Category Archives: The Arts

Pellissippi State offers two free Holiday Spectacular concerts

The traditional Holiday Spectacular concert staged annually at Pellissippi State Community College is so popular that two performances will be presented again this year. Audience members are encouraged to arrive early for the event, which features all of the student ensembles in a fast-paced, high-energy show.

Part of the 2012-13 music series, the Holiday Spectacular takes place on Dec. 6 at 6 and 8 p.m. The theme for this year’s performances is “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” Included in the program are seasonal favorites in traditional and contemporary styles.

The concerts’ pianists will perform on Steinway pianos, in keeping with Pellissippi State’s status as an All Steinway School. The Pellissippi State Foundation conducted the All Steinway School fundraising campaign year before last to elevate the college’s Music program to world-class status.

The community college now boasts 13 Steinway pianos in studios, practice rooms and performance venues. This is the second season that Pellissippi State’s Music program presents concerts as an All Steinway School.

Many of the student performers are pursuing the college’s new Associate of Fine Arts degree, concentrating in Music. Through the Tennessee Transfer Pathways, all credits from the degree transfer to other Tennessee Board of Regents institutions—Pellissippi State is a TBR college—and the University of Tennessee.

Both Holiday Spectacular performances take place in the Clayton Performing Arts Center at the Hardin Valley Campus. Plenty of free parking is available. Admission is free; however, donations are accepted at the door for the Pellissippi State Foundation on behalf of the Music Scholarship Fund.

The 2012-13 Pellissippi State Music Concert Series is one component of Pellissippi State’s new arts series, The Arts at Pellissippi State. The series brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the fine arts.

For additional information about the Pellissippi State Music Concert Series or The Arts at Pellissippi State, call (865) 694-6400 or visit www.pstcc.edu/arts.

To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi professor presents ‘A Hobbit’s Holiday’

Before Harry Potter, “Game of Thrones” and “The Lord of the Rings,” a timid, yet surprisingly resourceful hobbit set out on a series of adventures. Along the way, he fought trolls, spiders, orcs, and an ancient dragon, and ended up learning quite a bit about himself.

The journey of Bilbo Baggins, the hero of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit,” is the subject of the upcoming Faculty Lecture Series presentation at Pellissippi State Community College. Faculty member Keith Norris’ talk—“A Hobbit’s Holiday: The Extraordinary Journey of Bilbo Baggins”—is Nov. 29, 7-8 p.m., in the Clayton Performing Arts Center at the Hardin Valley Campus.

Norris focuses on Bilbo’s journey, performing original stories, poems and musical compositions to evoke the magic of Tolkien’s novel. The family-friendly event is free and open to the public.

Norris will retell Bilbo’s adventures in five parts: “Drinking With Dwarves,” “The Trouble With Trolls,” “Matching Wits With a Monster,” “Songs for Spiders” and “Dueling With Dragons.”

Even though “The Hobbit, or There and Back Again” was published as a children’s novel in 1937, Norris says it also can teach adults a thing or two.

“Bilbo runs into a series of foes, and he learns enough to make sensible decisions,” said Norris. “He becomes the perfect person to stand between powerful people as a negotiator. As we grow up and learn to deal with our own bullies, enemies, monsters and villains, we learn to use creativity to effectively oppose them.”

Norris has read “The Hobbit” at least once a year since he was 12 and says the book has taught him that people can talk their way out of almost any unpleasant situation. More than that, he credits the book with influencing him to become an English professor and poet.

The next lecture is faculty member David Key’s “The Cold War,” Feb. 21, 12:30-1:30 p.m. in the Goins Building Auditorium on the Hardin Valley Campus.

The Faculty Lecture Series is part of Pellissippi State’s new arts series, “The Arts at Pellissippi State,” which brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the visual arts.

For more information about the Faculty Lecture Series, email Keith Norris at knorris@pstcc.edu or Rob Lloyd at rtlloyd@pstcc.edu, or call (865) 694-6400. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action for Pellissippi State at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State highlights instrumental music in Nov. 15 free concert

The free 2012-13 Music Concert Series at Pellissippi State Community College continues on Nov. 15 with a performance focused exclusively on instrumental music. The event promises to offer a wide variety of selections and musical styles.

