The above painting is from an exhibition by Regina artist Huang Zhong Yang that’s on display at the MacKenzie Art Gallery until May 1. As the title of the show, The Shadow of Mao implies, and the above work demonstrates, the artist has created a series of allegorical portraits of the famous Chinese leader Mao Zedong who established the People’s Republic of China in 1949, and ruled the country until his death in 1976.

To fully appreciate this show, it would help to have at least a cursory understanding of that period in Chinese history. Tonight at 7:30 p.m., art historian Gail Chin will lecture on the work. Then on April 7 at 7:30 p.m. there’s a walk-thru with artist Huang Zhong Yang.

Also on tonight, there’s the Nash Memorial Lecture at Campion College at the University of Regina at 7:30 p.m. Speaking will be Dr. John McCarthy. The subject? The Re-enchantment of Nature as the Word and Beauty of God. I’m not sure what McCarthy will be talking about, but his lecture is subtitled “A case for Christian concern for the natural world.”

I guess my perception of that would be that when you’re in the realm of religion, be it Christian or otherwise, the focus tends to be on spiritual matters and the afterlife. Defined broadly, spirituality, in my mind, relates to any human endeavour that isn’t grounded in base material concerns. The arts, creativity, human compassion and charity, all our expressions of spirituality that contribute to our well-being. But taken to an extreme, spirituality can divorce us from real-world concerns. As I posted before, there’s even a radical branch of Christianity that’s eagerly awaiting the apocalypse so that they can ascend to heaven and enjoy eternal life. That strikes me as being pretty perverse.

Yet another lecture that’s on tonight is by global affairs columnist Gwynne Dyer. It’s part of a three-day event called Apathy Into Action that’s being hosted by Saskatchewan Council for International Cooperation and Regina Public Interest Research Group. The talk is at 7:30 p.m. in CL 110,University of Regina. For more info call 757-4669.