The lives and work of female artists will be the topic of this year’s Jean and Louis Janzen Endowed Writers Series at Fresno Pacific University.
The 10th anniversary edition of the series will feature Becca J.R. Lachman and Astrid Kaemmerling in a program titled “’Making Home’ as Contemporary Female Artists.” The free event begins at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, January 25, 2018, in the British Columbia Lounge at Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary, 1717 S. Chestnut Ave., Fresno. Lachman, Janzen Writers Series presenter, and Kaemmerling, an interdisciplinary artist, will speak on “making home” as contemporary female artists, and the collaborative, long-distance project they have been shaping for the past three years, some of which will be on exhibit. Lachman will also share how her Mennonite upbringing and faith inspires her work.
Lachman was raised in Kidron, OH, originally in the Sonnenburg Swiss Mennonite settlement. She is now a writer, public library communications officer and recovering former adjunct professor living in Athens, OH, and holds an MFA from Bennington College. She edited the anthology A Ritual to Read Together: Poems in Conversation with William Stafford and wrote two poetry collections: Other Acreage, an elegy-ode to her family’s 1840s dairy farm, and The Apple Speaks, which explores being the adult daughter of Mennonite humanitarian workers in a war-torn country. Her poems and essays have appeared in Image, Consequence Magazine, Brevity and So to Speak: A Feminist Journal of Language and Art, and she currently serves on the “Resonate” hymn lyrics sub-committee for the new Mennonite Church USA/Canada hymnal and worship book.
Kaemmerling is a German-born artist, scholar and educator based in San Francisco. Her work, which spans the genres of visual, performance and media art, has been exhibited internationally in Germany, Italy, Korea and the United States. Last year, she completed fellowships at the Vermont Studio Center and at Enos Park, IL. She is currently doing an artist residency at the KALA Art Institute in Berkeley. Kaemmerling is the founder of The International Community of Artist-Scholars, a group that works at the intersection of art and research, as well as the founder of The Walk Discourse, a Bay Area laboratory for walking artists and walking enthusiasts to share walking art methodologies, practices and tools. She holds a Ph.D. from Ohio University in Interdisciplinary Arts.
The Janzen Writers Series is hosted by the FPU School of Humanities, Religion and Social Sciences and supported by Poets & Writers, Inc., through a grant from the James Irvine Foundation. The series was established in 2007 to bring excellent Christian writers to the community. The series also honors the teaching, service and contributions of Dr. Louis Janzen and Jean Janzen, award-winning Valley poet.
Fresno Pacific University is the Valley’s only accredited Christian university, connecting every student’s untapped potential with unlimited opportunity for professional, personal and ethical growth. FPU offers undergraduate, graduate and seminary programs that stress solid academic preparation and a strong ethical foundation to more than 4,000 traditional and adult students on the main campus in southeast Fresno and regional campuses in North Fresno, Visalia, Bakersfield and Merced as well as online. The university also reaches about 6,000 students through professional development studies. FPU has the highest four-year graduation rate of any Central Valley college or university, is a Hispanic Serving Institution, with a Hispanic student population of 44 percent, and is one of the top 10 HSIs nationally in graduating Hispanic students. FPU is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and ranked in the top tier among western universities—master’s category by U.S. News & World Report. Both U.S. News and Washington Monthly include FPU on their “Best Value” and “Best Bang for the Buck” lists. FPU is affiliated with the Mennonite Brethren Church, and all employees express a personal Christian commitment and support the Christian mission of the university. A description of the unique quality of FPU as an academic community can be found in the Fresno Pacific University Idea at fresno.edu/about/fpu_idea.