Music at the Instrumental Concert will include separate ensembles of brass, guitar and percussion. A mixed small instrumental ensemble and a bluegrass ensemble perform as well. The groups are set to present a variety of musical genres, including classical, blues, jazz and folk.

Pianists will perform on Steinway pianos, in keeping with Pellissippi State’s status as an All Steinway School. The Pellissippi State Foundation conducted the All Steinway School fundraising campaign in 2010 in order to elevate the college’s Music program to world-class status. The community college now boasts 13 Steinway pianos in studios, practice rooms and performance venues.

Many of the student performers are pursuing the college’s new Associate of Fine Arts degree, concentrating in Music. Through the Tennessee Transfer Pathways, all credits from the degree transfer to other Tennessee Board of Regents institutions and the University of Tennessee.

The Instrumental Concert begins at 7 p.m. and takes place in the Clayton Performing Arts Center at the Hardin Valley Campus. Ample free parking is available, and admission is free. Donations are accepted at the door for the Pellissippi State Foundation on behalf of the Music Scholarship Fund.

The 2012-13 Pellissippi State Music Concert Series is one component of Pellissippi State’s new arts series, The Arts at Pellissippi State. The series brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the fine arts.

To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

For additional information about the arts series, call (865) 694-6400 or visit www.pstcc.edu/arts.

Pellissippi State faculty speaker addresses fighting heritage of East Tennesseans

Scottish and Irish immigrants poured into America in the 1700s and 1800s, many of them migrating to this region. Their impact on the culture of East Tennessee is still felt today, says Pat Riddle. Riddle is a faculty member and program coordinator of the Mechanical Engineering concentration in Engineering Technology at Pellissippi State Community College.

In a Nov. 15 presentation at the college titled “Born Fighting,” Riddle discusses the waves of emigration from the British Isles and how the thinking and behavior of native Tennesseans are still influenced by their ancestral heritage. The discussion is part of the 2012-13 Faculty Lecture Series, which showcases the expertise of Pellissippi State faculty members. The series lectures are designed to be informative and entertaining.

Riddle, who has Scottish blood coursing through his own veins, speaks at 12:30-1:30 p.m., in the Goins Building Auditorium at the Hardin Valley Campus. The event is free, and the community is invited to attend.

“Red hair and quick tempers are stereotypes of people of Scots-Irish descent,” said Riddle. “There’s a lot of truth in those stereotypes. The Scots are wired to fight.

“The Scots and Scots-Irish have always had to fight, and have long been known as the best fighters. The border region that includes Scotland and England has been in a constant state of war. The Normans and Saxons couldn’t conquer the locals. The Romans couldn’t conquer them, and ultimately they were sent to America to serve as a buffer between the ‘civilized’ colonies and Native Americans.”

The propensity to fight persists, Riddle says: The majority of the Marines come from Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky and Virginia. Fighting is in East Tennesseans’ DNA and is a pivotal element of our regional culture. The challenge we have today, he says, is to direct that impulse and energy in positive ways.

The Faculty Lecture Series is part of Pellissippi State’s new arts series, The Arts at Pellissippi State, which brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the visual arts.

The next lecturer is the English Department’s Keith Norris. Norris speaks on “A Hobbit’s Holiday: The Extraordinary Journey of Bilbo Baggins,” on Nov. 29, 7-8 p.m., in the Clayton Performing Arts Center at the Hardin Valley Campus.

For more information about the Faculty Lecture Series, call Pellissippi State at (865) 694-6400 or visit www.pstcc.edu/arts. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action for Pellissippi State at (865) 694-6607 or humanresouces@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State hosts art exhibit featuring student study abroad perceptions

Scott McGugin's "Tracks of Confusion"

A dictionary definition of “paper trail” explains that it is “documentary evidence of one’s actions … a track record of opinions that tells, literally, where one is coming from.”

