College of Fine Arts News Archive

August 2019

  • Guest artist Jesse, SFA pianist Petti to perform recital

    Guest artist Jesse, SFA pianist Petti to perform recital

    press image
    Dennis Jesse
    press image
    Ron Petti
    August 30, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Friends of Music Concert Series will present guest artist Dennis Jesse performing a voice recital at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 9, in Cole Concert Hall on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus. Jesse will be accompanied by Dr. Ron Petti, professor and director of collaborative piano for the SFA School of Music.

    Jesse, who is now associate professor of voice at Louisiana State University, and Petti were classmates in the opera program at Bowling Green State University in the early 1990s. Jesse sang the well-known aria “Largo al factotum” from Gioachino Rossini’s “Il Barbiere di Siviglia” on Petti’s master’s degree recital.

    Jesse and Petti will perform a recital of treasured songs and arias by Johannes Brahms, Henri Duparc, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Georges Bizet, Samuel Barber and Giuseppe Verdi.

    A baritone, Jesse has performed in a wide range of styles, including grand opera, operetta and musical theater. He has appeared in numerous productions with New Orleans Opera, Amarillo Opera, El Paso Opera, National Opera Company and other companies across the nation. His operatic credits include the roles of Rigoletto, Scarpia, Amonasro, Don Giovanni and Gianni Schicchi, as well as lead roles in “The Barber of Seville “The Marriage of Figaro,” “La Bohème, ” “Carmen,” “Romèo et Juliette” and many others.

    He had a Carnegie Hall performance of Franz Schubert’s Mass in G and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Te Deum and the Regina Coeli prayer.

    Jesse’s singing awards include being the national winner of the Music Teachers National Association vocal recital competition and a two-time winner of the Friedrich Schorr vocal competition.

    He is a member of the faculty of La Musica Lirica, an intensive opera program in Novafeltria, Italy, and is also the artistic and general director of Operafestival di Roma.

    Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu.

    article ID 1756

  • The Second City cast to conduct workshop with SFA comedy-improv student performers

    The Second City cast to conduct workshop with SFA comedy-improv student performers

    press image
    Comedy-improvisation ensemble The Second City brings world-class entertainment to the SFA campus with a performance at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, in W.M. Turner Auditorium. Terrence Carey, far left, and Olivia Nielsen, third from left, are among the cast members who will perform in Nacogdoches.

    August 29, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University College of Fine Arts will bring the newest comedy improv stars to Nacogdoches with a University Series presentation of The Second City at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, in W.M. Turner Auditorium, but the performance is only half of the legendary troupe’s visit to SFA. Prior to the show, these professional Chicago-based comedians will share their techniques and insights with students in the SFA School of Theatre who hope to one day earn a living by making people laugh.

    One of the missions of the University Series is to bring renowned performers to campus to model professionalism and share their experience and skill. These guest artists often engage with students in masterclasses and workshops in various musical genres, dance and theatre performance.

    “In recent years, our music students have benefited from discussion with jazz master Branford Marsalis and sung under the baton of Chanticleer’s music director,” said Scott Shattuck, associate dean of the College of Fine Arts and director of the University Series. “SFA dance students have taken masterclasses with members of Paul Taylor’s company and the Moscow Ballet. Now we’re thrilled that our student improvisers will get to learn from and work with members of The Second City.”

    The Second City’s touring company that will perform in Nacogdoches includes cast members Maureen Boughey, Terrence Carey, Maya Haughton, Ben Larrison, Olivia Nielsen and Griffin Wenzler. They will be accompanied by Sam MacNerland, stage manager, and Stuart Mott, music director. They will conduct a workshop with members of Improv Strikes Back, an SFA student organization devoted to the art of improvisation. A few of those students will join the The Second City cast on stage during the performance encore.

    “We are so excited!” said Jackie Rosenfeld, senior lecturer in the SFA School of Theatre and faculty advisor for Improv Strikes Back. “Getting to see a live performance by a professional improv troupe in Nacogdoches is such a great experience for all our students, but it’s an especially tremendous opportunity for our students who get to spend Friday afternoon working one-on-one with members of The Second City. They’ll learn important techniques, new games and ensemble-building exercises. It’s simply priceless!”

    The Second City began as an unconventional approach to both theater and comedy. Its performers, including soon-to-be superstars Joan Rivers, Gilda Radner, Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi, soon propelled the troupe into the international spotlight. The Second City also launched the careers of Chris Farley, Martin Short, John Candy, Mike Myers, Rick Moranis and other comedic actors. Some of today’s top screen performers, including Oscar nominee Steve Carell and Emmy Award winners Tina Fey and Stephen Colbert, are also alumni of the ensemble.

