The Edmond Sun

Arts & Entertainment

February 22, 2014

Global Ambassador, UCO collaborate to change lives

EDMOND — Some moments in time perfectly capture a point of growth in one’s life. What if we take that moment and paint it for all to see? Studying abroad in Switzerland, Adrienne Bingham, a University of Central Oklahoma student, was immersed in a culture that she was unfamiliar with. There were times of stress due to great cultural differences. Her experience could have been one of grief, but in a single moment all of it changed. It is this moment that Kyle wants to share with the world by commissioning an artist to portray Adrienne’s story on a painted canvas.

“The idea of funding it through the online site, Kickstarter, came to mind,” said Kyle Dillingham, Global Ambassador at UCO. “Through this project, Fusion of Art and Cultural Storytelling, two mediums — paint and narrative — will be fused into one for a unique artistic and cultural experience.”

As Global Ambassador, in collaboration with UCO’s International House, Dillingham is launching this project to tell the stories that are worth sharing — stories such as Adrienne’s.

“Through this project, we want our community and beyond to join with us in realizing that education and growth go much further than the walls of a school-building,” Dillingham said. “By contributing to our Kickstarter project, one can be a part of this cultural story-telling experience and at the same time encourage many more students to study abroad, exposing them to life-changing events in other societies.”

The first in a collection of 10 pieces, the painting will be displayed at the International House on the campus of UCO.

“The International House is a crossroads of sorts where Americans and internationals come together to learn from one another’s cultures and experiences, making it a perfect location to house such a work,” said Dennis Dunham, executive director of Global Affairs at UCO.

Next to the commissioned work will be a framed showcase of Adrienne’s story, as well as a photograph of Adrienne and the artist, Dillingham said.

“With our project fully supported we will establish a committee that will call for proposals and select an artist based on these proposals,” Dillingham said. Once selected, the artist will create a painting depicting Adrienne’s story and experience abroad.

When their financial goal of $5,000 is met, 80 percent will go to the commissioned artist, with 20 percent going toward rewards packages, promotion of completed painting and traveling of the exhibit, if they exceed their goal.

The rewards packages start as low as a $10 pledge and range from email updates and recognition of support to a giant package containing a 36-inch limited edition signed print on canvas delivered in poster tube ready for framing, a signed printed narrative of the story, photograph of artist, student and canvas, and a permanent name placement as underwriter of project piece.

Dillingham’s ultimate goal is $100,000, which would fund all 10 pieces in the collection. “Any funds that go over the initial $5,000 would go toward the continuation of the overall 10-piece project and the traveling exhibit expenses. By pledging support for this project you are not only supporting the arts, but you are enabling future students to share experiences such as Adrienne’s. You are also empowering our society to become more diverse, tolerant and understanding of barriers that exist between peoples and nations and, more importantly, how those barriers may be overcome.”

Kickstarter is all-or-nothing — projects must reach their funding goals to receive any money. To date, 44 percent of projects have reached their funding goals on the site.

TO HELP fund Fusion of Art and Cultural Storytelling, visit the Kickstarter project at http://kck.st/1e1zEBc. For more information, email Stephanie Brudzinski at info@horseshoeroad.net or call 808-8804. For more information about the University of Central Oklahoma’s International House: http://www.uco.edu/student-affairs/international/international-house.

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