For art and culture enthusiasts, “Paper Trail” is an exhibit at Pellissippi State Community College that offers attendees the chance to experience cities such as Vienna and Rome through the eyes of student artists.

Slated for Nov. 6-23, “Paper Trail” features drawings, photos and sketchbooks created by Pellissippi State students who studied abroad in Austria and Italy during the summer 2012 Tennessee Consortium for International Studies programs. The collection explores landscapes, people, food, and cultures the students encountered while studying photography, drawing, art history, and economics.

TnCIS is sponsoring the exhibit. The consortium, which is headquartered at Pellissippi State, coordinates study abroad opportunities as part of its mission of boosting international experience and culture in higher education across the state. The organization provides affordable, high-quality study abroad opportunities to students enrolled at Pellissippi State and other Tennessee Board of Regents institutions.

More than 400 students and 50 faculty from Tennessee—183 students and 22 faculty from Pellissippi State—participated in this past summer’s study abroad. TnCIS has planned 18 study abroad programs for summer 2013.

“Paper Trail” is one of the events that make up Pellissippi State’s new arts series, The Arts at Pellissippi State. The series brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures and the fine arts.

An opening reception is scheduled for Nov. 8, 3-5 p.m. Regular exhibit hours are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. The showing is in the gallery of the Bagwell Center for Media and Art on the Hardin Valley Campus. The reception and exhibit are free and open to the public. Group tours from schools, art classes or artist groups are welcome and may be arranged with advance notice.

To learn more or to schedule a group tour of the exhibit, call (865) 694-6400 or email Linnette Legg at llegg@pstcc.edu. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

International photographer to speak at Pellissippi State

His clients range from the National Basketball Association and Cigar Aficionado Magazine to Continental Airlines and the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry.

Photographer Patrice Argant, a native of France whose work has included extensive travel throughout Asia and Africa, maintains studios in Manhattan and in Knoxville. On Nov. 5, he offers a presentation on his photography at Pellissippi State Community College. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.

Argant’s images have appeared on multiple national and international magazine covers, and his fine art pieces have served as the focus of exhibits in the United States and France. The photographer has produced work for the news industry, as well as for the fashion and advertising fields.

The presentation by Argant is one of the events that make up Pellissippi State’s new arts series, The Arts at Pellissippi State. The series brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures and the fine arts.

The event takes place 6:30-8 p.m. in the Goins Building Auditorium on the Hardin Valley Campus. Plenty of free parking is available.

For additional information about Argant’s presentation or The Arts at Pellissippi State,” call (865) 694-6400 or visit www.pstcc.edu/arts. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State hosts Mediterranean Cultural Fest

The Mediterranean Sea touches countries on three continents, bridging the cultures of a vast and exotic expanse. Pellissippi State Community College celebrates that region with the Mediterranean Cultural Festival on Nov. 2.

The free event is 5-8:30 p.m. in the Goins Building College Center on the Hardin Valley Campus. The public is encouraged to attend.

The festival is part of the Arts at Pellissippi State series, which brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the fine arts.

The Mediterranean Cultural Festival showcases the entertainment of the region with the following performances:

  • 6-7 p.m.—Debka and the Oasis Dancers, a Knoxville-based belly dancing group.
  • 7:10-8:30 p.m.—Italian violinist Al Colombo and ensemble. The group also features Mike Benjamin on keyboard and vocals and David Correll on bass guitar. The ensemble plays classic and contemporary Italian music, including pieces written by Italy’s foremost composers.

Take in the performances and experience the region’s food at an epicurean marketplace with fruits and vegetables and an Italian café with European teas, coffees, and desserts.

Participants also can sample Spanish paella, pastitsio with bechamel topping, Mediterranean pasta salad with California avocado, tzatziki sauce with falafel, keftedes (Greek meatballs), and hummus and pita bread.

The festival is sponsored by Pellissippi State’s Access and Diversity Office. For more information, call (865) 694-6400 or email Gayle Wood, director of Access and Diversity, at gwood@pstcc.edu.

