Something about a Jar," looked at art and cultural activity through Wallace Stevens' poem "Anecdote of the Jar" and Robert Frost's "The Gift Outright," seeing our desire to interact with the world around us through art as both a responsibility and a blessing.


Each of the upcoming lectures will take place at 8:00 p.m. in Brock Hall room 118:

Oct. 28 - Bill Tate: "On the Subject of Silence"

Nov. 4 - Camille Hallstrom: "How to Stand on a Three-Legged Stool" 

Nov. 18 - Brandon Kreuze: "Remastering a Soundscape"


Hallstrom is addressing the task of putting aesthetics back into systematic theology, which she says has neglected it for centuries. Tate's lecture will look at the responsibility that producers and publishers of art have as listeners. "To be good producers of poetry, sculpture, visual arts, music, we need to be ready to listen-to be the audience of the audience," he says. Kreuze plans to speak about how the Covenant College community can be more faithful in its musical culture by maintaining music as an art form rather than entertainment. He hopes to present a work of his own, performed by a student string quartet and flute. 


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