September 30th, 2020
This is the final week to see “Forthcoming,” which closes Friday, Oct. 30, in the gallery in Luyken Fine Arts Center.
David Long is professor of visual arts and design at Bethel.
The reception for the exhibit was one of the few Fall Festival events that could go on in person, on Oct. 2.
“Images for this exhibit were taken while [I was] in Europe with the Bethel class Italian Renaissance in the summer of 2019,” Long said. “Because my class always travels at the end of the school year, [we have] never made it onto the convocation stage as part of the [regular] ‘interterm travel reports,’ and this is my answer to that unfortunate omission.”
Although Long has been visiting Italy periodically for decades (since 1981), “not surprisingly, I still find it a wondrous place to take pictures.
“However, this was my first trip with a smartphone. Some of the images were taken with that device. It was really handy to go for morning runs, listen to music and, when the sun started to rise, take out my phone to snap some pictures.”
Long reports that “the one shot I didn’t get” occurred on one of his runs in Rome.
Early on a Sunday morning, in a light rain and with hardly anyone around, Long ran past the Colosseum, over to the Pantheon, to the Spanish Steps, and on to the Trevi Fountain where, the day before, the Bethel group had had to push through crowds of tourists.
“I pulled out my phone and took a couple of pictures of the fountain, minus people in the foreground. I put my phone back into its holder, [and then] I see a young man strip off his shirt and proceed to swim in the fountain.
“Turns out that is illegal and comes with a 500-euro fine. Did I get a picture of that? No! It did make national news when it was reported that an American college student – thankfully not from Bethel – was charged in the event.”
The 2019 trip on which Long took the photos in “Forthcoming” included his first visits to Germany and France.
“With my son being one of the registered students in the [Bethel] group, and my wife meeting us at the end of the class trip, we were able to take a family vacation after we left Italy.
“Germany was really tainted by my attendance of [Bethel Professor of History] Mark Jantzen’s symposium on the Holocaust, and by the reading list for his class on the same topic. Walking into the concentration camp at Dachau was especially poignant.
“[The World Wars made] Germany very different than what I had experienced in Italy. The food was very different. The architecture was newer, but sprinkled throughout [with] memories of the past. City parks were glorious, and in Berlin we stayed at the ‘Hotel California.’”
Long says the title of the exhibit, “Forthcoming,” came about when he and his colleague Rachel Epp Buller, associate professor of visual arts and design, were working on the Regier Gallery schedule for 2019-20 (prior to the 2019 Italy trip).
“A small window opened up where the gallery was going to be empty for about two weeks [originally last March],” Long says, “and I told her I would be happy to display something.
“What that was going to be, I had no idea – hence the title. Not only was the work going to be forthcoming, but the idea for the show as well.”
“Forthcoming” will be in the Regier Art Gallery through Oct. 30. Regular gallery hours are Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Please note that masks must be worn on the Bethel College campus. Gallery hours may change according to Bethel's current COVID status.
Bethel is a four-year liberal arts college founded in 1887 and is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Known for academic excellence, Bethel ranks at #14 in the Washington Monthly list of “Best Bachelor’s Colleges” and #26 in U.S. News & World Report, Best Regional Colleges Midwest, and earned its third-straight NAIA Champions of Character Five-Star Gold Award, based on student service and academic achievement, all for 2020-21; is Zippia.com’s highest ranked Kansas small college with the highest earning graduates; has the #10 RN-to-BSN program in Kansas according to RNtoBSN.com; and is #57 among 829 U.S. colleges and universities named by lendEDU.com as “Best for Financial Aid,” as well as #23 “Safest College Towns in the U.S.,” ranked by lendEDU.com for 2020-21. For more information, see www.bethelks.edu