College of Fine Arts News Archive

June 2018

  • SFA's SummerStage Festival opens with 'Pinkalicious the Musical'

    SFA's SummerStage Festival opens with 'Pinkalicious the Musical'

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    Pictured are, from left, are Cumming, Georgia, junior Shane Reynolds; Plano senior Kaitlyn Kirby; Cypress freshman Crayten Clendion as Pinkalicious; Troup senior James Burns; and Tyler sophomore Kiara Hawkins.

    June 29, 2018—Robbie Goodrich

    The School of Theatre at Stephen F. Austin State University opened its SummerStage Festival June 29 with an exciting performance of "Pinkalicious the Musical" by Elizabeth Kann and Victoria Kann with music by John Gregor. Pictured are, from left, are Cumming, Georgia, junior Shane Reynolds; Plano senior Kaitlyn Kirby; Cypress freshman Crayten Clendion as Pinkalicious; Troup senior James Burns; and Tyler sophomore Kiara Hawkins. "Pinkalicious the Musical" and "Crimes of the Heart" by Beth Henley will be presented through July 19 on the SFA campus. Visit theatre.sfasu.edu for performance times, dates and venues. Call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit finearts.sfasu.edu for ticketing information.

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  • SFA's Friday Film Series to screen two films in July

    SFA's Friday Film Series to screen two films in July

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    The documentaries “Cavedigger” and “The 100 Years Show” will be screened at 7 p.m. Friday, July 6, in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

    June 26, 2018—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Art and the Friends of the Visual Arts will present a free, one-night screening of two documentaries - "Cavedigger" and "The 100 Years Show" - starting at 7 p.m. Friday, July 6, in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

    Both films are shorter than usual Friday Film Series documentary runtimes, so the Friends of the Visual Arts film committee members elected to combine the two screenings.

    Using nothing but hand tools, artist Ra Paulette obsessively digs cathedral-like, "eighth-wonder-of-the-world" art caves in the sandstone cliffs of northern New Mexico. Each creation takes him years to complete, and each is a masterwork. But patrons who have commissioned caves have cut off nearly all of his projects due to artistic differences, according to information at cavediggerdocumentary.com. Fed up, Paulette has chosen to forego commissions altogether and create a massive 10-year project … his Magnum Opus.

    Jeffrey Karoff directs this Oscar-nominated, 39-minute documentary short.

    Directed, produced and filmed by Alison Klayman, "The 100 Years Show" is the story of Cuban-American artist Carmen Herrera, who, even at 100-plus years, sketched by the window of her New York City apartment every morning. She produced disciplined, radiant works in straight lines and shapes in just two colors, but the art world ignored her for decades. Her story is just one example of many great artists whose accomplishments were overlooked because of their gender, ethnicity or nationality. She was a pioneering abstract painter in the '40s and '50s but only recently found the recognition that eluded her for most of her career. "The 100 Years Show" demonstrates the power of artistic vision to sustain itself, according to information at the100yearsshow.com.

    "The 100 Years Show" is a six-time winner for Best Documentary Short film. Runtime is 30 minutes.

    These screenings are part of the School of Art's monthly Friday Film Series and are sponsored in part by William Arscott, Nacogdoches Film Festival, Karon Gillespie, Mike Mollot, David Kulhavy, Brad Maule, John and Kristen Heath, Galleria Z, Jill Carrington, Jean Stephens, Jim and Mary Neal, Richard Orton, Nacogdoches Junior Forum and Main Street Nacogdoches.

    The Cole Art Center is located at 329 E. Main St. For more information, call (936) 468-1131.

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  • SFA's SummerStage Festival to open June 29

    SFA's SummerStage Festival to open June 29

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    In less than a week, the SummerStage Festival at Stephen F. Austin State University will open for its three-week run of the two featured plays, - the family friendly “Pinkalicious the Musical” and the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Crimes of the Heart.” The festival runs June 29 through July 19.

    June 22, 2018—Robbie Goodrich

    In less than a week, the SummerStage Festival at Stephen F. Austin State University will open for its three-week run of presenting a fun and heartwarming children's musical and an emotionally powerful American play for the 2018 summer theatre season.

    The SummerStage Festival runs June 29 through July 19. Ticket sales are brisk for the two featured plays, - the family friendly "Pinkalicious the Musical" and the Pulitzer Prize-winning "Crimes of the Heart." Both shows will make wonderful outings for those hoping to escape the summer doldrums and enjoy quality entertainment, according to Cleo House Jr., director of the SFA School of Theatre and of "Pinkalicious."

