Medical Humanities and Health Studies Presents: Medicine and the Liberal Arts: Essentials for the Health Professions

Get great tips and have your questions answered by MHHS faculty, community practitioners and alumni about thoroughly preparing for careers in medicine, dentistry, nursing, clinical and non-clinical health- related professions using the unique wealth of health-focused courses in the

  • What courses will help me prepare for the MCAT?
  • Am I on a career path that’s right for ME? What else is out there?
  • Why should I do volunteer service and other extra– and co-curricular activities?
  • How can I prepare for interviews and write meaningful personal statements?
  • Who will be my patients? How do their socio-economic,/cultural/historical backgrounds impact the effectiveness of medical therapy?

IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI.

Doughnuts & Coffee begin at 10:15 a.m. Panel Starts promptly at 10:30 a.m. Tai Chi & Pizza at Noon

For more information contact:
Judi Izuka Campbell
jizukac@iupui.edu; ph. 317-274-4740

  • MODERATOR
    Emily Beckman, DMH 
    Director & Asst. Professor, MHHS, IUSLA; embeckma@iupui.edu
  • PANELISTS
    Kevin Cramer, PhD
    Chair & Assoc. Professor, History IUSLA kcramer@iupui.edu
    Kenzie Latham Mintus, PhD, FGSA
    Advisor for Medical Sociology Asst. Professor, Sociology, IUSLA keelatha@iupui.edu
    Rosa Tezanos-Pinto, PhD
    Chair, World Languages and Cultures Assoc. Professor, Spanish
    Jing Wang, PhD
    Director, Chinese Language
    Assoc. Professor, Chinese Language & Culture
    Luonna M. Lancaster
    Volunteer Service Manager, Kindred Hospice
    Brittany Andrea Brown
    BA, MHHS, 2015
    BSN (Accelerated), IU School of Nursing, 2018
    Chad Childers
    BA, MHHS, 2017; pre-medicine
    2017 IUSLA Faculty Medal of Academic Distinction; Plater Medallion recipient

Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018
10:30 am – 1:00 pm
IUPUI Campus Center: CE 305
420 University Blvd,, Indianapolis 46202

Applications are now open for the 2019-20 Young Scholars in American Religion program!

Young Scholars in American Religion will include a series of seminars devoted to the enhancement of teaching and research. The aims of the program are to develop ideas and methods of instruction in a supportive workshop environment, stimulate scholarly research and writing, and create a community of scholars that will continue into the future.

Please click here to apply

The dates for these seminars are:

Session I: March 20-24, 2019
Session II: October 2-6, 2019
Session III: April 1-5, 2020
Session IV: October 14-18, 2020

CROSSROADS IUB

CROSSROADS IUB FAQs
What is Crossroads IUB?

Crossroads IUB is a two-day celebration of how the arts and humanities catalyze science in support of environmental sustainability. Crossroads IUB includes an evening performance of “Rising Tide: The Crossroads Project,” at the IU Cinema, a special Crossroads First Thursdays festival at the Fine Arts Plaza, and a day-long Symposium with lectures, a workshop, and a panel discussion.

When and where are Crossroads IUB events?
Thurs., Oct. 4: 5:00-7:30 pm – First Thursdays Festival, Fine Arts Plaza
Thurs., Oct. 4: 7:00 pm – Rising Tide: Crossroads Performance, IU Cinema
Fri., Oct. 5: 8:30 am – 3:00 pm – Crossroads IUB Symposium, Indiana Memorial Union (lunch provided)

The two day event kicks off with the First Thursdays Festival (including special Crossroads-themed activities and guests), leading up to the Rising Tide: Crossroads Project performance at the IU Cinema. On Friday, October 5 the Crossroads IUB Symposium will welcome local experts, researchers, and artists to learn best practices for art-science collaboration in environmental sustainability.

image credited to Andrew McAllister

Who can attend First Thursdays Festival & the Rising Tide Performance?
All are welcome. First Thursdays Festival is a free celebration of the Arts & Humanities at IU and is well attended by students, faculty and staff, as well as the Bloomington community. The Rising Tide performance is also free, made possible by the IU Cinema, but tickets are required: https://cinema.indiana.edu/upcoming-films/screening/2018-fall-program-thursday-october-4-700pm

Who can attend the Symposium?
All are welcome to register and attend the Symposium on Friday, October 5, 2018 from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm. The goal of the Crossroads IUB Symposium is to explore how the arts, humanities and sciences synergize to inform and motivate sustainable changes. Using the Rising Tide: Crossroads Performance project as a successful model, symposium participants will learn best practices for interdisciplinary collaborations.

