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UIS political art series will feature discussion with noted photographer-author

March 24, 2008

Contact: Richard Gilman-Opalsky, 217/206-8328, rgilm3@uis.edu

SPRINGFIELD - The University of Illinois at Springfield's Political Art and the Public Sphere series will conclude for the spring with an exhibit of works by and a discussion with photographer/author Jan Goff-LaFontaine, beginning at 6 p.m. Friday, April 4, in the Access Gallery, located in the lobby of the Visual and Performing Arts Building on the east side of the UIS campus. The exhibit, discussion, and a reception immediately following are all free and open to the public.

Goff-LaFontaine's work is dedicated to bringing awareness and healing through art. She is perhaps best known for her books Women in Shadow and Light and Reflections: Between the Lines.

Reflections tells the stories of more than 50 men and women who returned from the Vietnam War alive but physically, mentally, and spiritually wounded.

The cover of the book Women in Shadow and LightShadow and Light offers an intimate glimpse of 40 women, aged 19 to 95, who found the courage to triumph over the violence of sexual and physical abuse. Each woman helped create her own portrait as a personal symbol of healing, often focusing on one aspect of her body that she felt was most affected in the healing process. The resulting images are not about victimization, anger, or abuse, but instead represent the positive qualities of the human spirit, as well as the constructive link between the arts and everyday life and the power of art to heal.

Series facilitator Richard Gilman-Opalsky, assistant professor of political philosophy at UIS, explained that the basic idea behind PAPS is to consider how "art" can raise important social and political questions. "Public spheres are the places where people come together to communicate, to evaluate, and to circulate ideas and arguments," he said.

For more information about this program or the PAPS series, contact Gilman-Opalsky by phone at 206-8328 or by e-mail at rgilm3@uis.edu.



The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 42 degree programs: 21 bachelor's, 20 master's, and the Doctorate of Public Administration. UIS has a special mission in public affairs and service and is known for extraordinary internships, a wireless campus, extensive online offerings, and a commitment to teaching.

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