April 07, 2016

Morris Library now home to Peter London papers

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A reception and symposium will introduce to the region the Peter London papers, a new collection within Morris Library’s Special Collections Research Center at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. 

The events, which are free and open to the public, are set for April 14 and 15. They will highlight the personal and professional papers of artist and art educator Peter London, professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. He donated his papers, which will complement SIU’s extensive philosophy holdings, to SIU in 2015. The April events, with London in attendance, will mark the opening of the collection to library visitors. 

The reception will be at 4 p.m. on April 14 in the third floor rotunda of Morris Library, and London will present the keynote address. Also speaking will be Josh Shearer, vice president of the Southern Illinois Art Education Association, and Pam Hackbart-Dean, director of the Special Collections Research Center. 

The art education symposium is from 9 a.m. to noon on April 15 in the same location.

Speakers will include Barbara Bickel, associate professor of art education at SIU; Thomas Alexander, co-director of the Center for Dewey Studies: Jon Davey, SIU architecture professor; Aaron Darrisaw, a doctoral philosophy student who is working as a London Project graduate assistant with funding provided by London; and Patricia Rain McNichols, president of the Spiritual in Art Education Caucus of the National Art Education Association. 

London is a Distinguished Fellow of the National Art Education Association, the author of several books about art as a spiritual practice and holistic pedagogy, and an artist with works found in many public and private collections throughout the world. His collection now housed at SIU documents the philosophy of education and art and gives researchers insight into the use of art as a socially and personally transformative aesthetic process, according to Hackbart-Dean. She said through his collection, London also demonstrates the connection between the creation of art and the creation of an elevated life -- how one informs and enhances the other. 

The university’s SCRC is home to numerous art, philosophy and education resources, featuring the works of education philosopher John Dewey, architect and designer R. Buckminster Fuller, and a host of others. The collections are available for research use.