    Today, The Second City is a world-class entertainment company, continuing to produce premier talent in all three of its locations – Chicago, Toronto and Hollywood – and entertaining more than one million audience members a year. In addition to its own stages, Second City Touring Companies perform electrifying revues and original productions across North America and abroad.

    This performance is recommended for mature audiences.

    Prior to the SFA performance, Rosenfeld will present an informative talk at 7 p.m. in Griffith Gallery. The gallery is located across the hall from Turner Auditorium, which is inside the Griffith Fine Arts Building, 2222 Alumni Drive. The audience is invited back to the gallery for a post-performance reception to meet the performers.

    Single event ticket prices for the University Series are $30 for adults, $24 for seniors, $15 for SFA faculty and staff and $12 for non-SFA students/youth. Tickets for SFA students are $3. Season tickets are still available and offer consistent seating throughout the season as well as additional discounts.

    For more information or to purchase tickets, visit finearts.sfasu.edu, stop by the Box Office in Room 211 of the Griffith Fine Arts Building, or call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS.

    article ID 1755

  • SFA pianist Nixon to perform in Friends of Music Concert Series opener

    SFA pianist Nixon to perform in Friends of Music Concert Series opener

    press image
    A performance by Dr. Thomas Nixon, staff accompanist in the SFA School of Music, opens this year’s Friends of Music Concert Series. The recital is at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    August 27, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Friends of Music Concert Series at Stephen F. Austin State University opens its 2019-20 season with a faculty piano recital presented by Dr. Thomas Nixon, staff accompanist in the SFA School of Music, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    The Friends of Music Concert Series features more than 20 faculty and guest artist performances in all music areas – woodwind, brass, percussion, vocal strings, piano and composition. Some of Nixon’s favorite works have been chosen for this performance.

    “Since I spend most of my time as a collaborative pianist, I wanted to show a different side of me and give a solo piano recital,” he said. “Although the program is fairly traditional, I wanted to showcase some of my favorite works and composers.”

    Nixon received his doctorate in collaborative piano from Arizona State University. He holds additional performance degrees from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Nixon is a prizewinner of numerous competitions, including the Jacob Flier International Piano Competition, ASU Concert of Soloists Concerto Competition and the Nashville Symphony Curb Records Competition. He has performed with the Carmel Bach Festival, Phoenix Symphony, Arizona Opera, Ballet Arizona, Phoenix Boys Choir, Lyric Opera Theatre, Arizona State University Orchestra, Knoxville Symphony and Knoxville Choral Society.

    Among his program selections is Barcarolle, Op. 60 by Frederic Chopin. Nixon describes the piece as a masterpiece from the composer's later years. “The piece evokes the imagery of Italy, in particular the songs of gondoliers while traveling through the canals of Venice,” he said.

    Also featured is Sonata No. 5, Op. 53 by Alexander Scriabin. “This single movement sonata is glorious, enigmatic and extremely virtuosic. Scriabin pushes the boundaries of atonality, and the piece alternates between moments of delirium and obsession,” Nixon said.

    “La valse” by Maurice Ravel was originally conceived as a two-piano work, later orchestrated, and then finally arranged for solo piano by the composer himself. “The work depicts the birth, life and death of the Viennese waltz as a representation of the destruction of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the end of WWI,” Nixon said.

    The Friends of Music Concert Series is made possible by the Wedgeworth-Wright Endowment for the Arts, the James E. and Beth Kingham Performance Fund and the Kennedy Recital Fund. Cole Concert Hall is located in the Tom and Peggy Wright Music Building, 2210 Alumni Drive.

    Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit http://www.finearts.sfasu.edu.

    article ID 1750

  • Kilgore College hosts exhibition of artworks by SFA’s Andrew

    Kilgore College hosts exhibition of artworks by SFA’s Andrew

    press image
    “Pineywoods,” oil on canvas by Peter Andrew 52 x 52” © 2016, is among Andrew’s works currently on exhibition in “Local Color” at Kilgore College. The show runs through Sept. 25.

    August 27, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    An exhibition of works by Peter Andrew, professor of graphic design in Stephen F. Austin State University’s School of Art, is showing at Kilgore College through Sept. 25.

    “Local Color” features 40 paintings, including recent oils and watercolors emphasizing “the colors of East Texas and beyond,” according to Andrew. The artworks were created both en plein air (on location) and in the studio. Andrew is best known for working with landscape subjects using color to evoke specific times, places and moods.

