"15 for Darfur" is an art exhibit touring the United States to create a national conscience about the race killings in Darfur. Artist Tom Kilian, a local artist from Tyrell County, views his art as a "canvas pulpit" that preaches to thousands. "Creating art helps me wrap my mind around difficult issues." The exhibit, "15 for Darfur," will be on display at the Roanoke Bible College campus as part of the college's 60th year anniversary Gospel Rally and Homecoming Events. Each work displayed has a plaque with an idiom that forces us to make a correlation between the image and the saying, revealing a fragment of character within ourselves.
Although each canvas remains available to aid in relief efforts, they are presented to create a change within our heart. Kilian has also created a bronze sculpture entitled "one" that, after commissioning, will serve a dual purpose of marking the race killings, and provide funding to build a hospital in Southern Sudan. Currently over 400,000 people have been killed in Darfur, Sudan, and 2.5 million driven from their homes. Kilian says, "Darfur is a genocide we can stop while it's still happening."
Artist Tom Kilian is a graduate of Roanoke Bible College and thus has a special part in the anniversary celebration of the college. "My years at Roanoke, living and working in Elizabeth City had formed the concept that we can get our message of hope outside the Church walls and out to the world. The process of art telegraphs into a language that transcends spoken word or written text." Kilian is currently developing a book entitled "Painting outside the Steeple" available in 2009. For more information about the exhibit and the artist see the website at www.KilianStudio.com.
There will be an artist reception on Wednesday, April 2 at 7:00 pm at the Watson-Griffith Library at RBC in the Albert Blanton III Campus Life Center. Kilian will be available to talk with the public about "15 for Darfur" and his various works. The reception and exhibit are free to the public.
The free exhibit will be located in the Watson-Griffith Library in the Albert Blanton III Campus Life Center at Roanoke Bible College, 715 North Poindexter Street, Elizabeth City, and open Tuesday, April 1st through Thursday, April 10th. Library hours are 7:30 am to 8:00 pm Monday - Thursday and closed from 9:45 am to 10:45 am and from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Thursday night, April 3rd, the Library will be closed at 5:00 pm - 6:50 pm and at 7:20 pm through the evening session of the Rally. On Friday, April 4th, the exhibit will be open thirty minutes before and after each session of the homecoming events held at 9:30 am, 3:00 pm, and 7:20 pm. The exhibit will be closed during the fireworks show on Friday night at 9:15 pm. Saturday, April 5th, the exhibit can be viewed from 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm. Sunday the exhibit is closed.