UofL Provost Shirley Willihnganz has just posted an essay,
Great universities engage the community through the arts, that reinforces a podcast I made some months ago. I will reprint Provost Willihnganz's essay in part as prelude to providing a new home, here at The Cardinal Lawyer, for my own essay on the University of Louisville's Frederick Hart exhibit.
Provost Shirley Willihnganz,
Great universities engage the community through the arts
A great university, by its very existence, improves the community in which it exists.
Among other things, a great university educates people, teaches critical thinking skills, jump starts economic development, conducts transitional research and supports the arts.
Some of those activities are obvious. One that may not be as obvious is that of supporting the arts.
The University of Louisville is committed to improving the cultural and social fabric of the community. Why? People want to live in areas that have active arts and culture components. Employers in those areas can attract employees more easily because of the arts. The arts add quality to life.
This semester, UofL has played host to an
extensive exhibit of the works of sculptor Frederick Hart. Doing so was a big, bold step for us, but one we felt was important because of the ways in which we could reach out to the community and draw it to us.
More than just showcase his work, we built curriculum around it, took it to schools and organizations in the community through a special program called Hart on Wheels, partnered with the Louisville Ballet to commission a work based on Hart's "Ex Nihilo" (to premiere in late February) and welcomed guest speakers who have discussed both all aspects of the artist and his work.
We have engaged the community. . . .
We hope that, by bringing exhibits of this caliber to Louisville and programming curriculum and activities around such once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, UofL will become known as a center for the arts and creative studies.
And with that prelude, I now repost, in relevant part, my own essay inspired by the Hart exhibit:
One Voice. One Vision. One Team. That essay originally appeared on September 6, 2007, at MoneyLaw. It was part 2 of my Docket Passer series and includes an audio podcast.
One Voice. One Vision. One Team.
Download the September 6, 2007, edition of
The Docket Passer . Or simply mash the "play" button.
Welcome to week 2 and the September 6 installment of "The Docket Passer," your online source for observations about Cardinal football, the
UofL, and Louisville Law.
It's been a good week in Louisville. The
Cardinals thumped Murray State, 73-10. As the Michigan Wolverines discovered last weekend, you can't take any opponent for granted. Division I-AA teams can knock off teams ranked fifth in the AP poll. Thankfully, nothing resembling an upset took place here in The Ville. Our wide-open offense posted a touchdown every fourth play during the first half, and the defense regrouped after a tentative start to smother Murray's Racers.
Football, of course, is a team sport, and the Cardinals are just one among many players on the team we love most, the entire University of Louisville. As a community, we are athletics, academics, and the arts. We are all those things and more; we are far, far more than the sum of our parts. Fresh from staging its
signature musical event of the year, the School of Music's annual Faculty Gala, the UofL now turns its attention to an artistic exhibition whose scope and ambition exceed anything our community has ever seen before.
The breathtaking exhibit,
Frederick Hart: Giving Form to Spirit, brings to Louisville the largest collection of works by one of America's greatest sculptors. Giving Form to Spirit unites Hart's most celebrated public works -- particularly Ex Nihilo at the National Cathedral and Three Soldiers at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial -- with intricate acrylic pieces that display Hart's artistry at its most intimate.
To be sure, Hart's work has encountered its share of controversy.
Three Soldiers, in particular, lay at the center of an anguished public debate over the proper recognition of the sacrifice so many Americans made in Vietnam. Against the backdrop of post-Vietnam politics, Hart signaled a restoration of the representational tradition in visual arts. Yet even those who see through a postmodern lens must confess the striking nature of Hart's work -- its power and its beauty.
In art and academia as in athletics, strife can make us stronger. Games that count are more fun to watch than scrimmages, precisely because something hangs in the balance. Frederick Hart's presence on campus gives his fans something to debate, and perhaps to defend, alongside admirers of more abstractly rendered expressions of the beautiful. As for my own discipline, the very existence of disagreement is what gives rise to law itself. Lawyers, judges, and legislators resolve conflict in peaceable fashion. At our very best, those of us called to the legal profession dedicate our best efforts to prevent conflict in the first place.
The year 2007 has witnessed some of the finest moments in the history of the Cardinal Nation. Whether you spend this weekend cheering Louisville football against the Blue Raiders of Middle Tennessee State, pondering how Frederick Hart captured grace and motion in bronze and acrylic, or mastering the mysteries of modern jurisprudence, the University of Louisville is
the place to be. From our concert halls to our museums, playing fields, and lecture halls, we sing, we speak, we play, we learn together. One voice. One vision. One team.