The Symposium will be split into 2 sessions. The morning session will include keynote addresses from Rising Tide’s Dr. Rob Davies and IUPUI’s Dr. Jason M. Kelly, as well as a panel discussion featuring all Rising Tide performers and contributors. The panel will collectively address how the arts and humanities best synergize with sciences to catalyze environmental sustainability by describing the evolution of their work and detailing best practices for art-science collaboration. The afternoon session will allow participations to workshop interdisciplinary, Rising Tide-like projects.

How do I register for the Symposium? What if I don’t have a specific project to workshop?
Registration is now open (https://crossroads.indiana.edu/register/index.html. Registration will close Friday, September 28. Participants wishing to attend the Afternoon Workshop will describe their own Crossroads- like, interdisciplinary project (combining arts and humanities with science) in their registration. The projects should address global or local sustainability and/or environmental change. We encourage interested participants to collaborate on project proposals and attend the workshop together.

Don’t have a specific project? No problem! Project proposals will be posted to the Crossroads IUB page as they’re accepted; interested parties can register to help workshop any of the accepted projects.

Who is involved with Crossroads IUB ?
Crossroads IUB is presented by the Integrated Program in the Environment (IPE), Environmental Resilience Institute, Jacobs School of Music, Arts and Humanities Council, and IU Cinema. The event is made possible through a New Frontiers Grant from the IU Office of the Vice President for Research.

What is the Integrated Program in the Environment (IPE)?
The Integrated Program in the Environment (IPE) is the forefront of innovation in environmental studies at IU Bloomington, as outlined in the New Academic Directions report. IPE is the first place to discover what IUB offers in academics, research, creative activities and organizations focused on the environment. IPE serves under the Office of the Provost and is jointly administered by the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, the School of Public Health, and the College of Arts and Sciences.

One State / One Story: Frankenstein

Adults and teens are invited to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s classic novel, Frankenstein, during the statewide initiative, One State / One Story: Frankenstein, taking place from September through November at Indianapolis Public Library and community locations.

Not only intended to encourage Hoosiers to read Frankenstein as it turns 200 in 2018, the initiative offers a variety of programs that examine questions raised by the book about the practice of science and its role in society. As a program partner, IndyPL will explore the complexities of scientific discovery through book discussions, lectures, theater and more.

For more information about One State / One Story: Frankenstein programs at IndyPL, call 317-275-4099.

One State / One Story: Frankenstein is an Indiana Humanities program and has been made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and in partnership with the Indiana State Library and Indiana Center for the Book.

For more information on the events, click here

Wilma Moore’s Memory Honored With Scholarship

An Indiana University alumna and an Indianapolis leader in education, libraries and history, Wilma Moore’s impact was felt in several institutions — IUPUI, the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center at Indiana University, the Indiana Historical Society and Indianapolis public libraries, just to name a few.

Wilma Moore. Photo courtesy of the School of Informatics and Computing

Announced about four months after her April 18 death, Moore’s memory will be honored with the Wilma Gibbs Moore Graduate Endowed Scholarship with the goal of making libraries more diverse.

“Mrs. Moore dedicated her life to building a more inclusive history, and, in recognition of that and the 50th anniversary of IUPUI, we would like to keep her legacy alive by building a more inclusive profession in her honor,” said Andrea Copeland, chair of the Department of Library and Information Science.

For information about donating to the scholarship, contact Stacy Zearing, director of development for the School of Informatics and Computing, at .

Read the original article from IUPUI News

IUPUI Arts and Humanities Internal (IAHI) Grant

Award cycle:
FY 2018-19

Funding available:
varies by category

The IAHI Grant Program is designed to enhance the research and creative activity mission of IUPUI by supporting research projects and scholarly activities that are conducted by arts and humanities faculty. The program is intended to stimulate existing and new research and creative activity and to support faculty in becoming competitive in securing external funding and sponsorship.

