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Opening Doors to the World


Otterbein and the Arts: Opening Doors to the World

Otterbein Opening Doors LogoOtterbein University deepens its commitment to global education with Otterbein and the Arts: Opening Doors to the World, a multi-year focus on the arts in three non-Western regions: Latin America (2015-16), Asia (2016-17), and Africa (2017-18). South Africa, Sudan, and "Another Place," addressing immigration & the refugee crisis are primary gateway countries explored in programs this year.

All events in the series are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted.

You can also visit Opening Doors to the World on Facebook

South Africa & the African Diaspora: Fall Semester 2017


South Africa at Liberty:  Photographs and Films by Yasser Booley
August 30 – December 2
Joan Legalamitlwa, Curator
Frank Museum of Art
39 S. Vine Street
The 6:30p talk will be in the Philomathean Room, Towers Hall, 3rd Floor
The 7:30p reception will be held at the Frank Museum of Art

This exhibition is a celebration, an indulgent vision of photographer Yasser Booley’s South Africa. Taken from an extensive body of work that begins on the eve of the abolition of apartheid, the photographs span two decades and show ordinary people in the eclectic “rainbow nation” caught at the crossroads, entangled in a disheveled unity. Booley brings to light the beauty of humanity through religious and cultural differences, through class and gender diversity, revealing his unbridled optimism, often sprinkled with an accidental irony. The show coincides with the book Yasser Booley: South Africa at Liberty, Collection Africalia Editions series published by Africalia Editions & Stichting Kunstboek, 2016. Yasser Booley will be an artist-in-residence in Fall 2017.

For more information about the artists and Contemporary Tibetan Art, see our library guide for Arts of Africa.

Extra Ordinary Lives: Portraits from a Divided Land
August 21 - December 3
Fisher Gallery, Roush Hall
Sophia Klaase, Photographer
Siona O’Connell & Rick Rohde, Curators

In 1999, just five years after the first free elections were held in post-apartheid South Africa, fourteen-year-old Sophia Klaase (1985-2017) began taking photographs when Social Anthropologist Rick Rohde provided members of her community with cameras. Part of a long-term study of her remote village, Paulshoek, in the country’s sparsely populated Northern Cape, Klaase emerged as a rare talent. She eventually amassed a collection of over 1,500 images that record village life and the passage of time from the perspective of a young woman growing up in the ‘new’ South Africa. Klaase photographed family, friends, village events, daily chores, and self-portraits, overturning the Colonial trope of documenting indigenous people as anthropological specimens. 

HOME: Contemporary African Artists Consider Place & Identity in Our Connected World
August 21 – December 1
Carol Boram-Hays, Guest Curator
Reception:  Thursday, August 31, 5p - 7p

African artists Osi Audu, Olu Amoda, Ifeoma Anyaeji, Maurice Pefura, and E. Okechukwu Odita explore the complex concept of home in our global world. While acknowledging that we all are impacted deeply by the places and cultures into which we are born, these artists reveal how the notion of home can be fluid, virtual, fragmented, hybrid, or even contested.

The Journey of Hope: Stories from Sudan to Columbus
Sept 8 – Nov 21
Bol Aweng
Miller Gallery (exterior)
NOTE: The fundraising event on Tuesday, Nov 11 has been postponed until further notice.

Columbus artist Bol Aweng paints on both canvas and rocks. His work tells the story of his journey from the Darfur region of Sudan to Columbus, Ohio, and from living as a “lost boy” (an orphaned refugee) to a thriving artist, college graduate, husband, and father. Aweng is co-founder with Jok Dau of the Buckeye Medical Clinic in his home village of Piol, South Sudan.  


ACT OUT Reading Series 
Tap The Leopard by Kia Corthron
Sunday, September 10 at 2p
Philomathean Room

Tap the Leopard by Kia Corthron explores the history of Liberia and this history's impact on the black community. The first act takes place in the United States: in 1824 Atlanta, in 1840 Washington D.C., and on a ship setting sail from New York City across the Atlantic to Liberia in late 1840 to early 1841.  Act II is set in Liberia in 1841 and 1847.  Act III takes place in Liberia in 2005.  Corthron is an award-winning playwright and novelist whose most recent work, Megastasis, just premiered at Eclipse Theatre in Chicago.  Her plays confront head on issues of social justice.

The Act Out Reading Series Mission Statement
The Otterbein University Theatre and Dance Department's Act Out Reading Series empowers student theatre artists to investigate dramatic material that explores different cultures, ethnicities, genders, sexualities, and other facets of identity.  This initiative is especially important to Otterbein Theater and Dance. Although we are deeply committed to diversity in casting and material, we sometimes find it difficult -- within the parameters of a theater season or our existing casting pool -- to expose our students to the vast arena of dramatic literature available to them. Act Out gives us the chance to produce informal public readings, with no fee charged, that introduces the university and community to plays that we aren't otherwise able to produce.  The series is student directed, and uses student actors, guided by a faculty advisor.  We seek permission from playwrights to stage these readings using non-traditional casting.  While some actors may embody the ethnicity, gender, or other identity markers for their roles, some may not. This experience gives student actors an opportunity to explore lives and identities very different from their own.  Students are asked to come to the first and only rehearsal well prepared: having immersed themselves in the material and done the necessary research to understand it better (with the support of the student dramaturg and director).  The students then come together for one rehearsal that involves the actors doing table work with the director and dramaturg.  At the public reading, the faculty advisor introduces the reading, providing the context for the Act Out Reading Series' mission.  Following the reading, the audience may stay for a student led talk-back.


Otterbein Concert Choir
Gayle Walker, Director
Date & Time TBA
Free and open to the public

Three choirs will perform—Otterbein Concert Choir, directed by Gayle Walker; Women's Chorale, directed by Marla Butke; and Men's Chorus, directed by Mark Hutsko. The Choirs will perform music from South Africa, NIgeria, Sierra Leone, and Ghana.


/ Contact

Janice Glowski

Museum & Galleries Director
Art Historian
Department of Art

p / 614.823.1185


e / jglowski@otterbein.edu

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