    Andrew heads the School of Art’s graphic design program. He has worked in advertising and publishing, as a freelance artist and as a design software trainer for the print industry. He has extensive graphic design experience with Houston area firms. With more than 50 solo exhibitions to his credit, Andrew also owned an art gallery in downtown Nacogdoches for 10 years. His work can be viewed at http://www.peterandrew.net.

    Hosted by the Kilgore College Visual Arts Department, the show can be viewed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday in the Anne Dean Turk Fine Arts Gallery. The show is free and open to the public.

    article ID 1752

  • Children express grief through art; exhibition to open at SFA

    Children express grief through art; exhibition to open at SFA

    press image
    “The Color of Grief,” an exhibition set to open Tuesday, Sept. 3, in The Cole Art Center, features artwork by children who have experienced grief through the loss of a loved one.

    August 27, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The School of Art at Stephen F. Austin State University will open “The Color of Grief ” exhibition Tuesday, Sept. 3, in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

    “The Color of Grief” features art created by children attending a youth grief camp through Hospice in the Pines.

    “This exhibit showcases the existential and spiritual reality children experience in the loss of a loved one, such as a parent or sibling,” according to John Handley, director of SFA art galleries. “Through the expression of art, the inner truth, layers and stages of grief are revealed.”

    These small paintings on canvas were created by children ages 4 through 16.

    “Each work of art is a living tribute to and bridge between the land of the living and those who have transitioned beyond this life,” Handley said.

    The camp and its program started as a vision and dream of social worker Jacob Thomas, director of social services at Hospice in the Pines.

    “It was an idea, a vision, that was manifested so our community can have a creative dialogue about the visceral, vulnerable topic of grief and loss and how such matters lead to the inner transformations of individuals,” according to Thomas. “The expression and inner dialogue of grieving youth can be a difficult process and is not always expressed verbally; yet the dialogue that is inwardly experienced can be accessed in non-verbal ways.”

    Utilizing water color paintings – brush strokes, color choices and pallets – each child expressed his/her vision, emotion and story, Thomas explained.

    “We utilize methodologies such as art making, and in this case paintings, as a symbol and bridge to connect our older generations with the younger generations,” Thomas said, “and to see how the dialogue regarding topics of grief, joy, awe, wonder and loss are communicated as truths and as an alternative form of creating dialogue within our community.”

    A reception for “The Color of Grief” is planned for 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, at Cole Art Center. Art exhibitions and receptions are sponsored by William Arscott, the Flower Shop, Nacogdoches Junior Forum and the Friends of the Visual Arts. For more information, call (936) 468-1131.

    You may also be interested in the following related article:

    article ID 1753

  • SFA School of Art to host faculty exhibition reception

    SFA School of Art to host faculty exhibition reception

    press image
    This photo by Chris Talbot, director of the School of Art at SFA, is among the works in this year’s SFA School of Art Faculty Exhibition. Talbot shot “Carousel, Piazz della Repubblica” in Florence, Italy, this past summer.

    August 27, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The School of Art at Stephen F. Austin State University will host a reception for its annual faculty exhibition at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5, in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

    Each year, the faculty exhibition features a wide variety of artwork in ceramics, sculpture, photography, painting, prints, metal work and mixed media, according to John Handley, director of SFA art galleries. The exhibition runs through Oct. 13.

    The reception also marks the opening of the featured faculty show, “Shadow Plane: Works on Paper by Wesley Berg.” Berg is assistant professor of drawing and painting in the School of Art. He will discuss his work at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, at the gallery.

    Also currently showing in the gallery is “The Color of Grief,” an exhibition featuring created works by children ages 4 through 16 while attending a youth grief camp through Hospice in the Pines.

    Art exhibitions and receptions are sponsored by William Arscott, the Flower Shop, Nacogdoches Junior Forum and the Friends of the Visual Arts. For more information, call (936) 468-1131.

    You may also be interested in the following related article:

    article ID 1754

  • SFA’s Children’s Performing Arts Series delights young audiences

    SFA’s Children’s Performing Arts Series delights young audiences

    press image
    “The Velveteen Rabbit” opens the Children’s Performing Arts Series at SFA on Friday, Oct. 18.
    press image
    Virginia Repertory Theatre’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’ beloved “A Christmas Carol” is particularly suited to children. This holiday favorite comes to SFA on Thursday, Dec. 12.
    press image
    “We the People,” coming to SFA on Friday, Jan. 31, will teach kids how democracy works and inspire them to get involved in the political process.
    press image
    press image
    August 27, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Children’s Performing Arts Series at Stephen F. Austin State University continues its tradition of offering fun, educational shows that entertain and inform East Texas youngsters.

