Arts festival offers two week-long cultural events for the public and campus community

Published by adviser, Author: Sam Delauter - Rocket Contributor, Date: April 22, 2015
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The Kaleidoscope Arts Festival returned to Slippery Rock early this week for its 14th year of displaying art, dance, music and theatre to the local area. The two week-long festival, which began on April 19, and runs till May 1, is being directed by Slippery Rock University Theatre Instructor, Deanna Brookens, and will feature displays from both students as well as distinguished professionals.

“Our mission, is to bring free or low-cost quality programming to an underserviced region,” Brookens said.

The interim director believes a major strength of the festival is how it integrates all the departments and encourages the expression of unique ideas.

With the majority of exhibits being free or costing $5-15, students and community members are encouraged to participate in the exotic and cultural festival. Notable events of particular interest include an art demonstration from wood engraver and book artist Andy Farkas, an exhibit by the Martha Gault Art Society, a Children’s Day Earth Day celebration and a Bridgman/Packer performance of “Truck.”

Being one of the first displays to kick off the festival, The Martha Gault Art Society Exhibit opened Monday with light snacks, an ambient live band and dozens of unique pieces produced by students. Senior art major and President of the Martha Gault Art Society, Sean McDonald, saw the event as a way for people in the community to get involved around campus.

“This is not a clique event for just art students,” McDonald said.

Senior art education major Delaney Munnal, whose pieces “Comfort,” “Flow” and “Fragment” were featured in the exhibit said she enjoys contributing to the art community. Munnal’s personal favorite piece is her canvas painting “Comfort,” which focuses on her mother and pet dog relaxing together.

“I like doing work that incorporates my family,” Munnal said.

The exhibit will be available for viewing in the University Union lobby through April 30 and is free and open to the public.

Distinguished guests will be visiting the Festival throughout the two week period and include names like Lauren Brickman, Matthew McCright and Erik Lawrence.

Brickman, with her background as an actress from New York City,  will lead two improvisation workshops this week. McCright will present a recital of music early next week and will play a new work by SRU’s assistant professor of music Stephen Barr. Lawrence will be hosting the artist talk, “Music and Healing,” and discussing his profession as a public practitioner of sound healing.

Student performances are scattered throughout the schedule and showcase the talents, dedication and skill of Slippery Rock students.

Magnum Opus, the senior dance concert will open this weekend and will feature jazz, contemporary and modern dance styles. Senior trumpet music education major Abby Iksic presented a recital of various trumpet works earlier this week. The Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Lab Band will perform jazz works of various styles later next week.

A yearly favorite among attendees, The Children’s Day Earth Day Celebration, will be held this Saturday at the Robert A. Macoskey Center. Free and open to the public, the event will feature youth and community performances from The Moraine 5 Star Chorus, The SRU Shakespeare tour, The New Castle Mini Stars and Rock Falls Park. Free arts and crafts, including a make your own biodegradable Frisbee, will be available all day at this event. Sustainability workshops will also be featured to showcase environmental awareness.

While the Kaleidoscope Festival offers events that may be of interest to a variety of ages, the one that director Brookens believes will generate the most enthusiasm is the Bridgman/Packer performance of “Truck.” The 30 minute-long event creatively integrates video technology and choreography to showcase a state of the art performance inside a 17-foot U-Haul truck.

“We actually have to back up a U-Haul truck to the Miller Auditorium loading dock,” Brookens said.

Brookens was excited they could find a way to utilize the vacant Miller Auditorium which has been under construction for the past three years.

With one week and multiple performances left, students and community members are encouraged to participate in this event. A schedule of performances is available at the student center.

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