Saturday, December 5, 2009



CLIC to receive new color

By: Alana Kansaku-Sarmiento
Posted: 12/3/09
The World Languages and Literature Departments are looking to add even more culture and color to the newly opened language center on campus, in the form of an approximately $3,470 painting.

The painting is the creation of Ceija Stojka (pronounced Chaya Stoika), an Austrian Romani artist and holocaust survivor whose work was displayed in the Kathrin Cawein Gallery last spring. The gallery display was the first time Stojka's work was displayed in the United States.

The title of the painting is "Die Mama", which is German for "The Mama." Pacific Unversity's Campus Art Committee has a policy of only posting original artwork on and around campus in public spaces, including the U.C., the library and, now, the CLIC (Center for Languages and International Collaboration).

Extra costs including shipping and framing would up the total price of the painting for the university to $3,700. The language department is looking to raise the entire cost through donations.

As a fundraiser, the department has mounted photographs of "Die Mama" onto greeting cards and selling them for $5 each.

"Each card comes with a letter that talks about the story of the painting, and an envelope for donations," said German Professor Lorely French. "Some departments, like world languages, have committed some money. I'm hoping some clubs and private donors might want to help too."

At the moment, the painting is in a gallery in Vermont. It will return to Vienna on Jan. 3 unless the university raises the funds needed to purchase it.

"We're hoping to have at least $3,000 for it by then," said French, due to customs, taxes and costs that would make it very difficult to bring the painting back to the states once it leaves. The remaining $700 would be paid off by April 30.

"Die Mama," a large, brightly colored oil painting, depicts Roma life as Stojka new it.

Each wall in the CLIC is dedicated to artwork from a different continent. Stojka's painting would grace Europe's "wall."

"It's been a while in the making," said French of Pacific's connection with Stojka. "Originally it started with [my] interest in Roma [culture] in general, because in my own family there was talk of my own grandmother being part gypsy."

While she was in Austria on a Fulbright scholarship in 2003, someone told her that she should visit Stojka.

"I was already interested in her literature - she had written three books," said French. "I visited her apartment in Vienna, and it was loaded with artwork."

In January of 2009, French visited Stojka again, this time with Pacific students joining her.

"[The] painting will serve not only as a reminder of the CLIC's mission, but also to commemorate all the hard work our students did on art catalogues and event planning to bring this amazing woman to campus," said Humanities Administrative Assistant Windy Stein, who is spearheading the fundraising effort.

The painting is a tribute to Stojka's own mother, who saved the lives of five of her six children in concentration camp during the holocaust.

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