On Saturday, April 15, college students, professors and community members are invited to an artistic learning experience from 2 to 6 p.m., in St. Mark’s Hall at Otey Memorial Parish. This is the second year for the event, which is sponsored by the Mellon Globalization Forum and Otey Memorial Parish, with Sewanee Dining generously providing hundreds of eggs.
Last year, Chef Rick Wright and his team provided more than 360 eggs—most steamed, plus several dozen boiled in onion skins for Polish drapanki. Drapanki is an elaborate method that involves delicately scratching off the dye with a needle to reveal the white of the egg.
Eastern European traditions will be taught by Justyna Beinek, who serves the University as the Mellon Globalization Forum Director and Visiting Associate Professor of International and Global Studies and Russian, and her colleague from the Russian department Yuliya Ladygina. Beinek, originally from Wroclaw, Poland, and Ladygina, from Kyiv, Ukraine, taught drapanki and batik methods of egg decorating last year. Batik involves several repetitions of drawing designs with melted wax using a special stylus, then dipping the egg in a successively richer dye. At last, the wax designs are melted away from the egg to reveal the colors beneath the wax. This year, Beinek plans to add a table with ribbons and lace.
The event was well attended by college students and local families last year. Taylor Yost, then a senior majoring in Russian IGS and politics, said, “The event fostered an environment where many community members could come together and learn from each other. I had a fun conversation with an international student about Easter egg hunts, which were new to her. She told me about Easter practices in her culture. It also brought a lot of different people across campus together. I saw at least three of my professors with their children and many other families, too.”
Everyone is invited to decorate eggs using the supplies provided, or bring your own eggs and supplies. Some people bring hollowed egg shells so their masterpiece will last longer. Others choose to dye eggs for the community egg hunt offered by the church, and only take home a special egg.
On Easter Sunday, Otey Memorial Parish will offer the community three age-appropriate hunts for children up to 12 years old. Saturday’s hand-decorated eggs will be hidden along with hundreds of candy-filled eggs – and, of course, a prize egg for each age group.