To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action for Pellissippi State, (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

‘Arabian Nights’ play opens at Pellissippi State Community College

Staging a classic takes courage, invention, and a committed cast and crew, and all of those essentials are in place for the opening performance of “Arabian Nights” at Pellissippi State Community College on Nov. 2.

The presentation is part of the Arts at Pellissippi State, an ongoing opportunity for the community to enjoy cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the visual arts.

Performances of “Arabian Nights” are Friday and Saturday, Nov. 2-3, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, Nov. 4, 2 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, Nov. 9-10, 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, Nov. 11, 2 p.m. All showings are in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the Hardin Valley Campus.

Charles R. Miller, who directs the college’s theatrical presentations, has assembled one of the largest casts in a decade for “Arabian Nights.” The show features the technical expertise of Claude Hardy, a new assistant professor of Theatre.

Audiences will find “Arabian Nights” as dramatic as it is timeless, says Miller. It’s wedding night in the palace of King Shahrayar. By morning, the new queen, Shahrazad, is to be put to death like a thousand young brides before her. But she has a gift that can save her, the power of storytelling. Every night, she must tell a story to save her own life.

For the 18-member group of Pellissippi State students, alumni and community residents who make up the cast, the stakes are also pretty high. Shahrazad tells seven stories, and each one must be more compelling than the last. Cast and crew must follow suit.

“That’s really the key to this show,” said Professor Miller. “It has to get bigger and bolder from story to story.”

Miller chose to present a contemporary adaptation of “Arabian Nights” by Dominic Cooke, a former associate director of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Cooke directed the show three years ago and drew rave reviews from London critics.

“It’s a very simplistic script when you read it, and it’s all about how you do the staging around it,” said Miller. “This is going to have dance, music, mime, puppetry.” Claude Hardy has created a set design with five platforms that can be moved and reconfigured for each story that Shahrazad tells.

The show also requires nimble actors who can take on more than one role.

“The actors are getting to do a lot of different things,” Miller said. “They’re getting to do dance, puppetry and acting. With this show, in particular, their level of focus and discipline has to be absolute. There are very few things at the college level that teach you focus and discipline the way theatre does.”

“Arabian Nights” is the first of two family-friendly shows scheduled for this semester. The second is “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” with The WordPlayers in December.

Cost of admission to “Arabian Nights” is $8 for Pellissippi State faculty, staff, and students; $10 for other students; and $12 for adults.

Tickets may be purchased through the Arts at Pellissippi State website, www.pstcc.edu/arts, or by calling (865) 694-6400. They also may be reserved by phone at (865) 694-6684 or by email at foundation@pstcc.edu.

Proceeds go to the Pellissippi State Foundation to benefit the Theatre program.

To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action for Pellissippi State, (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State presents ‘Genius Loci’ exhibit, featuring local artist Katie Ries

Pellissippi State Community College hosts “Genius Loci,” a multimedia exhibit and series of arts events by local artist Katie Ries, at the Hardin Valley Campus Oct. 8-Nov. 2. Ries’ interdisciplinary work incorporates drawing, costuming and social events designed to raise questions about how people access and engage with the land around them.

Previous area exhibits by Ries include a collaboratively stocked vending machine selling helpful kits instead of junk food; a series of costumes for gallery guests to wear; seedlings to be taken home, planted, and raised by art patrons; and small chores to be completed in exchange for objects in an art gallery. Ries’ 2008 costume show garnered a Metro Pulse comparison to Japanese artist Atsuko Tanaka’s 1956 “Electric Dress,” a garment crafted from light bulbs and electrical cords.

Area residents may recognize Ries’ name, even if they’ve never attended one of her exhibits. The artist was a co-founder of The Birdhouse, a collective arts space in Knoxville’s Fourth and Gill neighborhood. Since 2006, The Birdhouse has fostered and promoted emerging artists and musicians by renting studio spaces and by hosting exhibits, concerts, and special events.