    The series, presented by the College of Fine Arts, features five nationally touring shows designed to engage audiences of all ages. Careful consideration is given to show topics, which always include teachable classroom elements, according to Diane Peterson, Fine Arts Box Office manager and director of the series.

    “CPAS shows are a great way to supplement class curriculums, and our in-depth study guides provide suggestions for pre- and post-performance activities and discussions,” Peterson said.

    CPAS shows bring hundreds of students from schools throughout East Texas to the SFA campus to enjoy the productions.

    “Our shows are often sell-outs, so we encourage teachers to book their classrooms early to take advantage of these great field trips that provide fun and educational outings for children,” Peterson said. “We also offer great discounts for large groups.”

    “The Velveteen Rabbit,” presented by Virginia Repertory Theatre, opens the series on Friday, Oct. 18, with Margery Williams’ tale of friendship and the passing of time.

    “A lovely score and detailed period costumes will transport audiences back to the early 20th century to experience an innocence and wisdom that has much to say about our present culture of instant gratification and disposable friends,” Peterson explained. “The Velveteen Rabbit” is for children in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade.

    “A Christmas Carol” is perhaps the best-loved holiday story of all time, and Virginia Rep’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic tale is particularly suited to children. Audiences will watch Mr. Scrooge transform his heart from stone to gold as he is visited by the ghosts of Christmas. All the joy, sentiment and meaning are here, without being too scary for young audiences. The show is slated for Thursday, Dec. 12, and targets children in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade.

    TheatreworksUSA presents “We the People” on Friday, Jan. 31. Children will have a blast learning about the three branches of government as this musical revue uses rock and roll, rhythm and blues and more to bring American civics lessons to life.

    “Presented in an election year, this show teaches kids how democracy works and inspires them to get involved,” Peterson said. “We the People” targets children in third through eighth grade.

    Nacogdoches Pediatric Dentistry sponsors the all-time favorite CPAS show – Super Scientific Circus. Mr. Fish and Trent the Mime use circus stunts and magic tricks to highlight scientific principles. The program introduces students to curious and amazing phenomena that actually have scientific explanations. Super Scientific Circus comes to SFA on Friday, Feb. 28, and targets students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.

    The series concludes on Tuesday, April 28, with the beloved story of “Cinderella,” presented by The Panto Company USA. Bullied by her two mean stepsisters, Cinders’ future looks bleak until her Fairy Godmother casts a spell and sends her to the ball. True to the story, “Cinderella” is full of original modern songs, bursting with hilarity and has a happy ending. This show is for students in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade.

    Performances are at 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on show dates in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus. Tickets are $7.50 for individuals and $6 per person for groups of 20 or more.

    To order tickets, call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS. Visit the CPAS website at http://www.cpas.sfasu.edu for additional information.

    You may also be interested in the following related article:

    article ID 1751

  • Barnett retires; Nabb joins Music Preparatory Division as director

    Barnett retires; Nabb joins Music Preparatory Division as director

    press image
    As Pat Barnett, left, plans her retirement after 20 years as director of the Music Preparatory Division of the SFA School of Music, Melissa Nabb will take over to lead the program into the future.

    August 16, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Music Preparatory Division of the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music has provided a strong foundation in music education for generations of young East Texas musicians. That tradition will continue as a “changing-of-the-guard” takes place at the end of August.

    Longtime director Pat Barnett retires Aug. 31, and succeeding her is Melissa Nabb, who is currently an adjunct instructor of music theory, viola and violin in the School of Music. Nabb is eager to get started in her new role with SFA and its music education outreach.

    “I have wanted to run a community music school since I observed Suzuki group violin classes at the Music Institute of Chicago when I was earning my master’s degree,” Nabb said. “I was immediately taken with the cooperation between teachers and the enthusiasm of the students and parents, and I wanted to be part of a program like that. So, I jumped at the opportunity to apply for this position.”

    Barnett has served as director of the Music Prep program for 20 years, succeeding a list of “Who’s Who” directors that included Shirley Watterston, Linda Parr, Bobbie Ann Anderson and interim director Brenda Josephsen. The program was established in 1980 by Dr. Robert Blocker, who was then-chair of the SFA Department of Music, and Watterston, a longtime music faculty member.

    When Barnett became director of Music Prep, the office was located inside Wright Music Building, and she worked only 10 hours a week. She recalled those early days with gratitude to those who helped her learn and grow as director.

