Art Professor Showcases "The Currency of Cuba"

Bethel College’s Chair of the Visual Arts Department Christopher Stackowicz will showcase his newest photography exhibition, entitled “The Currency of Cuba,” during an opening reception gallery talk on Sunday, Aug. 26 from 3 to 5 p.m. The event will take place at The Jewish Federation of St. Joseph County located at 3202 Shalom Way in South Bend.

Featuring photography by Stackowicz and text by Yael Prizant, Ph.D., Notre Dame professor and writer, the exhibition explores perceptions of Cuba, an island that relies heavily on tourism to bolster its economy. The beauty and intrigue of Cuba's rural and urban landscapes are showcased, with text that further investigates the complexities of daily life on the island. The show encourages viewers to look closer, to see beyond the travel stereotypes and clichés, into a diverse and striving culture.

Prizant has been researching and writing about Cuban theatre since 2003. When she met Stackowicz, they realized his acumen for color and composition would dynamically represent the island, its art, its people and its complexities. In 2011, they went to Cuba together and took nearly 100,000 photos of Havana and Santiago de Cuba for Yael's forthcoming book, “Cuba Inside/Out: Theatre and Revolution in the Age of Globalization” (Southern Illinois University Press). The pair then divided the photos thematically, into what has become three distinct shows: on drama, tourism and revolution. The work depicts the drama of the street, as well as within Cuban theatres. The combination of excerpts from Prizant's book, quotes from recent Cuban plays, and Stackowicz's stunning photographs provoke a reconsideration of how lived experiences influence art.

The exhibit is free, family-friendly and open to the public. For more information, contact Langlab.admin@gmail.com.

Biographies

Christopher Stackowicz attended the University of Notre Dame where he received a B.F.A. degree in studio art with a minor in art history. He then received his M.F.A in installation and drawing from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, with a concurrent graduate certificate in cultural studies. He teaches several classes at Bethel including senior thesis, art history, painting, 2D design and color theory.

His artistic specialties are in painting and interactive panoramic photography. His primary area of research is creating interactive photographs and applications for display, research and as a vehicle for better understanding the site of antiquity. He has worked for the past 13 years as an editor, photographer, web designer and interactive media specialist for Dr. Robin Rhodes on his Greek Architecture at Corinth project. He has also worked on a variety of projects for the American School of Classical Studies in Athens as a conservation photographer and as the editor and coordinator for the upcoming Athenian Agora Site Guide iBook, the interactive panoramic photographer for the SHARP project at Korphos and for the Snite Museum.

As a painter, his work is owned by numerous collections and has been exhibited both nationally and internationally. He had and has participated in over 100 shows since his MFA in 2002. Stackowicz is very active in the local arts community, and his work can be seen all over town. He is currently working on the Marian devotional ceiling fresco at Queen of Peace in Osceola and the outdoor public mural at Bar Louie at University Park Mall in Mishawaka.

Yael Prizant is a dramaturg, translator, teacher and advocate for the arts. Her primary area of research is Cuban theatre since the fall of the Soviet Union, and she translates the work of Cuban playwright Abel González Melo. She studied dramaturgy at UMASS Amherst and worked as a literary manager in Los Angeles for many years. In 2007, she earned her Ph.D. at UCLA and currently works as an assistant professor at the University of Notre Dame. She is also a proud co-founder of Ultreia, Inc., a nonprofit organization that supports artistic and educational endeavors that serve the South Bend community.

Bethel College is an accredited Christian college offering associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in more than 70 areas of study. The current enrollment of more than 2,100 includes students from 34 states and Puerto Rico, 19 countries, more than 25 denominations and 16 percent from culturally diverse backgrounds. Scholarships are available based upon a variety of factors including academic achievement, talent in the arts or athletics, ethnicity and church affiliation. In addition to its beautifully wooded 75-acre main campus in Mishawaka, Ind., Bethel also offers specific academic programs at sites in Elkhart, Ind., Fort Wayne, Ind., Dowagiac, Mich., and St. Joseph, Mich. Nursing programs are also offered in cooperation with Grace College in Winona Lake, Ind.