“Out of the Fire” art exhibit shows beauty amidst loss

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"Out of the Fire" features work by Jake Van Wyk

“Out of the Fire,” the latest art exhibit on display at the Dordt University Campus Center Art Gallery, features the work of Jake Van Wyk, professor emeritus of art at Dordt University. Described as an “extensive retrospective of work from one artist,” the exhibit highlights five decades of work in a variety of media, techniques, and subject matter. The exhibit will be on display through the end of February.

Over a year ago, Van Wyk’s art studio burned to the ground.

“I was numb for months, digging through the smoked, charred, and broken clay work, lost art, and several hundred books,” says Van Wyk. “What I call ‘silver linings’ started adding up—there was an important exhibit of 40 works on display at Mount Marty College, and I saved about 75 percent of works behind glass and below top works in storage drawers.”

The process of reclamation is a story of God’s grace, he says. And it is what drove Van Wyk to put together the art exhibit “Out of the Fire.”

“I’m inspired by the power of nature and the human figure, the mystery of angelic presence. I enjoy discovering new possibilities while experimenting with a range of media in painting, drawing, and clay work,” he says.

 “Out of the Fire” includes much of what inspires Van Wyk to continue creating art.

“Among all of this, you can find a steady testimony to nature, life, and God’s promise through an exceptional array of gestural style and mark making,” says David Platter, professor of art and gallery director. “‘Out of the Fire’ is a striking testimony to beauty persisting amidst loss.”

The Art Gallery is open from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. from Monday through Sunday. 

As an institution of higher education committed to the Reformed Christian perspective, Dordt University equips students, faculty, alumni, and the broader community to work toward Christ-centered renewal in all aspects of contemporary life. Dordt, located in Sioux Center, Iowa, is a comprehensive university named to the best college lists by U.S. News and World Report, Forbes.com, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Monthly, and Princeton Review.