    “Ten hours a week was adequate, because the student workers in the music office wrote receipts for Prep and recorded the enrollment, and Dr. Ron Anderson, the chair of the music department at that time, loaned Prep his computer,” she said. “He would come in and help me learn to navigate the mysterious computer. Finally, I got the hang of it! The program was quite a challenge for me, and I did my best to move it forward. Many people helped! I have seen many, many changes – in the program and the university. I wish Melissa best wishes as she continues to move the program forward.”

    Two of Music Prep’s “call to music” lie in the slogans of “A growing awareness of beauty in sound” and “Bringing music to the community!” Barnett said the SFA music faculty and music students join together to epitomize these ideals.

    “I have been fortunate to work with the best teachers and students anywhere – bar none,” she said. “I salute them – both present and past. Some of my best memories are of our scholarship fundraisers, ‘Musical Time Machine,’ ‘We’ve Got Rhythm,’ ‘Piney Woods Home Companion,’ and the sequel, ‘Piney Woods Home Companion – Pine-ier and Woodier,’ and the Middle School All Region Choir Camp – to name a few. We have great community support that is greatly appreciated. The Music Prep Advisory Board deserves recognition for its great contributions to the program. Thank you all. A special note: Mr. Ed Cole purchased harps for Prep, and we have taught harp for 20 years. Thank you, Ed!”

    Nabb hopes to expand program offerings that will inspire the next generation of musicians to participate in Music Prep. Beginning this fall, Music Prep will offer new classes to reach more children and adults in the Piney Woods. In addition to traditional lessons, the program will offer group classes for beginning violin and viola, cello and guitar, with these classes costing just $10 each week.

    “We are also expanding our lesson offerings to include all strings, winds, percussion and voice,” Nabb said. “Things to look for at Music Prep in the future are Kindermusik classes as well as a training program to prepare our SFA music education majors.”

    “I am most looking forward to collaborating with teachers and parents to build a community where students can not only learn music but meet friends and create memories for a lifetime,” Nabb said. “The Music Preparatory program at SFA is a special place, and there are tremendous opportunities to build on the tradition of excellence there and move forward with new and exciting offerings.”

    For more information about the Music Preparatory Division and its fall lesson lineup, call (936) 468-1291 or visit http://www.music.sfasu.edu/prep.

    article ID 1748

  • SFA University Series opens with The Second City comedy show

    SFA University Series opens with The Second City comedy show

    press image
    Comedy-improvisation ensemble The Second City will open the 2019-20 University Series at SFA with a performance at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, in  W.M. Turner Auditorium on the university campus.

    August 16, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    Fans of comedy geniuses John Belushi, Bill Murray and Steve Carell or Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert and Amy Poehler will not want to miss a Nacogdoches performance of the newest improv stars of The Second City, Chicago’s renowned comedy club.

    The College of Fine Arts at Stephen F. Austin State University will open its 2019-20 University Series with a performance by The Second City at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.

    Since opening in Chicago in 1959, this small cabaret theatre as grown to become the most influential and prolific comedy empire in the world, developing an entirely unique way of creating art and fostering a generation of superstars. Local fans will now have the opportunity to enjoy their improvisational approach to comedy in a live performance on Turner stage featuring comedy’s newest, up-and-coming celebrities, according to Scott Shattuck, associate dean of the College of Fine Arts and director of the University Series.

    “The Second City is truly the epicenter of the comedy world,” Shattuck said, “having given us most of the casts of ‘Saturday Night Live,’ ‘SCTV,’ ‘The Daily Show’ and more. It has been too long since their national tour visited the SFA campus in Nacogdoches.”

    The Second City began as an unconventional approach to both theater and comedy. Immediately, its alumni, which included soon-to-be superstars Alan Arkin, Joan Rivers, Gilda Radner, Dan Aykroyd, Fred Willard and Belushi, launched the theatre into the international spotlight. The Second City also launched the careers of Chris Farley, Martin Short, John Candy, Mike Myers, Rick Moranis and other comedic actors.

    Today, The Second City is a world-class entertainment company, continuing to produce premier talent in all three of its locations – Chicago, Toronto and Hollywood – and entertaining more than one million audience members a year. In addition to its own stages, Second City Touring Companies perform electrifying revues and original productions across North America and abroad.

    “A recent showcase of their touring cast’s performance had us rolling in the aisles,” Shattuck recalled. “Only a small part of their act is political satire, and they poked fun at all sides with equal glee. Their ability to turn every aspect of modern life into hilarity is truly delightful.”

