The Kresge Gallery at Lyon College will feature the art exhibition “American Exceptionalism and Other Nonsense” by Chad Penner from Sept. 20 through Nov. 1.
Penner’s work explores the relationship between the idea of American exceptionalism and America’s intimate relationship with and affinity toward violence. The artist allegorizes these concepts using popular superheroes, such as Superman, Captain America and Wonder Woman, which function as metaphors for an idealized America as a global “superpower.”
“Current events and the present sociopolitical climate are the main factors driving my work,” Penner says in his artist statement.
“The superhero is an American phenomenon that encapsulates the idealistic notions of American exceptionalism, along with the nation’s time-honored tradition of resolution through violence.”
Penner worked with charcoal, pastels and chalk on paper to create two distinct series of works. His early works are dark, atmospheric, monumental drawings that depict violent acts between superheroes and victims, examining the historical or social implications of violence outside of the act itself.
His recent works take on a more satirical tone by combining contemporary political figures with superhero costumes in charcoal and pastel portraits.
“The juxtaposition of these politicians and their ill-fitting costumes implies a failure to live up to the heroics status to which contemporary society often holds them,” Penner said.
Scroll through the online gallery below and check out Penner’s full artist statement.
A video interview with Penner will be released soon in place of the traditional Artist Talk.
The Blind Leading | 2020
Charcoal, pastel and chalk on paper
36 x 24 inches
McConnell: The Spinelight Knight, the Cowed Crusader | 2019
Charcoal and pastel on paper
24 x 20 inches
America the Blameless | 2018
Charcoal and pastel on paper
74 x 42 inches
Manifest Destiny | 2017
Charcoal and pastel on paper
105 x 69 inches
Lyon community members are creating prayer pinwheels to celebrate the International Day of Peace on Monday, Sept. 21.
College Chaplain Rev. Margaret Alsup said students living on campus have been invited to write down a prayer, concerns for the world and ways humanity can work toward peace on a pinwheel.
These pinwheels will be displayed during Chapel on Thursday, Sept. 24 at 11 a.m. to commemorate Arkansas Peace Week.
“Chapel that day will focus on acknowledging the ways in which we fall short in achieving peace,” said Alsup, “and prayers to help guide us to work for peace and the betterment of our community and world.”
The service will be streamed on the Campus Ministry Facebook at 11 a.m.
Alsup said those who are not on campus and wish to send in prayers can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. She will make sure the prayers are added to the prayer pinwheels. Community members can even design their own prayer pinwheels at home using this template.
Lyon community members will get an in-depth look at the nation’s founding document on Constitution Day thanks to the efforts of faculty and staff.
Faculty and staff compiled a list of resources students can access to gain deeper knowledge of the Constitution and explore new perspectives on its legacy.
Constitution Day is celebrated annually on Sept. 17 to commemorate the date on which the U.S. Constitution was originally signed in 1787 in Philadelphia during the Constitutional Convention.
“As an institution, we are happy to dedicate time during Constitution Week to a thoughtful consideration of the history and legacy of the document for our 21st Century citizenry,” said Provost Melissa Taverner.
The College traditionally hosts events with guest speakers, such as local attorneys and even an Arkansas State Supreme Court justice, to discuss Constitutional history and interpretation, she said, but in-person gatherings were not an option this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“However, we are blessed to have a resource in the faculty and staff,” Taverner said, “who were able to bring their experience and expertise to the situation and helped us imagine another way to provide an educational opportunity for the community.”
Political science, history, art and business faculty, as well as several staff members, contributed suggestions for books, articles and even art projects that address both the history of the Constitution and ways that modern citizens can understand the importance of the document.
“It was ultimately a collaborative effort,” said Dr. Bradley Gitz, the William Jefferson Clinton Professor of Politics. “I started the list off with some suggestions, including everything from The Federalist to Hamilton, and sent that on to Scott and other faculty, who added their own suggestions.”
“No human-designed government is perfect, but our constitution has proven remarkably resilient,” said Dr. Scott Roulier, the John Trimble Sr. Professor of Political Philosophy.
He continued, “It’s a testament to its ability to balance the need for social order, on the one hand, and its commitment to individual liberty, on the other--to its simultaneous delegation of and limits on state power.”
Public Services Librarian Anna Leinweber contributed links to two National Archives virtual events.
“I think the first event, ‘The Electoral College and the Constitution,’ will be insightful particularly this year with how contested the presidential election is going to be,” she said.
