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Women artists have a dinner party

By Julie Ooms

Kate (Ellens) Ver Velde, an interior decorator, and Laura Schippers Kleinheksel, a graphic artist, were two of the alums who returned to show their work and talk with women art majors at The Dinner Party.

Kate (Ellens) Ver Velde, an interior decorator, and Laura Schippers Kleinheksel, a graphic artist, were two of the alums who returned to show their work and talk with women art majors at The Dinner Party.

Five years ago, Dordt College Art Professors Susan Van Geest and Jo Alberda organized a dinner party for women artists, where they could discuss their work, their gifts, and how they used them in single, married, and family life. This year, Van Geest and Alberda held a similar event, but it grew from a small function with one presenter to one with eight presenters and several women alumni artists. The dinner party has been so successful and so beneficial to students that Van Geest wishes to hold it every four years from now on.

On October 13-14, the presenters and participants were involved in discussion groups on such topics as balancing family life and work and myths about women in the working world as a whole. They listened to lectures about the history of women in the arts and presentations by alumni about their varied art careers. And they enjoyed a reception in which the participants could view the artists’ work.

According to Van Geest, the purpose of the event is to introduce students—particularly female students—to different areas of art, examine how they can pursue art in life, and allow them to realize that they can use their artistic gifts to God’s glory wherever they are in life. The chief purpose of the event, however, is to instill in students a sense of confidence in their own work and a recognition of their own potential. Van Geest’s hope is that the event will inspire students to use their gifts effectively both at and after Dordt College, as well as help them to think and believe that what the alumni and presenters are doing with their art careers are possible for them, too.