    "SummerStage is as much for the Nacogdoches community as it is for SFA," House said. "You may have seen us at the Blueberry Festival painting faces, or dressed up as characters from your favorite cartoon movies. Maybe you saw us at the local library reading books to kids. You might have heard about us on Red River Radio or learned about us from a poster in one of the local businesses. We've even scheduled one 'pay-what-you-can' performance for each show. All of this reveals that SummerStage is community driven - which, in turn, says SummerStage is all about the people of Nacogdoches."

    House continues by acknowledging that the SummerStage Festival is sponsored in part by Tipton Ford Lincoln. "We want to thank our corporate partner, Tipton Ford Lincoln, for their generous and annual partnership with our children's show each summer."

    "Pinkalicious the Musical" with book by Elizabeth Kann and Victoria Kann, music by John Gregor, and lyrics by John Gregor, Elizabeth Kann and Victoria Kann, is the story of Pinkalicious, a little girl who can't stop eating pink cupcakes despite warnings from her parents. Her pink indulgence lands her at the doctor's office with Pinkititis, an affliction that turns her pink from head to toe - a dream come true for this pink-loving enthusiast. But when her hue goes too far, only Pinkalicious can figure out a way to get out of this predicament.

    Dr. Inga Meier, assistant professor of theatre and director of last year's SummerStage favorite "The Miracle Worker," is excited about directing "Crimes of the Heart" in SFA's more intimate performance space, the Downstage Theatre.

    "'Crimes of the Heart' is ultimately a play about the bonds of family and about love," Meier said. "The smaller theatre, and way we've arranged seating, allow the audience to feel as though they are a direct part of the experience."

    "Crimes of the Heart" by Beth Henley is about three sisters with very different personalities and lives who reunite when the youngest of them, Babe, has just shot her husband. The oldest sister, Lenny, takes care of their grandfather and is turning into an old maid, while Meg, who tries to make it in Hollywood as a singer/actress, has had a wild life filled with many men. Their reunion causes much joy, but also many tensions, according to the description at imdb.com.

    Set in 1974, the play has the Magrath sisters still coping with their father's abandonment and mother's suicide that occurred more than a decade earlier, the devastation of Hurricane Camille five years earlier and the Watergate scandal that unfolded only months before the start of the play's storyline.

    "The traumas and crises faced by the sisters are thus not all that different from those confronting the country today," Meier wrote in her program notes. "Our news may come from the internet rather than newspapers, but we are not unfamiliar with headlines informing us of suicides, hurricanes and Constitutional crises. The events leave their mark on the sisters in different ways and fracture their familial bond. When the play begins, they are faced with yet another crisis, causing the sisters to circle the wagons and find their way back to one another.

    "It is said that history repeats, first as tragedy, then as comedy," she said. "For the sisters, who have witnessed so much tragedy, the comedy offers both a reprieve and a path forward, blending laughter and tears into a story of resilience we can all learn from."

    With "Crimes of the Heart" addressing domestic violence, pedophilia and suicide, a "talkback session" with Jill Milem, director of SFA's Counseling Services, will follow the play's July 7 performance.

    "Pinkalicious the Musical" will be presented in W.M. Turner Auditorium at 10 a.m. June 29, July 10 and 19; at 2 p.m. July 7, 10 and 18; and at 6:30 p.m. June 30 and July 14. General admission tickets are $8. A pay-what-you-can performance is at 2 p.m. July 10.

    "Crimes of the Heart" will be presented in the Downstage Theatre at 7:30 p.m. July 5, 7, 12, 13, 17 18 and 19 and at 2 p.m. July 14. General admission tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and $5 for students/youth. A pay-what-you-can performance is at 2 p.m. July 14.

    For tickets or more information, visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu/ or call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS.

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  • Art scholarship fundraiser: 12x12 silent bidding starts soon

    Art scholarship fundraiser: 12x12 silent bidding starts soon

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    Silent bidding in the annual 12x12 scholarship fundraiser for the Friends of the Visual Arts at SFA starts June 28 at The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House.

    June 20, 2018—Robbie Goodrich

    Silent bidding for artwork in the annual 12x12 scholarship fundraiser for the Friends of the Visual Arts at Stephen F. Austin State University gets underway Thursday, June 28, at The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

    The silent auction features 12-by-12-inch pieces of art created by approximately 70 artists from Nacogdoches, Lufkin and other areas of East Texas. Anyone may silently bid on the unique one-of-a-kind pieces, according to Crystal Hicks, event committee chairwoman.

    "We're so excited by the pieces we've received, and we're looking forward to another great event that features local talent," Hick said.