    This performance is recommended for mature audiences.

    Prior to the SFA performance, Jackie Rosenfeld, lecturer in the SFA School of Theatre, will present an informative talk at 7 p.m. in Griffith Gallery. The gallery is located across the hall from Turner Auditorium, which is inside the Griffith Fine Arts Building, 2222 Alumni Drive. The audience is invited back to the gallery for a post-performance reception to meet the performers.

    Single event ticket prices for the University Series are $30 for adults, $24 for seniors, $15 for SFA faculty and staff and $12 for non-SFA students/youth. Tickets for SFA students are $3. Season tickets are still available and offer consistent seating throughout the season as well as additional discounts.

    For more information or to purchase tickets, visit finearts.sfasu.edu, stop by the Box Office in Room 211 of the Griffith Fine Arts Building, or call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS.

    article ID 1749

  • SFA art faculty exhibition to showcase works of Berg

    SFA art faculty exhibition to showcase works of Berg

    press image
    Recent works by Wesley Berg, assistant professor of drawing and painting in the SFA School of Art, will be featured in this year’s art faculty exhibition. Berg’s exhibition opens at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5, in Cole Art Center.

    August 6, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The School of Art at Stephen F. Austin State University will open its annual faculty exhibition Tuesday, Aug. 13, in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

    Each year, the faculty exhibition features a wide variety of artwork in ceramics, sculpture, photography, painting, prints, metal work and mixed media, according to John Handley, director of SFA art galleries. The exhibition runs through Oct. 13.

    “This is an annual event to highlight the artistic achievements of our artists,” Handley said. “Outside the classrooms, our faculty have vibrant artistic careers of their own. Many have works in museum collections across the country and abroad, and many also are represented by commercial galleries.

    “This exhibition takes a look at the current work of our artists, whose styles and approaches to art are always changing and maturing,” he added.

    A reception is planned for 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5, at the gallery and will feature “the typical fanfare,” according to Handley.

    “Great food and drink, great people, and great art – what could be better,” he said. The public is welcome free of charge.

    This year’s featured faculty artist is Wesley Berg, assistant professor of drawing and painting in the School of Art. His exhibition, “Shadow Plane: Works on Paper by Wesley Berg,” opens the same night as the reception and shows through Oct. 13.

    Wesley Berg received an M.F.A. in painting and drawing from the University of Florida, with a B.F.A. from Miami University of Ohio. After graduate school and three years of working as an art preparator in the Chelsea gallery scene in New York, Berg continued his studio work at several national and international artist residencies, including extended stays in Vermont, New Mexico, Iceland, Finland, Sweden, New Zealand and Spain. Continuing with his international research, Berg received a 2019 Research and Creative Activity Grant from SFA to create a series of work in Tokyo, Japan. Recent solo exhibitions include Marshall University, West Virginia, Adah Rose Gallery, Washington, D.C., and his upcoming exhibition at the Cole Art Center. Berg’s work has received several awards including an award of distinction at Drawing Discourse at the University of North Carolina in Asheville, awarded by juror Claire Gilman, chief curator of the Drawing Center in New York City. Berg continues to exhibit nationally and internationally and will be featured this December at the PULSE Art Fair, Miami Beach.

    Berg will discuss his work at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, at the gallery. His artist statement: “These drawings distill individual drawn elements, creating moments of visual curiosity. The drawings ask questions of flat and perspectival space, exploring delicate balances of line weight and tension, culminating in a drawn suspension of belief. Playful and boldly simplified, the work is intended to be sparse of material, deep in spatial construction, and seemingly light in mood.”

    Art exhibitions and receptions are sponsored by the Friends of the Visual Arts, Nacogdoches Junior Forum, William Arscott and The Flower Shop. For more information, call (936) 468-1131.

    You may also be interested in these related articles:

    article ID 1747

  • University Series brings performers from around the world to SFA campus

    University Series brings performers from around the world to SFA campus

    press image
    The improv-comedy of The Second City opens the 2019-20 University Series for the College of Fine Arts at Stephen F. Austin State University. The show is at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.

    August 5, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    With recent performances like the Moscow Ballet’s “Nutcracker,” the high-energy dancing of Step Africa! and popular holiday shows by the Annie Moses Band and Dailey & Vincent, it’s no wonder the audiences attending the University Series and Encore Events presented by the College of Fine Arts at Stephen F. Austin State University continue to grow.

    The 2019-20 season brings another versatile and exciting lineup of shows that range from comedy to musical theatre to dance to the world’s foremost children’s chorus.

