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Valorie Coleman
Public Relations Director
College of the Ozarks
Point Lookout, MO 65726
Office: (417) 690-2212
Cell: (417) 365-2727
Email: vcoleman@cofo.edu

August 22, 2017

College of the Ozarks to host artist Michelle Westmark Wingard

Field where plane crashedBeginning on Aug. 28, 2017, College of the Ozarks will host the artistic work of Michelle Westmark Wingard in the Boger Art Gallery on campus. Wingard captured photographs of the location where her grandfather’s plane was shot down in Belgium during World War II. Her grandfather parachuted into enemy territory and escaped to freedom through the help of a series of Belgian farmers who endangered their lives to help him. Seventy-two years after the crash, the fuel content of the soil is still prohibitive to plant life.

POINT LOOKOUT, MO. — Beginning on Aug. 28, 2017, College of the Ozarks will host the artistic work of Michelle Westmark Wingard.
 
The Boger Art Gallery, located on the first floor of the Jones Building on the College of the Ozarks campus, will display the artist’s work until Sept. 25, 2017. The gallery is open Monday-Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Saturday-Sunday, from 1 to 5 p.m.
 
Wingard, a professor of art and the gallery director at Bethel University, received a grant and a sabbatical to capture photographs of the location where her grandfather’s plane was shot down in Belgium during World War II.
 
Her grandfather parachuted into enemy territory and escaped to freedom through the help of a series of Belgian farmers who endangered their lives to help him.
 
Wingard memorializes, with the help of her photographs, the legacy of her beloved grandfather.
 
“To think, all of these years — as my grandfather recounted the harrowing tale of the crash — a Belgian farmer across the ocean was also telling this story,” she said.
 
Wingard’s project attempts to connect the viewer to the powerful journey of experiencing the past and allowed Wingard to know her grandfather more deeply through occupying the spaces and environments that he had experienced.
 
“A photograph by its very nature has the power to serve as both a three-dimensional object and as two-dimensional evidence of an event, object, person or place recorded at a specific static moment. The image is both an object and a record simultaneously,” Wingard said.
 
With the passing of her grandfather, Wingard underscores the importance of her art.
 
“Now that my grandfather is gone, his stories are with me, and I have access to objects that punctuate the validity of his narrative.”
 
For more information, contact Public Relations Director Valorie Coleman, at (417) 690-2212.
 
About College of the Ozarks

College of the Ozarks is a private, Christian, liberal arts college, located in Point Lookout, Missouri, on a 1,000-acre campus. Christian values, hard work, and financial responsibility comprise the fundamental building blocks of the “Hard Work U.” experience. The College earns numerous accolades yearly, including a No. Best Value Regional College in the Midwest ranking by U.S. News and World Report for 2017. To achieve its vision, the College pursues academic, vocational, Christian, patriotic, and cultural goals. These goals are mirrored in School of the Ozarks, a laboratory school that completes the K-college model.
 
The Keeter Center—the College’s award-winning lodge, restaurant, and conference facility—was ranked a Top Small Hotel in the U.S. by TripAdvisor for 2017. It features historic lodging, fine dining, and meeting rooms. With more than 350 student workers, it is the largest work station on campus. Follow College of the Ozarks at www.facebook.com/collegeoftheozarks or on Twitter @CofOHardWorkU.
 
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08.22.17 - Brittany C. Weaver

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