Classical music performed just for you, for free, at the University of Jamestown ... sounds pretty special, and is. Sunday at 2 p.m in the DeNault Auditorium of the Reiland Fine Arts Center, music department faculty members will present a concert of “not-so-traditional” classical music. It’s open to the public and free.
Then, on Thursday evening, Oct. 17, at 7 p.m,, the University of Jamestown Convocations Committee will host Melissa Post van der Burg, an artist who currently has a show at the downtown Jamestown Arts Center.
The artist will address issues of artists and especially women in the arts, during her presentation at Voorhees Chapel next Thursday. This is a free event and open to the public.
In a story about her in last week’s Jamestown Sun, Post van der Burg’s late start as an artist was discussed. The Sun’s managing editor Kathy Steiner quoted the Maine artist remarking on her inspiration and her “ordinariness.” The story was delightful, and Post van der Burg’s late start in art is inspirational for any person of any age, in any creative medium.
That “late start” and even her trepidation at beginning work in oil and watercolor as a painter is refreshing. How many times have we heard that creative soul say “it’s a waste of time or there is no time ... to do something as impractical as art.” Yet time is all we have and creative expression is valuable, regardless.
Her story brings to mind the likes of women from past centuries, such as Artemisia Gentileschi, Frida Kahlo and Camille Claudel. They all struggled in life, in their art and as women, to be heard, to be taken seriously, and to survive as artists. Female artists before the 20th century had a much more difficult life trying to express themselves in what was primarily a man’s world.
In the 20th century we had female artists like Georgia O’Keeffe, Judy Chicago and Louise Nevelson, who didn’t have it easy, yet they made it ... due in part to a changing climate for women in the United States. In today’s world, digital art and neo-expressionists are taking the front line for women.
Japan’s wild and wonderful Yayoi Kusama is a prime example of a 21st century artists taking the field in everything from dinnerware, fashion and décor. Known as Japan’s “polka-dot” artist, the 90-year-old Kusama is a pace-setter for women artists working in traditional materials in a time of high tech. Women artists have always been around, just not always on the front lines of the media.
Post van der Burg will be discussing women artists throughout history. It will be inspirational, just as she and her life has been and is..
Her one-woman art exhibit ”Home in Maine: A Painters Perspective” is at the Arts Center and runs through Nov. 2. She will be teaching two classes at the Hansen Studio.
For more information on her presentation next week, contact the University of Jamestown at 252-3467. For more information on her classes or the art show at the Arts Center, call 251-2496.
If anyone has an item for this column, please contact Sharon Cox, PO Box 1559, Jamestown, ND 58402-1559.