The program has five categories of funding. They are:

  1. Small Travel Grants for Conferences and Exhibitions: up to $500 to support travel to a conference or exhibition related to a research or creative project. Applicants may receive only one award per year.
  2. Event Support Grants: up to $1,000 to support a public event at IUPUI related to a research or creative project. Applicants may receive only one award per year.
  3. Research/Creative Activity Grant: up to $5,000 for travel, equipment, materials, space, hourly assistance, etc. Applicants may apply and receive this grant on a yearly basis.
  4. Matching Grant for Research/Creative Activity: up to $15,000 total project that may be used for things such as release time, summer salary, research assistant support, or a research workshop or conference, as well as incidental expenses. This grant requires a 1 to 2 match from the school, department, and/or center sponsoring the faculty (i.e. $10,000 grant, $5,000 school). Salary requests are allowed and cannot exceed one month of salary per person. A matching grant recipient is eligible to apply for a new matching grant no sooner than two years from the previous grant proposal submission.
  5. Collaborative Grant for Research/Creative Activity: up to $30,000 to support research projects and scholarly activities that are conducted by a team of two or more arts and humanities faculty from different units on campus. Funds might be used for things such as release time, summer salary, research assistant support, or a research workshop or conference, as well as incidental expenses. A Collaborative Grant recipient is eligible to apply for a new Collaborative Grant no sooner than two years from the previous grant award. Funding preference in this category will be given to projects that correspond to one of the following themes: Social Justice and the Urban Environment or Global Exchange and a Changing Planet.

Eligibility

Eligible PIs

  • All full-time tenured and tenure-eligible faculty from all schools and units at IUPUI.
  • Under certain circumstances, non-tenure-track faculty members whose evaluation criteria include research or creative activity may also be eligible with an explanation in the letter of support from their chair or dean.
  • An associate member (or non-eligible member) of the IUPUI faculty can be a participant in a grant in collaboration with a PI who is an eligible member of the IUPUI faculty.

Ineligible PIs

  • Visiting faculty members
  • Associate faculty members
  • Postdoctoral fellows

Funding

Allowed

  • See Categories.

Not Allowed

  • Funds will not be granted for a project currently supported by another internal funding mechanism unless a case is made in justifying the complementary funding.

Application requirements

  • All grants are intended for support of research and scholarly activity, not for support of teaching and/or service activities. Scholarship of teaching may be supported under this grant program, if it has strong and clearly articulated research outcomes.
  • Projects will be limited to one (1) year in duration.
  • An investigator may not serve as PI or Co-PI on more than one IAHI grant proposal in a given round.
  • Applications will be judged on the merit of the proposed research or creative activity, qualifications of the applicant, significance of the research to the field, the potential for additional external funding, and the project’s importance to the individual’s future research plans. Applications for new projects are encouraged.

Application sections include:

  • Cover page
  • Abstract
  • Project Plan not to exceed five pages
  • References cited
  • Budget and Justification
  • Biographical Sketch or CV not to exceed five pages, include funding history
  • Letters of support from collaborators and department chair
  • IRB, IACUC, and/or IBC forms if applicable

    Categories 1 and 2

    Submission deadlines: Open

    Categories 3, 4, and 5

    Submission deadlines: October 1 and February 1

Ready to apply?! Click here! 

Information from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research (OVCR)

Themester 2018 explores the relationship between humans and nonhuman animals

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — The Indiana University Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences’ 10th annual Themester explores the interconnectedness of animals and humans with a fall lineup of public talks, workshops, films, exhibits and visiting speakers.

Peter Singer. Photo by Alletta Vaandering

“Darwin provoked human beings to reconsider the human place among living beings,” said Steven Wagshal, professor of Spanish and co-chair of the 2018 Themester Committee. “Perhaps we are nothing more or less than one species of animals who evolved on this planet. Yet human beings are also an extremely peculiar sort of animal; we have complex social and political systems, and we have radically changed the environment.

“The purpose of this Themester is to challenge us all to think about our connections to and differences from other animals. It is to explore how authors and artists have depicted animals, to work through our strange sort of animality and to inquire about what sorts of obligations flow from it for how we ought to treat each other, other animals and our environment.”