    Silent bidding begins June 28 at The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House and will continue up to the day of the art party, which is planned for 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, July 14, at the art center. Minimum bid is $250 from June 28 through 4 p.m. July 14. Beginning at 6 p.m. on the night of the party, the starting bid for art pieces without previous bids will be lowered to $100. The auction closes at 7:15 p.m., and winners for all pieces will be announced at 7:30. Pieces without bids at 7:15 will be awarded in the raffle.

    The purpose of 12x12 is to raise funds for the FVA scholarships and grants that are awarded to SFA art students. Between $12,000 and $15,000 is awarded annually in scholarships to deserving students in the School of Art.

    The awards help students defray the costs of special projects for art classes or M.B.A./B.A. exhibitions. Some recipients have attended conferences or gone on school trips that will help with their professional development. This has included Maymester trips for art students to go to Big Bend for a special photography project. The organization also awards scholarships for elementary school students to attend the SFA Art Academy each summer.

    The Cole Art Center is located at 329 E. Main St. For more information about 12x12 or to become a sponsor, call The Cole Art Center at (936) 468-6557.

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  • SFA art students experience residency in Iceland

    SFA art students experience residency in Iceland

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    SFA art students participated in an artist residency in Iceland during the recent Maymester. Pictured are, from left, Wesley Berg, faculty leader and assistant professor of art, Ethan Donart, Gaby Hijar Soto, Sarah Bone, Sarah Jentsch, Jacob Moffett, Victoria Gamble, Austin Cullen, Mason Cullen, Bailey Crow and John Allen.
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    Posing in front of the Sun Voyager sculpture by Jón Gunnar Árnason in Reykjavík, Iceland are Wesley Berg, faculty leader and assistant professor of art; Gaby Hijar Soto; Austin Cullen; Mason Cullen; John Allen; Sarah Jentsch; Victoria Gamble; Bailey Crow; Jacob Moffett; Sarah Bone; Ethan Donart and Lauren Selden, faculty leader and professor of art.
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    SFA art student Ethan Donart proudly waves an SFA flag from the mountains overlooking Iceland's Baer Art Center where a group of art students participated in a residency during the recent Maymester.
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    While in residency at Iceland's Baer Art Center, SFA art students had access to studio space, a workshop and ceramics studio. The students also presented their work in an exhibition at the center. During the coming fall semester, the exhibition will be re-installed in the Art Building on the SFA campus.
    June 20, 2018—Robbie Goodrich

    Stephen F. Austin State University art students recently experienced the many opportunities that an artist residency can offer when they participated in a Maymester trip to Iceland.

    Defined by its dramatic landscape with volcanoes, geysers, hot springs and lava fields, the Nordic island country also boasts massive glaciers that are protected in its national parks. Ten SFA art students traveled to the Baer Art Center in northern Iceland where they observed and explored the Icelandic landscape and responded by making creative work: drawing, painting, ceramics, photography and installation.

    "Artist residencies, which exist all over the world, offer artists a viable way to continue making work beyond a university setting," explained Wesley Berg, assistant professor in the School of Art. "Residencies provide uninterrupted time for creative work across many disciplines. As a working artist, I have looked to residencies as a way to travel the world while continuing to make art."

    Berg and Lauren Selden, SFA professor of art, accompanied the students on the trip.

    By attending the Baer Art Center, the students now have an internationally renowned artist residency on their Curriculum Vitae. While in residency at the center, students had access to studio space, a workshop and ceramics studio.

    The students also presented their work in an exhibition at the Baer Art Center, inviting local townspeople. The center is located on a seaside farm north of the capital of Reykjavík. Its setting on the east coast of Skagafjördur, a large fjord facing the Arctic Circle, provides access to the ocean, a freshwater lake, extensive birdlife, outdoor activities and Icelandic farm life. The summer months at Baer offer the midnight sun and sublime light conditions during the long hours of daylight, according to information at http://www.artistcommunities.org.

    According to Berg, traveling abroad helps to "build well-informed, curious and adventurous artists."

    "For an artist, exploration can be equally important to the creative process as learning techniques and skills," he said. "Traveling internationally to an artist residency combines that exploration with the time and resources for creating artistic responses.

    "The students took it upon themselves to minimize distractions and explore the unique Icelandic landscape," he added. "Several students tried new techniques of art-making, letting themselves open up to possibilities in their new environment. Many of the students noticed important things to consider for future residency opportunities, like what to bring and what to leave at home."

    In planning the trip, Berg expressed gratitude for the "help, support and encouragement" he received from Selden and Dr. A.C. "Buddy" Himes, dean of the College of Fine Arts; Christopher Talbot, director of the School of Art; Inés Maxit, SFA Office of International Programs, study abroad coordinator; and the Friends of the Visual Arts.

