Check out the new art! This commissioned piece is hanging in the window of the Visitor’s Center Gallery in the Administrative Services building on the Broken Arrow campus of Northeastern State University. The piece is titled “The Lighting of a Fire,” and it was created by Katie Pernu (her explanation of the piece is below). Positively stunning (especially on a sunny day)!
“The Lighting of a Fire”
I have been not only an artist, but a teacher and a learner for years… my whole life really. I think when a large piece of artwork is custom made for a university setting, such as the gallery at NSU BA, and when it will become a prominent feature of a university space, it is hard for it not to be about education, at least in the eyes of its viewers. In the case of this piece, it was designed with education in mind. Education changes lives, gives direction and guidance, points out strengths and weaknesses, and provides most of us with the means to make a living.
The image of the sunburst represents the light, the energy, the power and the opportunity we receive from a well-rounded and in-depth education. We not only receive these things from education but we can become these things to our communities through our education.
As we progress through each level of school, we become increasingly specialized in what we choose to study. We begin school together, learning the basics, taking the same classes. We gradually move outward from this tightly knit beginning, this central core, finding things that interest us, working with like-minded folks, finding out how our strengths can become more than just interests. As we specialize, we become more adept at using these strengths to support ourselves and our families and to contribute to our communities, giving back what we have taken in. Science, math, language, music, athletics, visual art and all of the many majors and careers stemming from these areas, make life better for all of us. We also know others will make choices in their own studies that fill in where we are weak. My daughter-in-law is a tax accountant. I know I couldn’t do that job but I am glad she and others like her are out there! We can all make life richer for each other and ourselves when all our strengths work together and when we all are able to receive a good education. All these areas are codependent. One is no more important than another. This is all represented by the spiral in the center of the circle and the “rays” extending outward from it.
I am not going to reveal every bit of the symbolism in this piece but I will tell you there are parts that represent civilization, nature and history. There are sections that stand for our mistakes and successes and pathways we have chosen because of them. Perhaps when it is finished, you can study it a while and see what is revealed to you… Katie Pernu
“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”
William Butler Yeats
Posted by Tom R.