Philosopher Peter Singer, author of the groundbreaking book “Animal Liberation” and most recently known for his effective altruism model, will speak about ethics and animals on Sept. 12 at Presidents Hall inside Franklin Hall. A groundbreaking work first published in 1975, “Animal Liberation” popularized the term “speciesism” and changed the conversation about treatment of animals. The talk is co-sponsored by Union Board, IU’s largest student programming board.

Russ Mittermeier

Other scholars giving free public talks include Russ Mittermeier, the world’s pre-eminent primate conservationist and the 2018 winner of the prestigious Indianapolis Prize. On Oct. 2, Mittermeier will discuss the importance of conservation with a particular focus on nonhuman primates.

Jill Pruetz, professor of anthropology at Texas State University, will also focus on primates for her Oct. 26 public keynote talk, “Life on the Savanna,” for the Midwest Primate Conference. Pruetz will discuss her work with chimpanzees in the hostile savanna environment of Senegal.

The Center for the Integrative Study of Animal Behavior will present a speaker series called “Man’s Best Friend: The Science of Dog Cognition.” The first lecture, scheduled for Sept. 20, will feature anthropologist Pat Shipman of Pennsylvania State University speaking on the domestication of dogs in Ice Age Europe. Themester will partner with IU Cinema and the IU Moving Image Archive Screening Room at Herman B Wells Library to present a series of free films, beginning Sept. 12 with Charles Burnett’s critically acclaimed but rarely shown “Killer of Sheep” at Wells Library. A counter to the “blaxpoitation” films of the early 1970s, the film focuses on everyday life in a black community. It was added to the National Film Registry and named one of the 100 Essential Films by the National Society of Film Critics.

Jill Pruetz

Other films include the documentary “Jane,” which draws on hours of previously lost National Geographic footage of primatologist Jane Goodall; and “Au Hasard Balthazar,” Robert Bresson’s classic look at cruelty and compassion. “Angry Inuk” presents Arctic seal hunting from an indigenous perspective.

Exhibitions include “Shapes of the Ancestors: Bodies, Animals, Art and Ghanaian Fantasy Coffins” at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures. The exhibit will explore the historical development and contemporary use of figurative coffins, which are often in the shape of animals and communicate familial and personal attributes, values or identity. Mathers will hold a number of supporting events, including a curator’s talk, artist visit and family craft day at the museum. The exhibit runs through the fall semester.

In October, the Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology will present a curated exhibit that explores the animal/human connection from historic, archaeological and Native perspectives.

Daniel Anum Jasper hand-paints details on the face of a lion palanquin used by a Ghanaian chief. Jasper is also well-known in Ghana for painting movie posters. Photo by Kristin Otto, Indiana University

IU Theatre presents Edward Albee’s “The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? (Notes toward a definition of tragedy).” A provocative play about loss, love and the limits of tolerance, “The Goat” is for mature audiences only. The show runs Nov. 29 to Dec. 8 and is a ticketed event.

For a complete list of Themester 2018: Animal/Human events and details, visit the Themester News and Events page. Most events are free and open to the public, though some require registration or tickets. Consult the Themester online calendar for more information.

Select events are limited to IU undergraduates, but most Themester events are open to the public and free.

College of Arts and Sciences Themester courses complement Themester 2018. Course include animal folklore and the behavior and evolution of animals.

Themester is an initiative of the Indiana University Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences.

Guest filmmakers and directors including Michael Schultz are highlights of IU Cinema’s fall season

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Thirty years after his last visit to Indiana University Bloomington, filmmaker Michael Schultz returns to celebrate 50 years in stage and screen. Schultz will be present for screenings of several of his films as part of Indiana University Cinema’s Jorgensen Guest Filmmaker Series.

Michael Schultz Photo courtesy of IU Cinema

 

The filmmaker series is supported through the Ove W Jorgensen Foundation and brings internationally known filmmakers to IU Bloomington during the fall and spring semesters.

Writer and curator Sergio Mims will lead an extended onstage interview with Schultz about his films and career at 7 p.m. Nov. 9. In addition, Schultz and his wife, creative partner and co-producer Lauren Jones will be present for screenings of “Cooley High,” “Krush Groove,” “Car Wash” and “To Be Young, Gifted and Black.”

