Author Archives: Carolyn Meyer

MIIS Staff Advisor Team Announces First Friday Staff Meet-Ups

The Staff Advisory Team will hold a monthly meet-up with staff from 12-1:30pm every first Friday. The next Staff Meet-Up on October 4th from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. in MG-100 or via Zoom: go.miis.edu/staffmeetup. The topic will be “New Staff Governance Roles and Feedback” with guest speakers Ashley Arrocha and Bob Cole.

Ashley Arrocha will speak about her new role on the Institute Board of Overseers (IBO) and discuss the staff input process and share feedback related to the IBO. Bob Cole will provide Middlebury Staff Council updates and a general overview of his role Staff Council.

There will be time for a Q&A and open discussion after the presentations.

Staff can read past newsletters and view recordings of these meetings at http://sites.miis.edu/staff.

Life in Stone: An evening with art, food, and storytelling with Zimbabwean artist, Moses Nyanhongo

Middlebury Institute of International Studies’ Committee on Art in Public Places (iCAPP) in partnership with Gallery Sur invites students, staff, faculty, alumni, and the Monterey community to meet Shona stone sculptor Moses Nyanhongo from Zimbabwe for a free outdoor sculpting demonstration at the Holland Center Courtyard (442 ½ Van Buren Street) on the Middlebury Institute campus from 5-7 PM, September 26, 2019. The event will be repeated at Gallery Sur Carmel from 11-3 on Sunday, September 29. Light refreshments and Zimbabwean hospitality will be enjoyed at both locations.

In addition to the demonstration, Gallery Sur will exhibit a collection of fine art sculptures by several of the premier artists of Zimbabwe, including Moses Nyanhongo, using the multi-colored indigenous stones of their country.

The demonstration is an engaging opportunity to watch the hand carving process as Moses Nyanhongo shares both his sculpting technique and the cultural background of the world acclaimed Shona Sculpture Movement. 

MIIS was founded in 1955 (as Monterey Institute of International Studies) to promote international understanding through the study of language and culture, in pursuit of a more just and peaceful world.  The transformative effect of art speaks to the very core of the Middlebury Institute’s goal to expand the perceptions of its students and faculties, by improving intercultural competence. The Middlebury Committee on Art in Public Places invites our entire community to experience the beauty of Shona stone sculpture, an emotional expression of the unique socio-cultural identity of the Zimbabwean people, which reminds us all there is more that binds us together than separates us.

Shona sculpture is an integral part of Zimbabwean culture, and the Shona Sculpture Movement reads like a testimony of time and place as the artists sculpt a cultural and spiritual induced depiction of the ever-changing Zimbabwean society.  The superlative techniques and ancestral traditions are passed from master to student, while each artist expresses their own experience of the individual, the beauty and mystery of the natural world, and the ancestral wisdom of the interconnectedness of all life.

Born of an artistic environment free from the constraints of formal artistic rules and boundaries, the Shona Sculpture Movement has become known as the most compelling and evocative form of art to emerge from Africa in the 20th century.  Shona sculpture is featured in the world’s finest museums, including the Museum of Modern Art New York and The Rodin Museum, and in galleries and private collections worldwide.

New Photo Exhibit on Cultures in Transition

Middlebury Institute faculty, staff, and students may have noticed the new photo exhibit in the upper McCone atrium installed earlier this month. Oliver Klink built a 15 year photographic project, called Cultures In Transition, based on 5 Asian countries (Bhutan, Myanmar, Mongolia, China, India). In 2001, on his first trip, he was completely in awe of the incredible diversity, both in the environment and the culture of Asia. Countries seemed to be in rapid transition, from agrarian to urban, from antiquated to modern, from a historical relic to a future superpower. The exhibit will be on display through December 31, 2019.

Cultures in Transition aims at showing the changes that people go through, the subtleties that make their life evolve, the spiritual guiding light. Klink resisted depicting the visual transitions, such as the new electronic devices, the high-rise buildings going up like mushrooms, the freeways built as quickly as sand castles, the modern transportation, the influence of western clothing, the packaged food and the old villages turned into tourist attractions. Cultures in Transition is about something deeper, something that it took time to observe, to detect, and to understand. Klink watched people, started to feel their emotions about change, their worries, their acceptance. He witnessed them falling behind, trying to hold on to their comfort zones, their culture, and their spirituality. Everyone that he interacted with described transition differently, but one thing that was common was that the typical visual signs of “progress” were the least of their worries. The loss of emotional connection with themselves and their communities was their most significant concern. These people lived their lives on Spirit, Heart, and Soul.

Photograph: Oliver Klink

MIIS Staff Mark the End of the Academic Year

Middlebury Institute staff came together to celebrate the end of the academic year. The annual event brings staff together during a relatively quiet time of year to celebrate the hard work of the past 12 months. The event honored departing staff members for their service.

During the event, MIIS alumna, Lauri Pastrone, (MIIS BA in International Economics ’84) gave a short presentation on Peace by Piece International, an organization dedicated to sourcing socially conscious gifts.

During the event, each staff member received a card holder handmade from pineapple leaves.

Lauri shared fond memories of her time at the Institute, including visits to the 100 square foot snack stand affectionately called “The People’s House” that used to stand in the Holland Center courtyard.

Middlebury Institute Welcomes Summer MiddCORE Program

The Middlebury Institute and Asilomar Conference grounds in nearby Pacific Grove are host to the MiddCORE four-week, mentor-powered innovation experience June 1-29, 2019.

Middlebury Institute faculty and staff will serve as mentors and judges in the program in addition to alumni from the College and other members of MiddCORE’s network.