Ries is also well-known for the Urban Land Scouts, a group she began in 2010 in order to teach and promote land stewardship.

The artist currently serves as the marketing and outreach director for Three Rivers Market food cooperative in North Knoxville. Ries has a Bachelor of Arts in studio art from Colorado College and a Master of Fine Arts with a concentration in printmaking from the University of Tennessee.

Ries says the show’s title, “Genius Loci,” refers to the ancient Roman belief in a resident spirit—a genius loci—who looked after and dwelt in a specific location. It also refers to her public and private engagements with that genius loci and ideas of environmental sustainability.

“Publicly, I host and promote the Urban Land Scouts, a group that teaches land stewardship and eco-literacy in the city. Privately, I seek to strike a balance between fantastic and realistic ideas of self-sufficiency, sustainability, and stewardship,” she said.

Four special events are planned for Ries’ “Genius Loci” exhibit:

  • Opening reception—Oct. 8, 3-5 p.m.
  • Shoemaking talk and demonstration with guest Daniel Scott, cordwainer (maker of fine leather shoes)—Oct. 9, 3-5 p.m.
  • Introduction to urban land scouting, which includes a short outdoor walk and a pamphlet-style bookbinding activity—Oct. 22, 3-5 p.m.
    Limited to 15 participants, with registration required. Bring a drawing implement, and dress for the weather. Children are welcome, but they may require assistance in binding books. Please contact Jennifer Brickey at (865) 694-6634 or jmbrickey@pstcc.edu to register.
  • Artist talk by Katie Ries—Oct. 29, 3-5 p.m.

“Genius Loci” is one of the events that make up Pellissippi State’s new arts series, “The Arts at Pellissippi State.” The series brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the fine arts.

Regular exhibit hours are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. The showing and associated special events take place in the gallery of the Bagwell Center for Media and Art on the Hardin Valley Campus. The exhibit and events are free and open to the public.

For additional information about the exhibit or “The Arts at Pellissippi State,” call (865) 694-6400 or visit www.pstcc.edu/arts. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

Faculty Lecture Series: Pellissippi State professor examines the stories we tell ourselves

You might want to adjust the story you tell yourself about who you are, says Donn King, associate professor of Liberal Arts at Pellissippi State Community College. We all tell ourselves stories about our lives, he says, and it’s not something we can stop doing. But a different version of the story of your life might just make you happier.

The speech communications instructor and former pastor touches on just about everybody—individuals, parents, children, lovers—in an upcoming lecture at the college, “The Greatest Story Never Told.” The title refers to the story you tell yourself.

The free event is Oct. 11, 12:30-1:30 p.m., in the Goins Building Auditorium on the Hardin Valley Campus. The community is invited to attend.

“I’ve always been interested in storytelling,” said King, an award-winning Toastmasters International speaker. “Humans have always told stories to preserve and transmit knowledge, and to try to make sense of the universe. But anything we tell ourselves is not going to be the truth. It’s going to be a viewpoint.”

King will examine the power of story to influence behaviors, expectations and the decisions we make.

“Through exploring a few example stories,” he said, “I plan to help audience members recognize their own stories so they can decide whether they are useful or need changing or dropping altogether.”

He draws upon the philosophy of the ancient Greek sage Epictetus.

“Epictetus said 2,000 years ago that it’s not what happens to us, but what we think about what happens to us, that determines our experience.”

The presentation is part of the 2012-13 Faculty Lecture Series, which is designed to highlight the expertise of Pellissippi State faculty. The lecture is one component of the college’s new arts series, “The Arts at Pellissippi State.” The series brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures, and the fine arts.

The next lecture in the series is “Born Fighting,” presented by Pat Riddle, an associate professor and the program coordinator of Engineering Technology’s Mechanical Engineering concentration. The event is Nov. 15, 12:30-1:30 p.m., at the same location.

For additional information about the King lecture or The Arts at Pellissippi State, call (865) 694-6400 or visit www.pstcc.edu/arts.

To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.