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Spring 2008 | Volume 31, Number 1 | Features

Roger Feldman, Professor of Art

Sculpture by Roger Feldman
Restorations: Sheep Gate, 2003, Mixed Media, 16"x12"x10", by Roger Feldman

By Katie Kresser, SPU Assistant Professor of Art History
Photo by John Keatley

Hope does not predict or assume. Above all, hope does not try to control. The hopeful person remains open to spontaneity and unpredictability, knowing that God may fulfill his promises in a completely unexpected way.

It was a happy accident of this exhibition that pieces made for earlier shows reflected this spirit of openness. Roger Feldman’s sculpture “Restorations: Sheep Gate” was made in 2003, as part of a cycle based on the Old Testament book of Nehemiah, where the Jewish people come together to rebuild Jerusalem’s crumbling wall. Feldman’s sculpture re-imagines part of the wall — specifically the Northern Sheep Gate. In so doing, it reflects the theme of “hope” in a double way.

Sculpture by Roger Feldman
Another angle of Restorations: Sheep Gate

First, there is the biblical allusion to rebuilding community. But second, in a distinctively sculptural manner, there is a metaphorical recreation of the experience of hope. If we look at the sculpture, we can see that the gate has an entrance and an exit — but they’re not entirely lined up! To go through the gate, you have to zig-zag; your path isn’t what you expect it to be. And so we have a rhythm of opening, and closure, and opening again.

Just as with the gate, hope knows where it will end up, but it doesn’t know how it will get there. That’s where the adventure of trust comes in.


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Department Highlights

from the president
President Philip Eaton reminds us that God's promise to “do something new” creates and sustains our hope.

New Leadership
The School of Theology welcomes Doug Strong, Ph.D., as its new dean.

Detours and Unexpected Destinations
Samuel Lin ’65 was named SPU Alumnus of the Year for a lifetime of service.

Oh, So Close
Falcon women’s soccer had 23 straight wins in 2007–08 season; was in Final Four.

my response
Poetry by Emily Dickinson
SPU Professor Susan VanZanten Gallagher on Emily Dickinson’s Poem #314 and “Hope.”

Response art
The Advent of Breathing
SPU Professor Christen Mattix on “The Advent of Breathing.”