Art inspired by education shines at NSUBA

Northeastern State University-Broken Arrow has partnered with Broken Arrow Public School art teacher Katie Pernu to provide a one-of-a-kind stained glass piece.

On Aug. 20, in the Visitors’ Center Gallery at NSUBA, friends and colleagues as well as NSU students, faculty, and staff, came together to pay homage to a new chapter in NSU’s history.

The piece aptly named, “The Lighting of A Fire”, was given a dedication ceremony as President Steve Turner, Regent Jan Gordon, and Pernu spoke in credence of the new addition to NSUBA.

“Today we are here to remember and celebrate a life of service,” said Dr. Steve Turner, president of NSU. “We look at David Gordon and know that not only was he instrumental in securing this facility and the support from broken arrow, but he was also one of our Regents.”

David Gordon, who passed away in 1999, was a celebrated visionary and community leader who was among a group of civic leaders who campaigned to pass a city sales tax that provided funding to build the first three buildings at NSUBA. Funding for the art piece was made possible by the David Gordon memorial fund.

“The image of the sunburst represents light, energy, power and the opportunity we receive from a well-rounded and in-depth education,” said Pernu. “This is all represented by the spiral in the center of the circle and the rays extending outward from it.”

The title of Pernu’s work comes from Irish poet and playwright, William Butler Yeats, who was famously quoted as saying, “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”

Creating a focal point rich in color and depth, Pernu has created a virtual sunburst in abstract complete with jewel-toned rays reaching out to the cosmos. Bold and emblazoned, the glass mosaic appears as if it has been wrangled and chained to stained glass. Compiled from more than 4,000 pieces of stained glass, Pernu spent nearly 300 hours working on the project. 

Published: 8/22/2012 3:51:46 PM

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