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Exhibit to feature everyday objects transformed by ‘magical process’

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Sculptor Erin Coleman-Cruz, DeKalb, Ill., will be the next guest artist to show her work in the Bethel College Fine Arts Center Gallery.

Coleman-Cruz will open her show with a reception Friday, Nov. 6, from 9:30-11 a.m. outside the FAC Gallery, to be followed by a convocation presentation with the same title as her show, “Flood the Luminous Body.” The reception and convocation, as well as the exhibit, are free and open to the public.

Coleman-Cruz has a B.A. in art education from Goshen (Ind.) College and an M.F.A. in studio art (sculpture) from Northern Illinois University, DeKalb. She currently oversees the preparation and installation of exhibitions at the NIU Museum.

In addition, she is part of the Abraham Lincoln Historical Digitization Project at NIU, scanning, proofreading and preparing photographs, images and documents for database use.

Coleman-Cruz has exhibited her work in numerous venues in DeKalb over the last several years. In addition, earlier this year, she had a solo exhibition at the Buchanan (Mich.) Art Center and was part of a group invitational show at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts in Grand Rapids, Mich., as well as a group show at the Mercy Seat in Minneapolis, Minn.

In 2007, Coleman-Cruz received the Diversity and Equity Award from NIU, which recognized her “promotion of campus diversity in the category of Women and Gender” through her curating the exhibit “Conception: A Show Addressing Women’s Issues” at the Pleasant Street Gallery on the NIU campus.

Of “Flood the Luminous Body,” an exhibition of her sculptures, Coleman-Cruz says in her artist’s statement: “An inner landscape takes form through crystallized tears, maps of inner journeys appear on garments, narratives of loss and pain are shared. …the longings to be able to nurture and love, and to be nurtured and loved, are stitched into the very works themselves.

“As an artist, I find that there is the opportunity to create, via a ‘magical process,’ using an item of little value and transforming it into something of great meaning, which is central to my work,” she continues. “I transform my own difficult, yet often common, experiences into meaningful expressions by selecting simple and abundant materials such as household goods, garments, plants and salt, and transforming them via an alchemical-esque process.

“My use of embroidery and other traditional ‘women’s work’ techniques, along with lived-used domestic objects that have passed from one use to the next over time, serves to remind us that the home is the site of our first world,’ and the objects and functions in those homes are charged with meaning.”

“Flood the Luminous Body” will be on display in the FAC Gallery through Dec. 11. Regular gallery hours are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, 2-4 p.m. (closed Nov. 25-29 for the Thanksgiving break). Admission to the gallery is free.

Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. Bethel is known for its academic excellence and was the only Kansas private college to be ranked in’s listing of “America’s Best Colleges” for 2009 and one of only two Kansas colleges listed in Colleges of Distinction 2008-09. For more information, see the Bethel Web site at

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