Catherine Chastain-Elliott, senior associate dean of academic affairs, with My Father Sees, her original oil painting.
Catherine Chastain-Elliott, senior associate dean of academic affairs, with My Father Sees, her original oil painting. Photo: June Kwon

Inspired Performance spotlights faculty, staff work

Inspired Performance, a multi-media display of the creative and professional works of nearly 40 Oxford College faculty, staff, and emeritus faculty, is currently on display in the Oxford College Library.

Hand-crafted theatrical costumes, a viewable dance performance, and a sample of an online course make up part of the fourteenth annual Inspired Performance exhibit. This multi-media display on view in the Oxford College Library features the creative and professional works of nearly 40 Oxford College faculty, emeriti, and staff. 

The exhibit kicks off April 13 with an opening celebration reception hosted by Oxford College Dean Doug Hicks, Dean of Academic Affairs Ken Anderson and Dean of the Library Kitty McNeill. The showcase includes books and book excerpts, journal articles, conference presentations, art, photography, and video in interactive formats. 

“It’s a complete team effort by the entire library staff and our student employees to get the exhibit installed and the library ready for the opening night party,” says McNeill. “Inspired Performance is a welcome bookend to a very busy academic year for faculty and staff,” she adds. 

The event began in 2005 as a way to highlight what faculty and staff had been working on throughout the year, particularly their published books or articles, conference papers, poster presentations or art projects.

This is the second year that Catherine Chastain-Elliott 98PhD, senior associate dean for academic affairs, has contributed an item. With training and degrees in art history and architectural history, she created My Fathers Sees in 2017.  

“This painting is for my father, who loved the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Georgia and North Carolina more than any other place on earth,” she explains. Her father died this past February from Lewy Body disease, an illness that can cause hallucinations and dementia. 

She painted this mixture of scenes for him as he was declining in health, based on mountain photos she showed him whenever they spent time together. 

“I like to think that it symbolizes the layered memories of his favorite places that washed over him in his last weeks,” Chastain-Elliott says. 

Some students aren’t aware of all the work the faculty and staff do outside the classroom, says Ellen Neufeld, deputy director of the library. The range and detail, as well as the expertise on display impresses them, she adds. 

“We enjoy getting a unique view of the students interacting with the various exhibited items,” says Neufeld, who is also an exhibitor. 

She encourages those who visit the display to pick up a paper and read it or listen to one of the interactive displays. 

Inspired Performance will remain in the first-floor library academic commons until the week of May 7.