Choir to Perform Mendelssohn’s Elijah

By Lauren Fellers

Students can spend this weekend enjoying the arts at a show put on by their peers. On April 14 the Southwestern Chorale will be performing Felix Mendelssohn’s celebrated oratorio Elijah with the San Gabriel Choir.

The show will take place in the Alma Thomas Theater at 7 p.m., and students may attend free of charge provided they bring their SU ID. Any non-students wishing to attend will have to pay a $20 entrance fee. Tickets do not need to be purchased in advance.

Dr. Kenny Sheppard, Professor of Music and the conductor of the university Chorale, has been rehearsing with students throughout the year and is enthusiastic about the upcoming performance.

“[Elijah] is one of Mendelssohn’s greatest works, and we are all thrilled to be performing it. The audience may recognize such favorites as “He watching over Israel,” “If with all your hearts,” and “Lift thine eyes,” Dr. Sheppard said.

The performance is particularly important to senior Ethan Lane-Miller, who will be performing for his last time before graduation.

“We’ve been rehearsing for literally the entire semester. It’s a pretty big deal and I fully expect the final performance to be amazing, ” Lane-Miller said.

This production of Elijah is, at its heart, a collaborative performance: in addition to the San Gabriel Choir, the Chorale will be accompanied by a professional orchestra. Among those members of Southwestern who will be performing solos are Professor of Music Dr. Bruce Cain, in the role of Elijah, and students Katie De La Vega, Melanie Bonevac, Keeley Hooker, Allie Bryan, Anne Fenley, Melissa Krueger, Joe Kraft, and Cris Luna.

Lane-Mille anticipates that the effort invested in organizing Elijah will pay off in full.

“The sheer amount of work and energy that the Chorale and Dr. Sheppard have put into
preparing this is astounding, and I really hope it shows in our performance,” Lane-Miller said.

 

Horse Skull Statue

By this point in the year most people have probably noticed the rather unusual statue sitting between the library and the FAB: A horse’s skull atop a giant grey slab, staring with empty eyes out at passersby. “Monstrance for a Grey Horse” is artist James Accord’s comment on human’s relationship with nuclear technology. The statue was bought by SU alum Joey King in 2000 from its previous owner, writer Fred Moody, and donated to Southwestern several years ago, though it was finally moved from Seattle to its new resting place last summer after Accord’s death in January.

The statue, which took Accord over ten years to make, is a single one-ton piece of granite that was carved without the use of power tools. Initially he wished to place nuclear waste inside the “monstrance,” and as such became the first and only private individual to ever get a license for handling nuclear material. However, he was unable to actually get any nuclear material, so he resorted to grinding up Fiesta Ware pottery to get the uranium in its glaze.

The name of the piece comes from Catholicism, where a monstrance is the container in which the Eucharist is held between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. In “Grey Horse”, the holy substance is the nuclear waste, and its location is symbolic of the importance society places on such material in the “nuclear age.”

As the newest member of the Southwestern sculpture collection, “Monstrance for a Grey Horse” is not just an unusual eye-catcher; it is also a question over what society chooses to put value in, and what that consequences of those decisions will be.

“Lifeboats” Art Exhibit

Professor Mary Visser introduces Heather Carter at the Life Boats Gallery Reception.

Heather Carter makes sustainable living an art in her exhibition “Lifeboats”.
According to Carter, the 1994 Southwestern graduate, “Lifeboats started out as
taking things that have had a life before and honoring them.”

The exhibit consists of five pieces, all made from repurposed signs, wood, wire,
and trees. The piece “Tideline” leads the viewer through the exhibit with a series of
Carter’s favorite quotes, and creates an ocean for the other boat-inspired pieces attached
to the walls to float on.

“Boats have always been a big part of my work but using the idea of lifeboats changed it for me somehow,” Carter said. “It changed it into the idea of visualizing a seed pod or a place where you can be born out of and renewed – regenerated.”

The exhibit as a whole highlights the fact that environmental problems are human problems and invites the audience to engage in finding solutions for the betterment of our world.

Students examine Heather Carter's work.

 

Green living isn’t just an idea Carter touts with her art, but is instead a philosophy
that infuses her entire life. She lives completely off the grid with her family in
Wimberley, TX and consults with individuals and businesses that want to switch to more
sustainable practices through her website www.greenguru.org.

“Lifeboats” is on display in the Southwestern Fine Arts Gallery through
Sept. 29. For more information about Carter and her artwork, visit her website at
www.heathercarter.info.

Guest Artists Speak About Feminism and Performance

Abbie Constant and William Osbourne.  Courtesy of Google Image Search.

Abbie Constant and William Osbourne. Courtesy of Google Image Search.

Guest artists Abbie Conant and William Osborne will be visiting Southwestern Jan. 26-28. While on campus, they will speak about the European salon movements and their role in the development of feminism and other forms of egalitarianism. The talk will be followed by a performance of their musical theatre piece “Street Scene for the Last Mad Soprano.” Additionally, they will participate on a panel with SU faculty members Kathleen Juhl and Star Varner, discussing the topic “Feminism in Performance.”

Varner’s upcoming art installation “Mysteries Revisited” deals with the frescoes from the Villa of the Mysteries in Pompeii reinterpreted through a feminist and autobiographical lens. Regarding the panel, she said, “Art played an important role in advancing feminism…Even though the other participants [in the panel] are performance artists and I’m a visual artist, there are many connections.”
Conant and Osborne’s visit was brought about through the efforts of SU trombone professor Dr. Eileen Meyer Russel, who studied under Conant’s teacher M. Dee Stewart at her alma mater, Temple University in Philadelphia.

“Street Scene for the Last Mad Soprano” will be performed on Jan. 26 at 7 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theatre, and the panel discussion will occur at 4 p.m. the next day. Finally, on Jan. 28, they will present another work, the multimedia piece “Music for the End of Time.”