Last Chance to View Tanya Hartman’s When a Stranger Sojourns

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Resident artist Tanya Hartman’s most recent installation, When a Stranger Sojourns in your Land, was featured at her Exhibition Opening Friday, Sept 10. Patrons and donors were in attendance. Tanya’s work was also featured at a Gallery Talk session open to the public that Saturday.

When a Stranger Sojourns in your Land is a ceramic clay installation of letters in tones of gray, silver, and gold sprawled across Hartman’s exhibition space and reads “When a stranger sojourns in your land, you shall not do him/her wrong. The stranger who sojourns with us shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him/her as yourself.” Displayed directly in front of this principle statement is a pile of letters – collected, disarrayed, and forgotten.

While beautifully crafted, the words carry with them a certain sorrow. She says that the underlying goal of When a Stranger Sojourns in Your Land was to underline the importance of kindness and acceptance, especially in the current political environment of the country.

“Words are how we interact with one another on a daily basis. We don’t realize how much power they have,” Hartman said. The influence for much of her work focuses on the human language and connections. “There is something terrifyingly beautiful, yet terribly ugly in the human heart.” She conveys this contrast of joy and pain in much of her work.

Hartman, a Visual Art’s professor at the University of Kansas, is currently studying migration in the Midwest as a workshop leader in a National Endowment for the Humanities grant.

Hartman’s closing exhibition was Friday Oct. 14.

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