September Art Exhibition ~ Work: Curse or Calling

Sep 9, 2014

The Charles and Elizabeth Bisignano Art Gallery, located in the University of Dubuque’s Heritage Center, begins its 2014-2015 season with a reflective show, Work: Curse or Calling.  The show continues through September 26 and is free and open to the public.

The topic – Work – is particularly appropriate as it challenges returning students to the University of Dubuque, who usually see in higher education a means to gainful employment.  But work as a “calling”?  This show, organized by the University of Dubuque and Christians In the Visual Arts, showcases 32 images which examine art and imagery in a range of responses including pleasure or pressure and calling or dread. At the core of the show, Work suggests that art, like other enterprises, may simply be our natural response to God’s grace.  To be sure, some individuals and communities suffer from a lack of work, whether through political, economic, or climatic upheaval.

Pictures of work intersect the history of art in innumerable places – images marking the labors of the months appear in illuminated manuscripts; and both Toulouse-Lautrec and Pablo Picasso gave us nineteenth-century images of women laboring on laundry boats in Paris that mirrored Jean-François Millet’s depictions of workers, ennobled and monumentalized, gleaning the fields.

In spite of potential mundane associations, Work is the centerpiece of current discussions on calling, worship, vocation, and occupation.  In fact, our daily work can take on spiritual significance as it aligns us to an understanding of, and response to, God’s gift as an energetic force in human society.  Considerthat liturgy means, “work of the people.”  Like liturgy, work is structured; it is built into the rhythms of life.

The Bisignano Art Gallery is located in the Heritage Center at the University of Dubuque, on the ground level, and is handicap accessible. Gallery hours are Monday thru Friday, 12:30-5:30 p.m., and in conjunction with various performing arts events occurring at Heritage Center. A catalog is available with the show. For more information, contact Alan Garfield, gallery director, at 563.589.3717.