    "As the faculty leader, it was wonderful to observe the students experiencing the residency lifestyle," Berg said. "I was impressed by the professionalism of our SFA students. They were gracious guests at the Baer Art Center, and I am very proud of them."

    Participating students included Ethan Donart, Sugar Land sophomore; Gaby Hijar Soto, Chihuahua, Mexico, graduate student; Sarah Bone, Richmond sophomore; Sarah Jentsch, Etoile senior; Jacob Moffett, Hockley senior; Victoria Gamble, Spring senior; Austin Cullen, Cypress senior; Mason Cullen, Cypress sophomore; Bailey Crow, Pinehurst junior; and John Allen, Cypress sophomore.

    During the coming fall semester, the exhibition will be re-installed (date to be determined) in the galleries of the Art Building on the SFA campus.

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  • Student stage managers keep SummerStage Festival running smoothly

    Student stage managers keep SummerStage Festival running smoothly

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    SFA theatre students Yanelly Vargas, left, and Kylie Wakulat review their rehearsal notes as they prepare for the opening of the SummerStage Festival, which runs June 29 through July 19. Vargas is stage manager for “Crimes of the Heart,” and Wakulat is stage manager for “Pinkalicious the Musical."

    June 8, 2018—Robbie Goodrich

    While many of their peers are taking summer vacations or lighter summer class loads, SFA theatre students Yanelly Vargas and Kylie Wakulat are deep in production mode for this year's SummerStage Festival at Stephen F. Austin State University.

    As stage managers for the School of Theatre's two featured plays - Vargas for "Crimes of the Heart" and Wakulat for "Pinkalicious the Musical" - the theatre majors have been busy for months, beginning with auditions in March, followed by design meetings throughout the spring and now rehearsals, all leading up to the SummerStage Festival opening on June 29.

    It's a tough, tricky job to make sure that the entire production team is on the same page.

    "Stage managers communicate with actors, directors and designers throughout the entire process," Vargas explained. "We run the audition process, and during rehearsals we assist the actors and director. We also create a prompt book that includes a script with blocking and light/sound cues. The prompt book includes any information needed for the production, such as cast list, calendars and reports."

    "We work closely with the director and the technical designers of the production to ensure that the vision of the director is met," Wakulat said. "When the shows begin their runs, the stage manager is the one to make sure that, with every performance, it is what the director intended it to be."

    "Pinkalicious the Musical" with book by Elizabeth Kann and Victoria Kann, music by John Gregor, and lyrics by John Gregor, Elizabeth Kann and Victoria Kann, is the story of Pinkalicious, a little girl who can't stop eating pink cupcakes despite warnings from her parents. Her pink indulgence lands her at the doctor's office with Pinkititis, an affliction that turns her pink from head to toe - a dream come true for this pink loving enthusiast. But when her hue goes too far, only Pinkalicious can figure out a way to get out of this predicament.

    "Crimes of the Heart" by Beth Henley is about three sisters with very different personalities and lives who reunite when the youngest of them, Babe, has just shot her husband. The oldest sister, Lenny, takes care of their grandfather and is turning into an old maid, while Meg, who tries to make it in Hollywood as a singer/actress, has had a wild life filled with many men. Their reunion causes much joy, but also many tensions, according to the description at imdb.com.

    "Crimes of the Heart" is the second show Vargas has stage managed at SFA. This past spring, she was stage manager for Denise O'Neil's "Sorry, Not Sorry," which was part of the School of Theatre's Festival of New American Plays.

    "Throughout this process, I have discovered that one of the most important things is communication," said Vargas, a sophomore from Carollton. "If any problems arise, I have to communicate with the appropriate people and find the most efficient solution. Communication is everything."

    During the past spring semester, Wakulat, who is a technical theatre and design major from Katy, stage managed "And the Pursuit of Happiness, 1994," which was also part of the biennial Festival of New American Plays. Last fall, she was assistant stage manager for "Mr. Burns - A Post Electric Play." She also stage managed throughout high school, including for productions of "Little Shop of Horrors," "The Giver," "She Kills Monsters" and "The People."

    Directed by Cleo House Jr., director of the School of Theatre, "Pinkalicious the Musical" will be presented in Turner Auditorium at 10 a.m. June 29, July 10 and 19; at 2 p.m. July 7, 10 and 18; and at 6:30 p.m. June 30 and July 14. General admission tickets are $8. A pay-what-you-can performance is at 2 p.m. July 10.

    "Crimes of the Heart" is directed by Dr. Inga Meier, assistant professor of theatre, and will be presented in the Downstage Theatre at 7:30 p.m. July 5, 7, 12, 13, 17, 18 and 19 and at 2 p.m. July 14. General admission tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and $5 for students/youth. An audience "talkback" session is planned following the July 7 performance. A pay-what-you-can performance is at 2 p.m. July 14.

