August 24, 2012

Photographer John Noltner


By Kathryn Kopchik

LEWISBURG, Pa. — The Ellen Clarke Bertrand Library at Bucknell University will host the exhibit, "A Peace of My Mind," by award-winning photographer and author John Noltner Aug. 31 through Oct. 13. The exhibit may be viewed on the second floor of the library during library hours.

The library also will offer lectures and events focusing on international peace, all of which are free and open to the public. The series is sponsored by Friends of the Library, C.A.R.E., the Griot Institute for Africana Studies, the Social Justice Residential College, and the University Lectureship Committee

Noltner will give a talk about the exhibit on Friday, Sept. 7, at 5 p.m. in the Traditional Reading Room, located on the second floor of the library.

The lecture will be accompanied by local band Rocky's Revival, featuring guitarists Bill Flack, associate professor of psychology at Bucknell, and Joe DeChristopher, a 1970 Bucknell alumnus and guitarist with the '70s band Fred; and Steve Catania, mandolin player and founder of Catania Folk Instruments.

In early 2009, Noltner set out to explore the common humanity that connects people through asking the simple question, "What does peace mean to you?" The interviews were recorded digitally and combined with a black-and-white portrait.

"A Peace of My Mind" began out of the belief that if a single voice can make a small difference, then together, many voices can make a tremendous impact. The exhibit explores the meaning of peace through the portraits and personal stories of 52 diverse subjects. Each subject is showcased on a 24-inch by 36-inch canvas gallery wrap that includes their name, a short biography, a portrait, and a 250-word excerpt from their interview about what peace means to them.

According to the artist, the subjects are ordinary people, with extraordinary stories. Those profiled include Holocaust survivors and the homeless, a Somali refugee and a military chaplain, a pottery instructor and an oil company executive, as well as artists, volunteers, politicians and business leaders.

"They speak of spiritual peace, political peace and inner peace. They describe what peace means to them, how they work toward it in their lives and some of the obstacles they encounter along the way. Through their diverse experiences, we find a wealth of wisdom that sheds new light on the meaning of peace, and in the end we recognize that each of us, at our core, shares the same hopes and dreams," said Noltner.

Other related events in the Peace series include:

Mark C. Johnson, executive director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation USA, will give a talk Tuesday, Sept. 18, at 7 p.m. in Bucknell Hall.

The International Peace Day Celebration Peace Vigil will be held Friday, Sept. 21, at noon at the Hufnagle Park Peace Pole.  In 2010, the International Day of Peace attracted 200 million people to events worldwide.

The exhibit closes with the conversation, "Becoming Instruments of Peace," with Kerry Walters and Robin Jarrell, Friday, Oct. 12, at 4:30 p.m. in the Traditional Reading Room. Jarrell and Walters are co-authors of Blessed Peacemakers: 365 Extraordinary People Who Changed the World, to be released next year.

A long-time peace activist and author of more than 25 books, Walters is the William Bittinger Professor of Philosophy, Peace and Justice Studies at Gettysburg College. An Episcopal priest and independent scholar, Jarrell is the author of Fallen Angels, Fallen Women: the Origins of the Son of Man (forthcoming).

Contact: Division of Communications
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