    “It has been enormously gratifying to see our audiences double and redouble in size over the past few years,” said Scott Shattuck, associate dean of the College of Fine Arts and director of the series. “While we’re seeing more full houses, however, there’s still plenty of room to accommodate many more of our Nacogdoches neighbors at the University Series and Encore Events.”

    The University Series will feature the world-famous comedy of The Second City on Sept. 6; the high-energy rockabilly performance of Lee Rocker of the Stray Cats on Oct. 24; the beloved holiday story of Ebenezer Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol” on Dec. 10; the powerhouse Argentinian dancing of Che Malambo on March 3; and a boisterous celebration of the Harlem Renaissance in the musical “Ain’t Misbehavin’” on April 16. All performances are at 7:30 p.m. in Turner Auditorium.

    Two special Encore Events will feature the angelic-voiced musicians of the Vienna Boys Choir on Nov. 21 and the bluegrass Southern gospel of The Isaacs on Jan. 24.

    There’s a reason the biggest names in laughter all catapulted their careers from The Second City. Chicago’s renowned comedy club has been the funniest place on the planet since 1959, and The Second City kicks off the University Series’ 2019-20 season. This small cabaret theatre has grown to become the most influential and prolific comedy empire in the world, fostering generations of superstars from Joan Rivers and Alan Alda to John Belushi and Bill Murray, from Mike Myers to Steve Carell, Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert and Amy Poehler. This show is recommended for mature audiences.

    “With sketch comedy, hilarious original songs and world-famous improv, The Second City will have Nacogdoches rolling in the Turner Auditorium aisles,” Shattuck said.

    Lee Rocker made his mark singing, playing, standing on, spinning and rocking his giant upright bass as a founding (and current) member, along with Brian Setzer and Slim Jim Phantom, of the Grammy-nominated rockabilly group the Stray Cats, which sold more than 10 million albums and garnered 23 gold- and platinum-certified records worldwide. Rocker and his band are headed to Nacogdoches to perform Stray Cats hits like “Sexy and Seventeen,” “Stray Cat Strut” and “Rock This Town,” plus many other rock-era songs he has performed post-Stray Cats with music legends from Ringo Starr and George Harrison to John Fogerty and The Rolling Stones. The performance is sponsored in part by Lehmann Eye Center.

    The first special Encore Event, sponsored in part by Commercial Bank of Texas, features the world-renowned Vienna Boys Choir. This performance will usher in the magic of the holiday season as these angelic-voiced singers perform a delightful program of Austrian folk songs, classical masterpieces, hymns and perennial favorites. Widely recognized as the world’s foremost children’s choral group, for six centuries these young cultural ambassadors have been adored the world over for their wide range of repertoire, purity of tone and generosity of musical spirit.

    Gather the family and join the College of Fine Arts to celebrate the spirit of Christmas in spectacular fashion with PerSeverance Productions’ presentation of Charles Dickens’ classic tale, “A Christmas Carol.” With all the splendor, magic and joy of the holiday season, this fabulous gift of a show overflows with 26 beloved yuletide songs and warm good humor as Jacob Marley and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future visit that great bah humbugger himself, Ebenezer Scrooge. This holiday show is sponsored in part by Nacogdoches Medical Center.

    The second Encore Event of the season is a performance by the multi-Dove Award-winning and two-time (2017 and ’18) Grammy-nominated family of gospel singers, The Isaacs. Their inspirational style blends tight harmonies with contemporary acoustic instrumentation to produce a sound that appeals to audiences all over the world.

    “Their unique mix of bluegrass, folk, country, rhythm and blues, contemporary and southern gospel is heard regularly at the Grand Ole Opry and at Carnegie Hall, CMA Fan Fest and recently on ABC-TV’s CMA Country Christmas with superstar Reba McIntyre,” Shattuck said. This special performance is sponsored in part by BancorpSouth.

    Powerhouse all-male Argentine dancers bring to life the legacy of South American gouchos (cowboys) in Che Malambo’s percussive dance and music spectacle. This fiery melting-pot performance blends flamenco, tango, tap and Irish step dance with the drumming of traditional bombos, singing and whirling boleadoras lasso work in a phenomenon of unbridled energy that is thrilling audiences around the world. Their performance is sponsored in part by Cataract, Glaucoma, Cornea & Retina Consultants of East Texas/Benchmark Optical/Medical Arts Surgery Center.