    While stage managing is a difficult job, it's also a rewarding one that's filled with important lessons that will carry over into successful careers in professional theatre.

    "I wanted to work in SummerStage as soon as I could because I knew this would be a great opportunity for me to meet other students, faculty and staff members that I probably wouldn't be able to meet if it wasn't for SummerStage," Vargas said." As soon as I found out that Dr. Meier would be directing one of the shows, I knew that I wanted to work with her. Who knows if I would ever get the chance to work with her again, and I definitely didn't want to miss this opportunity."

    The SummerStage Festival is sponsored in part by Tipton Ford Lincoln.

    For tickets or more information, visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu/ or call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS.

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  • Annual 12x12 event raises funds for SFA art scholarships, grants

    Annual 12x12 event raises funds for SFA art scholarships, grants

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    Left to right: Korey Burns, Aldo Ornelas and Shelby Locklin

    June 5, 2018—Robbie Goodrich

    Work is well underway to make this year's 12x12 scholarship fundraiser for the Friends of the Visual Arts at Stephen F. Austin State University another success.

    The silent auction features 12-by-12-inch pieces of art created by approximately 70 artists from Nacogdoches, Lufkin and other areas of East Texas. Anyone may silently bid on the unique one-of-a-kind pieces, according to Crystal Hicks, event committee chairwoman.

    "This event has become a staple of the summer," says Hicks. "It's well-attended, and the bidding is always energetic and competitive."

    Silent bidding ($250 minimum) begins Thursday, June 28, at The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House and will continue up to the day of the art party, which is planned for 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, July 14, at the art center.

    The purpose of 12x12 is to raise funds for the FVA scholarships and grants that that are awarded to SFA art students. Between $12,000 and $15,000 is awarded annually in scholarships to deserving students in the School of Art.

    The awards help students defray the costs of special projects for art classes or M.B.A./B.A. exhibitions. Some recipients have attended conferences or gone on school trips that will help with their professional development. This has included Maymester trips for art students to go to Big Bend for a special photography project. The organization also awards scholarships for elementary school students to attend the SFA Art Academy.

    "It's so rewarding to visit with the students who have received a scholarship," says Hicks. "And it's even better to hear from them after they've gone on to continue making art after they graduate. We invite former students to attend and participate, as well."

    The annual 12x12 art auction and party is a summer favorite of many East Texans, but no one appreciates the effort that goes into the planning and the donated art more than the students who benefit from the work of generous volunteers and artists.

    Among those benefiting from FVA scholarship is Aldo Ornelas, a graduate student in ceramics from Mexico. For Ornelas, who is himself contributing a piece for the 12x12 auction, an FVA scholarship allowed him to make his first tuition payment as an art student at SFA. Ornelas said he greatly appreciates his art professors because they give him "the freedom to explore and create, and it's the perfect environment to explore."

    Receiving an FVA scholarship helped Korey Burns of Columbia, Louisiana, purchase the kinds of materials to make her work successful. Burns recently graduated with a Master of Fine Arts degree.

    "It's hard as a student to be able to pay for supplies to create art," Burns said. "Being a metalsmith, my materials tend to cost more than others. By receiving a scholarship, I am able to purchase the materials I need to make my work successful. Without scholarships, I do not think it would be possible to produce the work that I enjoy creating."

    Burns was recently notified that she was accepted for a fulltime metal art residency at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

    "There, I hope to continue learning and growing as an artist," Burns said. "I know the change in area will be a huge impact on my art. Professionally, I will be introduced to new opportunities for showing my work at galleries and consignment shops for my jewelry line, and I will have new teaching possibilities."

    South Lake junior sculpture student Shelby Locklin is a second-year scholarship recipient who plans to be a working artist. She enjoys teaching and does private lessons. She said that it means a lot for a group of "complete strangers" to reach out and show their support and care for her and her goals as an artist.

    "I wouldn't be here if it weren't for them," she says, describing SFA's art department as "a small program, but with a lot of ambition."

    "The professors care about their students, and it's a good working environment," she said. "I love being with other creative people."

    "We rely on the generosity of the artistic community to provide the pieces for the auction," Hicks said. "And, of course, the generosity of art lovers in the area is paramount. We're fortunate that both artists and art appreciators alike continue to make this a successful event."

    The Cole Art Center is located at 329 E. Main St. For more information about 12x12 or to become a sponsor, call The Cole Art Center at (936) 468-6557.

    You may also be interested in the following related article:

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