The screening of “To Be Young, Gifted and Black” will take place at the IU Moving Image Archive Screening Room in the Herman B Wells Library on Nov. 7. All other films will be screened at IU Cinema. Schultz’s visit is made possible through a partnership with the Black Film Center/Archive.

The fall 2018 Jorgensen Guest Filmmaker Series also features:

  • Tamer El Said, filmmaker and director, who will visit Bloomington on Sept. 21 to present a lecture at 4 p.m. followed by a 7 p.m. screening of “In the Last Days of the City,” his first feature film as director. El Said founded Zero Production, is an advocate for the power of cinema and established Cimatheque-Alternative Film Centre in Egypt, a multipurpose teaching and programming space for independent filmmaking.

    “78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene” is a documentary about “78 shots and 52 cuts that changed cinema forever.” Image courtesy of IU Cinema
  • Director Sara Driver, whose work is a combination of fantasy, surrealism, science fiction, comics, horror, sword-and-sorcery and the supernatural. Driver will be in Bloomington for screenings of her films “Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michael Basquiat” at 7 p.m. Nov. 29 and “Sleepwalk” at 10 p.m. Nov. 30. She’ll present her lecture at 7 p.m. Nov. 30 before the screening of “Sleepwalk.”
  • Alexandre O. Philippe, a Swiss-American filmmaker who has directed a number of award-winning films and documentaries. His most recent work, “78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene,” documents the iconic scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho,” which used 78 camera set-ups and 52 edits over the course of three minutes. Philippe will attend the screening of this film at 7 p.m. Dec. 6, as well as screenings of “The Exorcist” at 7 p.m. Dec. 4 and “Doc of the Dead” at 10 p.m. Dec. 7. He will present a Hitchcock Master Class at 7 p.m. Dec. 7.

“The range of talented guests visiting IU Cinema across all programs this fall should engage and entertain a broad and diverse audience for us,” said Jon Vickers, IU Cinema founding director. “There are over a dozen guests presenting their work, and the majority of them will work with students and faculty in the classroom or special master classes.”

Tickets are not necessary for the lectures in the Jorgensen series, but they are needed for the film screenings. Ticket information and additional details on all of the guest filmmakers can be found on IU Cinema’s website.

IU Cinema also hosts a full season of movies, screenings and events, often collaborating with other units on the Bloomington campus.

Rising Tide: The Crossroads Project Photo courtesy of IU CInema

“We are thrilled to partner each semester with a wealth of IU units and community organizations through our Creative Collaborations program,” said Brittany Friesner, associate director of IU Cinema. “Our fall schedule includes another strong line-up of engaging and collaborative programming, including series curated by the Mathers Museum for World Cultures, the Irish-American Community at IU, the Russian and East European Institute, and the Black Film Center/Archive.

“Our collaborative programming model allows us to reach deeply into campus and community, calling upon scholars and other subject-matter experts to present unique cinematic experiences accessible for all IU students, staff, faculty and the community at large.”

Highlights of the fall 2018 season include:

  • The 5X Ida Lupino: Fearless, Extraordinary Trailblazer film series, which commemorates the 100th anniversary of the birth of early Hollywood filmmaker Ida Lupino. Her films often addressed social issues and taboo topics. Five films directed by Lupino will be shown throughout the fall semester, kicking off Sept. 7. Dates and ticket information are available on the 5X Series page.
  • “On Your Marc,” a documentary following television icon Marc Summers as he develops a live theater show about his life. A sneak preview of this new film will be shown at 7 p.m. Sept. 14; Summers is scheduled to be present. The screening is presented in partnership with Bloomington Playwrights Project.
  • Rising Tide: The Crossroads Project, part of IU’s Integrated Program in the Environment and Environmental Resilience Institute’s celebration of how the arts and humanities catalyze science in support of environmental sustainability. The performance combines film, chamber music and spoken word to motivate sustainable action in the face of climate change. A Q&A with the performers and IU experts will follow the film. The screening begins at 7 p.m. Oct. 4. There will also be a daylong symposium with lectures, a workshop and a panel discussion hosted by the Integrated Program in the Environment.
  • The Creatures of Yes Interactive Workshop, which is part of the CINEkids International Children’s Film Series. Director and puppeteer Jacob Graham will lead a workshop filled with screenings of many of his short films at 4 p.m. Nov. 17. The workshop is suggested for kids 5 and older.

