BETHANY, Okla. (October 11, 2010) - On October 16, a sculpture and interpretive exhibition opening at the Individual Artists of Oklahoma art gallery will raise public awareness of the difficulties faced by women and children in the African country of Swaziland.
This free-to-the-public exhibit, entitled “The Measure of My Strength: Lizinga Lemandla Ami,” is made possible by a generous donation from the Kirkpatrick Foundation, Inc.
This exhibit is part of a larger outgrowth of the Swaziland Partnership, a joint initiative of Southern Nazarene University and Bethany First Church of the Nazarene. The Swaziland Partnership has already resulted in multiple global outreach teams travelling to Swaziland to help meet medical, construction, and other needs.
The exhibit will consist of two main displays. The first is comprised of twelve sculptures with narrative panels created by local artist Sunni Mercer. The second part of the exhibit includes twenty-four large photographs of children from Gigi’s Place, a ministry in Swaziland that reaches out to children and provides food. This section will also include artwork from twenty-four local artists who were inspired by the Gigi’s Place photos. Sunni Mercer, the sculptor of the twelve pieces on display, had the initial vision for this exhibit, and has been involved in every stage of the project. She believes that using art allows one to understand this story at a deeper level.
“I believe contemporary artworks developed as art in context can function as powerful storytellers. [They] speak on a spiritual level, that contemplative area where words fail,” Mercer said.
Though the exhibit is free, those in attendance will have the opportunity to help out should they so choose. Proceeds from an art book of the exhibit will go toward three charities in Swaziland, including Swaziland HIV/AIDS Task Force – providing home-based healthcare to those dying of AIDS, Gigi’s Place – feeding street children in Manzini, Swaziland and the SNU Morningstar Institute – supporting micro-finance projects in Swaziland.
Numerous organizations have played important roles in facilitating this project, including the Kirkpatrick Foundation, Inc., Independent Artists of Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition, Bethany First Church of the Nazarene, and Southern Nazarene University.
“The Measure of My Strength” will be on display from October 16th to November 6th, noon to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays at the IAO Gallery, 706 W. Sheridan in downtown Oklahoma City.
For more information please visit http://www.measureofmystrength.com.
Southern Nazarene University's mission is to transform lives through higher education in Christ-centered community. As a Christian community of scholars, we model the hospitality of grace, the pursuit of truth and the practice of discipleship, all within the Wesleyan-holiness tradition, as we prepare graduates who THINK with clarity, ACT with integrity and SERVE with purpose.
Mon, October 11, 2010
by Laura Poff filed under