Leinweber said the panelists include current members of Congress, who pledge to uphold the Constitution and can provide firsthand experience on how it functions in their daily work.
“I focused on the American Revolution rather than the Constitution,” said Assistant Professor of History Dr. Brian D’Haeseleer, “because students are often shocked to learn about how ‘ordinary’ people played a key role in the revolution. And, for historians such as Breen and Nash, they were the key engines instead of the Founding Fathers.”
“The assembled resources are diverse and timely,” Taverner said, “and will permit people to explore the Constitution from many different perspectives.”
Lyon graduate Iva Popović, ’20, is stepping off the volleyball court and into her new role as financial manager for STARS Academy in Batesville.
STARS Academy is a locally-owned therapy clinic and developmental preschool. As financial manager, Popović maintains financial services by assisting the executive management team
with budget planning and by offering insights and financial advice that will allow the team to make the best business decisions for the company.
“My job allows me to implement the theoretical knowledge I learned at Lyon and see it work in real life,” she said.
Popović learned about the theory of corporate finance from her economics and business finance professors, preparing her for her current position.
“I am learning how a small business actually runs, not just from a financial standpoint but also from a human resources and, in STARS Academy’s case, a therapy standpoint, too.”
She continued, “It feels great that I am finally able to practice what I was learning about for five years.”
Popović also collects, interprets and reviews financial information, predicting future financial
trends and reporting them to management. She reviews, monitors and manages budgets for both of STARS’ North and South locations in Batesville.
“My favorite part of working at STARS is that I indirectly get to help the kids and work with an
awesome group of people,” she said, “including Lyon men’s basketball alum, David Brogdon, ’93.”
The job opportunity also allowed Popović, a native of Novi Sad, Serbia, to stay in Batesville.
“International students like myself have limited employment options during our time in college,” she said.
This obstacle was made even more challenging by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Finding a job during a global pandemic was extremely challenging and stressful,” Popović said, “but I believe that every stressful situation in life only makes us better and stronger.”
“Perseverance does conquer all!”
She recommends students interested in similar careers participate in as many internship and job shadowing opportunities as possible.
“That experience is very valuable later on,” Popović said. “Network and put yourself out there as much as possible.”
She encourages students to keep an open mind when looking for a career.
“Don’t be afraid to venture out of your comfort zone and be open to all opportunities that come your way, especially in the times we are in.”
(From left) Alex Harris, Laura Mendez, Cole Anderson and Destiny Sharp are joining the Lyon Influencer program this year!
Lyon College has selected its second class of social media influencers.
Alexandria “LeeLee” Denton, Marcos Fernandez de Oliveira, Katherine “KJ” Jeane and Michael Jorgensen will return from the inaugural class.
The College has also selected four new influencers: Cole Anderson, Alex Harris, Laura Mendez and Destiny Sharp.
Sophomore Cole Anderson, of Magnet Cove, is excited for the opportunity.
“I am looking forward to meeting new people that I would have never met before,” Anderson said, “and becoming more involved with Lyon College and Batesville.”
He continued, “I love how social media keeps all of us connected, even if we are thousands of miles away.”
Sophomore Alex Harris, of Conway, is also thrilled to be part of the Lyon Influencer program. She looks forward to sharing her experience at Lyon with others and gaining different experiences through the social media world.
“What I want to take away from this experience is how to market a brand all while being authentic and having fun,” she said.
Harris continued, “My favorite thing about social media is that I not only get to express myself, but I am able to see how others express themselves as well.”
Senior Laura Mendez, of Little Rock, is looking forward to sharing her Lyon experience as an influencer and hopefully seeing her friends on campus in the spring.
“I want to be able to connect with my social media followers and use my platforms for something I love!” Mendez said. “I like being able to connect with people from everywhere with pictures, videos and comments.”
Sophomore Destiny Sharp, of Batesville, is ready to share her passion for Lyon College and the campus community.
“I am looking forward to reaching out and sharing with past, current and future Scots and getting involved with others in our Lyon community!”
Sharp loves not only sharing her favorite parts of life with her followers but also encouraging them to share theirs by relating to the things she posts.
“I love that social media is an easy opportunity to be yourself and to make connections with others that you might not ever get to connect with in person,” Sharp said.
“Since we are remote learning this semester, the influencer experience will be a little different,” said Director of Communications Madeline Pyle, who is in charge of the influencer program, “but I am confident in our influencers that they will still show off the Lyon College experience,”
Pyle concluded, “I can’t wait to see their creativity!”
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