As the U.S. celebrates its birthday, Hope and Queretaro, Mexico, will be celebrating their continuing relationship.

The exhibition "Shared Sensibilities: Works by Hope College Faculty of Art and Their Students" will open with a reception in the Museo del Arte in Queretaro on Thursday, July 4. Attending the opening from Hope will be Alfredo Gonzales, associate provost; Delbert Michel, professor of art and the exhibition's curator; and Steve Nelson, adjunct assistant professor of art and gallery preparer.

Michel said that the museum, housed in a former monastery, is one of three major museums in Queretaro. The Hope exhibition, which will continue through Sunday, Aug. 11, will be featured in five interconnected galleries used to feature temporary exhibitions.

The museum invited the college to develop an exhibition during a visit by Gonzales and gallery director Dr. John Hanson this past school year. Based on his previous visits and resultant connections to Queretaro, Michel welcomed the opportunity to curate the show. As he began planning, he noted, teaching emerged as a natural theme.

The exhibition, previewed at Hope earlier this summer, features work in a variety of media, and is intended to demonstrate how artist/teachers and art students communicate with each other through their works. The selection demonstrates that students do not become artistic clones, but instead share in the aesthetic sensibilities of their mentors as they find their individual voices.

"In a way that's the exciting thing about teaching," Michel said. "You're sharing what the art process means to you, and then they take that in whatever direction their life leads them."

Michel noted that the learning happens both ways. "Students are influenced by faculty, certainly but faculty are also influenced by students."

Current and visiting members of the Hope faculty with works in the exhibition include: Michel Conroy, mixed media; Daryn Lowman, ceramics; Billy Mayer, ceramics; Bruce McCombs, watercolor and prints; Delbert Michel, painting; and Steve Nelson, photographs.

Current and former students with works in the exhibition are: Arianna Baker, photography; Daniel Berhanemeskel, painting; Dan Brewer, woodcut; Jeff Brown, etching; Nate Cassie, drawing; Steve Haulenbeek, pencil drawing; Nathan Klay, painting; Brian Leicht, ceramics; Kristin McMillen, photography; Amy Reckley, drawing and painting; John Saurer, sculpture; and Dana Steuhower, pencil drawing.

Michel and Nelson are spending the week in Queretaro. In addition to the opening, activities during their stay will include visits to several historic missions in the mountains outside the city.

Nelson will be photographing the missions for a project, and will also document the exhibition and sites in the city photographically. Michel noted that he is looking forward to the opportunity to revisit the area.

0 "I've been there five times, and in the process I've met wonderful people and made friendships," Michel said. "It's that kind of connection that is so rich."

Hope and the Autonomous University of Queretaro established a formal agreement in 1996 that has since led to a number of student, faculty and cultural exchanges. In the fall of 1999, the Autonomous University of Queretaro featured an exhibition of work by Michel and the De Pree gallery featured work by artist Jordi Boldo of Queretaro. In February of 2001, Michel's paintings were featured in a one-person exhibition at the Museo de la Ciudad in Queretaro.

The city of Holland and the university's hometown of Santiago de Queretaro have maintained a sister-city relationship since 1995.