Artbeat

Fixing a ‘spoiled biography’

Hans Werner uses his father’s stories to reflect on questions of autobiography and Mennonite identity in the 20th century. The stories of his father’s (and mother’s) experiences of growing up in difficult circumstances in Stalinist Russia, and their harrowing experiences during World War II, are told from the perspective of the son who is trying to understand his parents.

Peace: The Exhibition

Elmon Lichti’s boots represent the 10,000 Canadians who chose alternative service rather than army service during World War II. Lichti, from Tavistock, Ont., was in alternative service as a road builder, farmer, and forester.

It’s an unusual place for an exhibition about peace. Instead of in a Mennonite institution, this exhibition is at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa where permanent exhibit space has row upon row of war machines.

‘Portrait’ of peacemakers

Max Wiedmer’s Peace Maker film, created in ‘portrait’ format, rather than as a conventional ‘landscape,’ was shown seven times over seven hours on May 17 in Basel’s Theodorskirch as part of the city’s first Night of Faith Festival.

More than a thousand people saw the movie Peace Makers at the Theodorskirch during the first Night of Faith Festival that took place in Basel on May 17.

The impact of one woman pastor’s ordination

As Frances Ringenberg, left, a member of the pastoral team of Prairie Street Mennonite Church in Elkhart, Ind., greets Emma Sommers Richards at the celebration of the book about Richards’ ordination, Ringenberg said, ‘You were the first woman pastor I ever saw.’ Richards was pastor of Lombard (Ill.) Mennonite Church, where Ringenberg was a member b

By telling the story of the ordination of Emma Sommers Richards, a new book from the Institute of Mennonite Studies aims to show that “all church members will share in the benefits and blessings that God will shower on faithful Anabaptist Mennonite congregations.”

Church exclusivity challenged

A scene from Forgiven/Forgotten, the latest play by the Toronto-based Theatre of the Beat troupe, which is on a cross-Canada tour sponsored by Mennonite Central Committee Canada. Pictured: Kim Walker and Johnny Wideman.

A bottle of wine moves through Forgiven/Forgotten, the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Canada-sponsored play about restorative justice that premiered last month at the Conrad Centre for the Performing Arts in Kitchener, Ont.

Beyond stereotypes

Visual artists Miriam Rudolph and Bennie Peters explore their upbringing in Paraguay in the new art exhibit, ‘From Paraguay to Winnipeg: Explorations of Place, Home and Childhood,’ at the Mennonite Heritage Centre Gallery.

‘Working in the Garden’ by Bennie Peters. Peters, 32, works predominantly with paint on drywall to create his work.

‘Waving Goodbye’ by Miriam Rudolph. Rudolph, 30, grew up in Paraguay, lived in Winnipeg for nine years and currently resides in Minneapolis, Minn. Much of her work deals with searching for belonging.

Miriam Rudolph has spent most of the past decade living in Winnipeg, but Canadians often ask her what it’s like living in Paraguay, where she grew up.

Courage for Lydia

(l-r) Meaghan McCracken, Rebecca Campbell, Carol Ann Weaver, Ben Bolt-Martin and Willem Moolenbeek perform Winter Prayers and Blessings from Weaver’s Three Seasons for Lydia Herrle, on Oct. 31 at Conrad Grebel University College.

Elementary school student Lydia Herrle was thrown 25 metres after being hit by a truck as she stepped off her school bus in front of her family’s Country Farm Market on Erb’s Road near Waterloo in May. It took months before she came home from hospital and she has years of rehabilitation ahead of her. She and her family attend Waterloo Mennonite Brethren Church.

‘Job’ sings the blues

Job (Mark McKechnie) refuses to be convinced by Sonny (Dan Bieman), the fundamentalist Christian, while the “High and Mighty” house band play in the background in Ross Muir’s Job’s Blues.

Ross Muir, managing editor of Canadian Mennonite, penned the lyrics to his blues’ opera, Job’s Blues, during one of the happiest times of his life, in 1988. The idea had been in his mind for a dozen years, ever since he had heard a twelve part sermon series on the Biblical book of Job while at the University of Victoria, B.C.

Erin Brandenburg plays at Toronto’s Summer Works

A scene from Petrichor includes (from left): Andrew Penner (Dick), David Tompa (Peter), Monica Dottor (Susan), Shannon Taylor (Mary).

Erin Brandenburg with her husband Andrew Penner and their son Jack.

The theatre was dim. A projection screen showed an animated scene of a farm yard by night. The wind rippled through the trees and grass. Clouds blew across the moon. Crickets chirped in the background as the low voices of the patrons sounded like the voices of farm dwellers on the porch in the cooling evening after a hot day on the fields.

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