BJU Art + Design Calls for Entries in Calligraphy Show

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Palimpsest graphic

BJU alumni, former faculty members and artists from the Carolinas are invited to participate in the third BJU Division of Art + Design Legacy Series exhibition entitled “Palimpsest: Exploring Contemporary Calligraphy.”

Artists can submit up to three 2-D or 3-D entries for a $30 entry fee. Matted, unframed submissions are due Sept. 1, 2021. The exhibition is planned for sometime during the 2021 fall semester.

This show will feature the calligraphy of Kathryn Bell — retired department head of BJU’s department of art education — while giving other artists a chance to present their work at BJU. Bell and Dr. Jared Stanley, assistant professor in the Division of Art + Design, will jury the exhibition.

The Legacy Series exhibitions are intended to benefit current BJU art students. “Our current students didn’t know the history of our department and the prowess of the individuals who came before us,” Stanley said. The exhibitions connect students to artists who taught and influenced current Art + Design faculty.

See Also: Legacies Live on in Exhibition Series

About the Theme

Calligraphy began to rise in the Southeast 30 years ago. “Like any antiquated art form, there are resurgences — renewed interest — particularly when there’s a large shift in the way we do things,” Stanley said. Digital technologies of the early ’90s decreased emphasis on handwork. In response, artists focused on art forms like calligraphy.

Additionally, Stanley says artists are drawn to the humanity in handcrafting, made inherent through unique touches that communicate and foster empathy. “I think every time we get away from what we perceive to be human, there’s an aspect of the arts that wants to bring us back to them,” he explained.

The exhibition will reflect the current trend of hand lettering and calligraphy. Although calligraphy is distinct from hand lettering because of the tools required, the two art forms share techniques and will both be accepted for the show. However, Stanley is hoping to stimulate creativity by emphasizing “palimpsest.”

Palimpsest is a layered manuscript. When parchment was a common writing medium, manuscripts were reused multiple times. Old writing was scraped off before applying new ink. Because the manuscripts retained traces of the effaced writing, layers formed.

Calling for contemporary calligraphy also provides perspective for the exhibition. “We want to see some clear tie back to the past while making it presentist — it’s clearly trying to push the boundaries of what we think of as calligraphy. So I’m hoping we get some strong experimentation in there,” Stanley said. “I think it’ll be interesting to see what people think calligraphy is or what it can be.”

For more information about submissions, visit the entry call webpage.