Luther College presents The Art of the Story art exhibition

Beginning with a digital humanities initiative focused on changing racial and economic demographics, The Welcome Project helps participants look at factors contributing to the de-urbanizing of communities in post-industrial America. Luther College is hosting The Art of the Story exhibit in the Wigley Fleming gallery in the Center for the Arts on the Luther College campus.

This exhibit is available to the public from Feb. 7 to March 14 with no charge for admission.

The Welcome Project is housed at Valparaiso University and began in 2009 with the goal of bringing to light the complexity of living together in such a diverse world. It is orchestrated by Liz Wuerffel, professor of multi-media art, Allison Schuette, professor of creative nonfiction writing and JP Avila, graphic design professor at Pacific Lutheran University. The three work in collaboration with students from Valparaiso's Center for Civic Reflection. The group uses a facilitation practice to help participants forge relationships within their communities.

Their practice emphasizes the power of listening and the potential of art to help create a world in which people are curious about and actively seek to engage those who are different from themselves.

The exhibition will showcase stories from three Welcome Project initiatives, including The Invisible Project, which tackles stories of homelessness, and Flight Paths, which documents community changes that result from the deindustrialization of Gary, Indiana.

The artists and students from Valparaiso will be in residence at Luther College March 13 and 14 and will lead Luther students, faculty, and community members through their facilitation practice. There will also be a gallery talk at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 14 in the gallery.

To learn more about the Welcome Project initiatives and to listen online, go to welcomeproject.valpo.edu.

A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,005, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college's website: http://www.luther.edu