Read the original article from IU News

Herron Welcomes master printmaker Kenneth Tyler, showcasing his collaborations with iconic artists

INDIANAPOLIS — This fall, the Herron School of Art and Design at IUPUI presents a survey of collaborations between Herron alumnus Kenneth Tyler and 11 of the 20th century’s most iconic artists in the Galleries at Herron Sept. 19-Nov. 10 in conjunction with IUPUI’s 50th-anniversary celebrations.

Kenneth Tyler, left, and Terence La Noue examining proofs from the “Ritual Series,” Tyler Graphics Ltd. artist studio, Mount Kisco, New York, 1987. Photo by Marabeth Cohen-Tyler

With a “no rules” mantra, master printer Kenneth Tyler worked with dozens of artists from 1966 through 2001 to create prints that redefined the medium of fine art printmaking. “Kenneth Tyler: The Art of Collaboration” offers an intimate view into Tyler’s visionary partnerships with Joseph Albers, Helen Frankenthaler, David Hockney, Terence La Noue, Roy Lichtenstein, Joan Mitchell, Robert Motherwell, John Newman, Steven Sorman, Frank Stella and John Walker.

In addition, the exhibition brings together artwork on loan from the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, including the printing matrix for Frank Stella’s “Juam”; archival photographs taken in the Tyler Graphics Ltd. workshops during the time of the partnerships; and eight documentary films by Frank Cantor.

“Tyler is a distinguished alumnus of Herron School of Art and Design who graduated with a Master of Art Education in 1963 and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from Indiana University in 2005,” said professor and former Dean Valerie Eickmeier, who was integral to bringing the Tyler exhibition to Herron. “I am honored to welcome Ken back to the school and highlight works of art from his extraordinary personal collection in the Galleries at Herron.”

“Kenneth Tyler: The Art of Collaboration” is made possible by the generous support of the Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation and the Sam Francis Foundation. In-kind support for the opening reception is provided by Sun King Brewery. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated 44-page booklet containing Tyler’s personal reflections and an essay by Jane Kinsman, head of international art at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

Also on view in the Galleries at Herron Sept. 19-Dec. 12:

  • In the Marsh Gallery: MacArthur Award “Genius Grant” recipient Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley’s “The Minotaur Trilogy,” a trio of videos that bring a feminist perspective to the Greek myth of the minotaur, using punning wordplay, handmade costumes and sets, and bawdy humor to riff on classical mythology and pop culture.
  • In the Basile Gallery: “Stuff(ed),” an exhibition featuring the work of five contemporary artists who explore the playful, subversive power of sculpted fabric to transform and reimagine mass-market commodities and bric-a-brac from everyday life. Participating artists are Jessica Dance, Gil Yefman, Andrea Pritschow, David Gabbard and Natalie Baxter.

A public talk with Tyler will occur during the opening reception for all three exhibitions from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19, at Eskenazi Hall, 735 W. New York St. The Galleries at Herron, located in Eskenazi Hall on the IUPUI campus, are free and open to the public 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Wednesdays.

Parking is free, courtesy of The Great Frame Up Indianapolis with validation from the Herron galleries. Visitors may park in the Sports Complex Garage adjacent to Eskenazi Hall or on levels 5-6 of the Riverwalk Garage. Visit HerronGalleries.org for more information.

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Read the original article from IU News

Fantasy coffin designer Paa Joe bringing his brand of underground art to IUPUI, IU Bloomington

Revised: All events with Paa Joe have been cancelled as of 9-13-18

Many artists put their heart, soul and passion into their work for the world to see. For Ghanaian artist Joseph “Paa Joe” Ashong, however, his art is dedicated to the individual passion of his client and is typically seen by the world for only a short time.

Paa Joe stands with a fantasy coffin shaped like a lion. Photo courtesy of Benjamin Wigley, director of “Paa Joe and the Lion”

Paa Joe is a master craftsman who creates fantasy coffins, part of Ghana’s tradition of abebuu adekai, which started in the 1950s with artists creating custom coffins for priests and chiefs. These functional coffins are most often in the shape of animals but can be nearly anything the client dreams. Paa Joe and his team have made coffins as varied as lions, shoes and a baby grand piano. As one of the most well-known fantasy coffin makers, Paa Joe has had his work displayed in and commissioned from locations around the world.

