Six-sided connections

Six-sided connections

By Rich Howells, Weekender Staff Writer

Students of Rwandan artist Emmanuel Nkuranga were among the international participants in the upcoming ‘Hexagon Project’ exhibit.
Students of Rwandan artist Emmanuel Nkuranga were among the international participants in the upcoming ‘Hexagon Project’ exhibit.

Article appeared on page 54A of the The Weekender

First Friday Scranton typically brings artists from all around northeastern Pennsylvania together, but this Sept. 7, the Library Express on the second floor at the Mall at Steamtownwill be hosting the grand opening of “The Interdependence Hexagon Project” and “The People’s Hexagon Exhibit,” which will link artists from around the world.Interdependence Day was launched in Philadelphia on Sept. 12, 2003, chosen to coincide with 9/11, and Scranton has been participating in the event meant to acknowledge the significance of interdependence since 2006. The HexagonProject emphasizes interconnectedness using hexagon-shaped artwork that unites it all in an installation of hundreds of ideas.“It’s very exciting to see how the hexagons are metaphors for our interconnectedness when you see how people are connecting from all over the world. You can see the commonalities among people, what their thoughts and desires are. The Hexagon Project basically asks the question, ‘How can we use our talents and abilities to construct a better a world and a more civil global society?’ ” Hexagon Project Chair and Keystone College art education professor Beth Burkhauser explained.

This will mark the sixth year for the International Student Project, which features work from children in Nepal, Rwanda, Jamaica, the Philippines, and Haiti, and the first year for the People’s Exhibit, opening the entries to the public. Not just limited to paper, some of the pieces are constructed from marble, clay, wood, chocolate, and even baked in bread.

“They’re exquisite little hexagons. They’re just beautifully painted. You can tell these kids are having art instruction. They’re blossoming through this, too,” Burkhauser said of the art by Rwandan orphans.

Much of the artwork will be sold to raise money for the project and to aid children worldwide. The opening at the Library Express will serve as the “kickoff” to Interdependence Day events in Scranton throughout the month, which are listed at

“When Beth approached me and we discussed the social significance of Interdependence Day, I immediately thought that the library would be the perfect partner for the art aspect of it,” Library Express Manager Andrea McGuigan commented. “I love the visual representation of the hexagons inter-connecting right here in Scranton after being created all across the globe.”

The opening, held from 6-9 p.m., will also have food, awards for exceptional entries, and a special “Interdependence Theremin Experiment” with thereminist Jason Smeltzer and flutist Julian Sparacino.

“Musically, I am very elastic. I always try to find what I call ‘the least common denominator’ between music and venue,” Smeltzer added. “I called Julian Sparacino, who plays the flute, soprano sax, and has done some spoken word. I will try to tie the library to the hexagon to the music.”


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