Hunger and conviction on the world political stage

By Thomas V.Bona

Like other scholars of his generation, Edgar Lin ’67 came to the United States in the 1960s and ’70s to study. When he returned home, he found that Taiwan was, as before, still in the grip of martial law and political dissents were not tolerated.
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Conceptualizing the unseen:

Artists Liz Nofziger and Greg Stahly share surprising perspectives

By Marshall V. King

Liz Nofziger ’96 found art early in her Goshen College career and is making a career out of what she continues to find.
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Finding one’s place in the story

By Jodi H. Beyeler

While Beth M. Miller, a history major from Danvers, Ill., was researching the influence of Moody Bible Institute and fundamentalism on Illinois Mennonites between 1920 and 1960 for her senior paper this semester, she uncovered a bit of information in the Mennonite Historical Library (MHL) that not only advanced her research but also suddenly connected her to the topic in a way she couldn’t have imagined.
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A Tale of Two Roommates:

When Mennonites talk of “foreign service” they usually don’t mean embassies. For these two economic officers, it all began in college.

By Wally Kroeker

It’s a long way from Smithville, Ohio, to Port-au-Prince, Haiti – in more ways than one. Growing up in Ohio, David Reimer ’84 never had to think about curfews or the possibility of being kidnapped.
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Parables for our times

By Rachel Lapp

The Parables traveling worship team was formed in 2004 to lead worship in churches, schools and wherever else Christians gather as college students creatively connect with audiences through music, Scripture, personal testimony and drama.
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Conceptualizing the unseen:

Artists Liz Nofziger and Greg Stahly share surprising perspectives

By Marshall V. King

Liz Nofziger ’96 found art early in her Goshen College career and is making a career out of what she continues to find.



Liz Nofziger
class of '96

Nofziger grew up in an intentional Mennonite community in Paoli, Ind. At her small high school, she proved to be a good student and therefore was, as she describes it, “shoved” toward math and science. When she signed up to take a jewelry-making class in one of her first semesters at Goshen, she quickly felt at home in the art building. “I knew that was the place I wanted to be,” she said.

She explored sculpture and metals at Goshen College, and enjoyed the liberal arts too. “That was a good environment for me, especially coming from a tiny town where I didn’t know what my options were,” said Nofziger.

More than a decade later, the Boston-based artist is now gaining recognition for specializing in art generated at least in part by the interesting sites where she installs them.

When Nofziger staged a show across the street from a 1950s-era laundromat, she built a huge mirrored disco ball, measuring 11 feet in diameter, and projected television images onto it as it rotated. Visitors to the show were disoriented by their own image, but also the TV visuals, which included “Divorce Court,” “The Simpsons” and news, depending on the time of day.

In another show, Nofziger set “bambini” – sculptures of children – to overlook the gallery space, and gave exhibit visitors the same opportunity. As part of the show, she installed ladders and utilized three-fourths-inch German H.O. train figurines to create scenes viewed from atop the ladders by bambini and human onlookers alike. Like much of her work, it combines pop culture and what she calls “humor with a heavier side underneath” to create multilayered experiences.



"precious"
- liz nofziger -
“I think works you’re physically affected by are really interesting,” she told a crowd who gathered for the artist’s reception for her joint show at Goshen College with Greg Stahly ’01 in the Hershberger Art Gallery in January. One of her installation pieces in the exhibit was an 8-foot video projection of her infant niece’s face and nonverbal sounds, slowed considerably. The piece had been used in a previous show and was projected onto the outside windows of a gallery. “My niece is two-and-a-half now and she has no idea the impact she’s had on Boston,” said Nofziger.

Nofziger, who completed her master’s degree at Massachusetts College of Art in 2004, is preparing for a number of shows in the coming months and has been nominated for the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art artist’s prize, an award worth $25,000. She has shows currently scheduled up through 2007 and is beginning to receive grant money – no small feat for an artist specializing in site-specific works that are often temporary and rely in no small part on the space in which they are installed.

It is a challenge to convince galleries and organizations that aren’t familiar with her work to consider proposals, Nofziger said. “How do you write a press release for something that doesn’t exist? How do you make a postcard for something that doesn’t exist?”

She said that her primary influence is the world around her. “Raised in a Mennonite community in rural Indiana, I lapped up the vulgar, showy world as soon as I caught a glimpse of what I might be missing out on,” she said. “I am fascinated by our culture and its industries of excess ... what we treasure, and how quickly it becomes trash.”

Nofziger’s work has been shown most recently at the Cheekwood Museum of Art (Nashville, Tenn.), Montserrat College of Art (Beverly, Mass.), the Sante Fe (N.M.) Art Institute and at the Contemporary Artists Center (North Adams, Mass.). Her work can be viewed on the Web at www.nofzilla.com .

 

 


Greg Stahly
class of '01
Stahly, who completed a master of fine arts degree at Indiana University, is currently a visiting instructor of ceramics at the State University of New York-Potsdam and adjunct instructor of ceramics at St. Lawrence University (Canton, N.Y.).

A potter who worked as a production assistant and studio manager for Dick Lehman ’76 Pottery in Goshen during and after his undergraduate years at Goshen, Stahly began working with other media after experiencing an injury. While he teaches pottery, his own art is focusing on systems and what we don’t see – unique territory for visual artists.

Silos, aqueducts and gas meters fascinate him and even inspire him. “I’m not sure it’s beautiful, but it’s pretty cool,” he said of the latter.

Stahly’s works employ tubing, pneumatic systems and even inflated cadaver bags to illustrate systems and how they’re connected to reality. “In some sense, what we don’t see is really running what we see,” he said.

 

"pi(2.0)2.4"
 - greg stahly -
The large-scale, air-filled vinyl systems evoke industrial images. “I am intrigued by the perpetual state of progress that has come to permeate every aspect of our lives. Newer and better systems are in constant development and implementation – all embracing the perceived goal of societal advancement,” he said. “These systems and structures directly influence our environment; guiding the current evolution of society and, therefore, ourselves. I view this relationship with skepticism and awe – simultaneously acknowledging both benefits and detriments. My work provides an opportunity to step back and evaluate how we utilize and participate in these systems and structures, in terms of both the impact they are having on contemporary life and the impact they might have on the future.”

Stahly’s work has been included in exhibits at the Wayne (Pa.) Art Center, Texas Tech University-Landmark Gallery (Lubbock, Texas), Museum of Fine Arts (Tallahassee, Fla.), SoFA Gallery (Bloomington, Ind.) and The Clay Studio (Philadelphia, Pa.). In 2005 he received the Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture award from the International Sculpture Center.




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