Busy Summer for Gusties

GAC faculty and students have been working on educational projects during the summer.
Posted on July 23rd, 2021 by

Summer is a time to enjoy the weather, to spend time with family and friends, and to turn off school mode. However, our students and faculty keep creating and working their craft. Let’s look at what our Gusties have been up to.

Gustavus Adolphus College music professor and conductor Dr. Elisabeth Cherland presented What we need is here: making music in unusual times, at the Anglican Lutheran National Worship Conference. The conference is a collaboration between the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) and the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC). This national event, which occurs every two years, gathers professors, musicians, and religious leaders.

The presentation highlighted the conference’s theme of “Disruption and Grace: Learning Edges in Limital Times,” a reflection of the challenges and opportunities of worshiping during the COVID pandemic, and how worship leaders had to adapt to this new era of social distancing.

“One of my research areas is songleading and nurturing singing in groups outside of a strictly choral setting,” says Cherland. “I bring this expertise and experience to my choirs, and I found that—especially in the past year—incorporating paperless singing into my rehearsals is a great way to foster community, focus singers, and bring them into a space and place where they can be nourished by singing together.”

Gustavus Adolphus College art professor Nicolas Darcourt and senior studio art and philosophy major Geneva VanWyk ’22 are working together this summer thanks to a  2021 Presidential Faculty/Student Collaboration Grant.

This collaboration explores the use of mold-made objects to create sculptural artworks expressing notions of the human condition including time, mortality, and society. This 10-week long creative project includes casting chosen objects in plaster molds, then using clay and the ceramic process to create multiple casts from the molds to be used toward building sculptural artworks.

Darcourt Has been using plaster molds in his work for 14 years. VanWyk is learning the process alongside him for the first three weeks of the project, as they work towards the goal of creating three to five new plaster molds each. During the remaining seven weeks, they will use the new molds to create a small body of sculptural works.

The final product, along with works created by other summer studio art major grant recipients, will be exhibited in the Schaefer Art Gallery. VanWyk intends to exhibit her work in regional venues, and Darcourt will include his work in a two-person exhibition at the Phipps Center for the Arts in the spring of 2022.

Gustavus Adolphus College Associate Professor of Music and Piano Dr. Yumiko Oshima-Ryan presented the lecture-recital Color and Timbre in Solo Piano Works by Karen Tanaka at the 122nd Minnesota Music Teacher Association Convention in June of 2021. This presentation included piano pieces that evoke nature and environmental elements that can be used to teach piano students. Tanaka’s music is influenced by One Stroke Sumi Painting, a Japanese visual art style that emphasizes a natural and continuous drawing, which results in simple and elegant works.

“I really enjoy music works that have evocations of nature,” Oshima-Ryan said. “In Tanaka’s Light, the entire music is composed of tremolos depicting the shimmering light. The fantastic thing about this work is that this image doesn’t limit my imagination. Instead, it lives and grows with me as time passes by.”

Oshima-Ryan has a passion for exploring music by contemporary composers. “I need to introduce contemporary Japanese composers because I can actually interact with the composer,” Oshima-Ryan emphasized. She discovered Tanaka’s music through Dr. Ruth Lin, Conductor of the Gustavus Symphony Orchestra, and she is planning to include Tanaka’s music in her fall recital at Gustavus.


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