    A celebration of the African American musicians of the 1920s and ’30s Harlem Renaissance, the Tony Award-winning Best Musical “Ain’t Misbehavin’” takes its name from Fats Waller’s ageless song. “Ain’t Misbehavin’” whisks audiences back to the high-society Cotton Club and Savoy Ballroom and to dives where piano players banged out the new beat known as swing.

    “Coming to SFA through a partnership between the College of Fine Arts, the SFA Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Nacogdoches Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’’ is a fun night of rowdy and humorous songs that will make theatregoers shimmy in their seats,” Shattuck said. “To quote another favorite song from the show, when they look around Turner Auditorium they’ll shout ‘This Joint Is Jumpin’!”

    Season tickets for the 2019-20 University Series went on sale Aug. 1 and are $120 for adults, $96 for seniors (62 and up), $60 for SFA faculty and staff and $48 for students. Encore Event tickets are sold separately, but season subscribers may add them to their season-ticket order.

    "These are fantastic prices for entertainment of this quality," said Diane Peterson, Fine Arts Box Office manager. "Season tickets provide a 20-percent savings over single tickets, and patrons can have their same seat throughout the season.

    "Plus, we offer season-ticket options," she said. "The classic package includes one ticket to each of the five performances, and the TixMix package allows patrons to create their own season.”

    Single-event ticket purchases for the University Series, Encore Events or any of the other performances presented through the College of Fine Arts can be made beginning Aug. 15. Single event ticket prices for the University Series are $30 for adults, $24 for seniors, $15 for SFA faculty and staff and $12 for non-SFA students/youth. Tickets for SFA students are $3.

    Encore Event tickets are $45 for Section A seating; $36 for Section B seating; and $27 for Section C seating. Discounts are available for seniors, students, children and SFA faculty and staff members.

    For more information, visit finearts.sfasu.edu, stop by the Box Office in Room 211 of the Griffith Fine Arts Building, or call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS.

    You may also be interested in the following related article:

    article ID 1746

  • SFA to honor Barnett with retirement reception

    SFA to honor Barnett with retirement reception

    August 2, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The School of Music at Stephen F. Austin State University will honor retiring Music Preparatory Division Director Pat Barnett with a reception from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, at the Music Prep House, 3028 Raguet St.

    The appreciation reception recognizes Barnett’s 20 years of service to the Music Prep program. The event will immediately follow Music Prep’s open house, which is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 10, for fall private and group lesson registration.

    Refreshments and music will be provided at the come-and-go reception.

    For more information about the Music Preparatory Division and its fall lesson lineup, call (936) 468-1291 or visit http://www.music.sfasu.edu/prep.

    article ID 1745

  • Chloé Trevor Music Academy hosts concerts in Nacogdoches

    Chloé Trevor Music Academy hosts concerts in Nacogdoches

    August 1, 2019—Robbie Goodrich

    The Chloé Trevor Music Academy continues to present its Summer Festival of Concerts in Nacogdoches through Aug. 10.

    The Chloé Trevor Music Academy is an intensive two-week program for string players and pianists, offering one-on-one instruction, orchestral training and career guidance by the world’s premier soloists, teachers and conductors, according to Trevor, the academy’s artistic director and founder. The academy and its concert series is underway on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University.

    Trevor is one of the most sought after violinists today, performing with orchestras worldwide, including the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Latvian Chamber Orchestra, Slovak State Philharmonic and Plano, Houston and Knoxville symphonies.

    The series of public concerts by the academy’s faculty and guest artists offers a wide range of performances, including world famous violinist Rachel Barton Pine, pianist and composer Sean Chen, and pioneering cellist, singer, composer and educator Mike Block.

    “Rachel Barton Pine is one of the best violinists in America today,” said Dr. Jennifer Dalmas, professor of violin at SFA and academy organizer. “Sean Chen is a Van Cliburn winner, and Mike Block has worked with Yo-Yo Ma. These are all world-class musicians who are performing in Nacogdoches.”

    Pine will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2, in Cole Concert Hall. Other performances include a faculty concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3, and a student recital at 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 4, both of which will also be in Cole Concert Hall. Chen performs at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 5; the Aeolus Quartet performs at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 6; Fellowship Ensemble performs at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 7; and Block performs at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 8, all of which will be in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus. A student solo and chamber music recital is at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 9, in W.M. Turner Auditorium, also on the SFA campus. The academy concludes with the Orchestra Gala at 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, in Turner Auditorium. Performances on Aug. 4, 7 and 9 are free of charge. Admission for the other concerts is $10 at the door. Students and youth will be given free admission.

    For further information, visit http://www.chloetrevormusicacademy.org

    article ID 1744

Connect with the University Series on Facebook