Next week, Paa Joe, his son and a former apprentice will bring their expertise and the intricacies of this Ghanaian tradition to the campuses of IUPUI and Indiana University Bloomington. Paa Joe will work with students and faculty at the Herron School of Art and Design at IUPUI during a nine-day workshop that will highlight Ghana’s traditions and the artistry involved in the making of fantasy coffins. In Bloomington, Paa Joe will be honored at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures, which currently has an exhibit of fantasy coffins, and participate in a discussion and screening of a film documenting his work at IU Cinema.

“Paa Joe is an internationally respected artist and recognized leader in his field within Ghana,” said Greg Hull, professor and interim chair of fine arts at the Herron School of Art and Design. “It’s an honor to be able to host him on our campus thanks to a grant from the IUPUI Arts and Humanities Institute. It is our hope that through his visit and workshops, everyone will gain insight into a uniquely different creative process and world culture.”

In addition to this work with students at Herron, Paa Joe will host several fantasy coffin work sessions that are open to the public at the Eskenazi Fine Arts Center as well as a public talk at 5 p.m. Sept. 12 in Eskenazi Hall’s Basile Auditorium. Before leaving IUPUI, Paa Joe will lead and orchestrate a live performance demonstrating the Ghanaian funeral ceremony and celebration of life from 5 to 6 p.m. Sept. 14. The performance is open to the public, and attendees are invited to participate in the event.

Following his time at IUPUI, Paa Joe and his team will travel to IU Bloomington to view and discuss an exhibit on the Ghanaian tradition of fantasy coffins at IU’s Mathers Museum of World Cultures.

The exhibit, “Shapes of the Ancestors: Bodies, Animals, Art and Ghanaian Fantasy Coffins,” is part of the Bloomington campus’s Themester and was curated by Kristin Otto, a Ph.D. candidate in anthropology.

Otto, who studies African art, was a research associate at the Mathers Museum in August 2017 when the museum received a one-of-a-kind donation of an airplane-shaped fantasy coffin. Given her background and research interests, Otto was asked to research and curate an exhibit on this unique Ghanaian tradition. She spent two weeks in Ghana visiting Paa Joe’s workshop, learning about the process and interviewing the people who work there.

“I was really, really lucky to be able to do this research,” Otto said. “I was able to get a sense of the artists, their technical skills and artistry. I got to see them work on a series of ocean-themed coffins as well as an ear-of-corn-shaped coffin that was to be used for a funeral.”

The exhibit features four full-size coffins: the airplane, a pink fish on loan from IU’s Eskenazi Museum of Art, a hen on loan from the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and a Nike shoe also on loan from the Children’s Museum. In addition, visitors can view five mini/collectible coffins: a rooster, lion, eagle, beer bottle and Coca-Cola bottle.

The exhibit also focuses on Otto’s research in Ghana, including how the fantasy coffins are made, the process and the people behind the work. Visitors to the exhibit will also find information on the cultural uses of these coffins both within Ghana and around the world.

“These craftsmen just have an intuitive sense of the material and shape; they don’t draw or sketch anything,” Otto said. “They’re really skilled at this, and it’s an incredible honor for Paa Joe to come here.”

Otto’s exhibit is on display at the Mathers Museum through Dec. 16, and a reception honoring Paa Joe will take place from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sept. 16 at the museum. Otto will also moderate a discussion with Paa Joe following the screening of the film “Paa Joe and the Lion” at IU Cinema. The documentary follows Paa Joe and his son, Jacob, on their journey to re-establish their workshop. Tickets to the 4 p.m. screening Sept. 16 are free and available through IU Cinema.

“This project is an intentional effort to broaden international programming on our campuses and continue strengthening Herron’s connection with the larger university,” Hull said. “For our students, having access to engage and work with professional artists provides insight that can’t be simulated in the classroom and shows them that there are many diverse paths that can be taken in pursuit of their own professional practice.”

Read the original article from IU News