Category Archives: The Arts

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.

Pellissippi State hosts annual Fall Choral Concert Oct. 25

Pellissippi State Community College presents the second performance in its 2012-13 free music series with the Oct. 25 staging of the Fall Choral Concert.

The annual event features a variety of music styles and includes compositions from the Baroque and Classical periods and the 20th century.

The 60-voice Concert Chorale and the 40-voice Variations Ensemble, both student vocal groups, perform, in addition to selected student soloists. The concert offers piano accompaniment highlighting works by Johann Sebastian Bach and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, as well as contemporary pieces by Moses Hogan and Eric Whitacre.

The Variations Ensemble premieres much of the concert literature the group will be performing on tour in Barcelona, Madrid and Segovia, Spain, during Spring Break in March 2013.

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.

This is the second season that Pellissippi State’s Music program presents concerts 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.

The Fall Choral 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.

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.

‘Tres Vidas’ brings Hispanic Heritage Month celebration to end

Pellissippi State Community College marks the close of its recognition of National Hispanic Heritage Month with a performance of “Tres Vidas” in October.

The presentation celebrates the life, times and work of three significant Latin American women: painter Frida Kahlo of Mexico, peace activist Rufina Amaya of El Salvador and poet Alfonsina Storni of Argentina.

The performance is scheduled 7-8:30 p.m. on Oct. 12 at the Clayton Performing Arts Center on Pellissippi State’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. The event is free and open to the public.

“Tres Vidas” 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 award-winning Core Ensemble, of Lake Worth, Fla., brings “Tres Vidas” to life with a blend of music, dance and writing in a unique performance format the group calls “chamber music theatre.”

The storylines include Kahlo’s passionate relationship with painter Diego Rivera; Amaya’s astounding singular survival of the 1981 massacre in the village of El Mozote, El Salvador; and Storni’s lifelong challenges as Argentina’s first great feminist poet. Chilean poet and writer Marjorie Agosin’s script for “Tres Vidas” features traditional Mexican folk songs and Argentine music made famous by singers Mercedes Sosa and Carlos Gardel.

Since 1993, the Core Ensemble has toured every region of the U.S., as well as England, Russia, Ukraine, Australia and the British Virgin Islands.

This year’s Hispanic Heritage Month events are sponsored by Pellissippi State’s Access and Diversity Office, Student Life and Recreation, and Liberal Arts Department.

For additional information about “Tres Vidas” 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 for Pellissippi State, (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

The Arts at Pellissippi State: 2012-13 free concert series begins on Oct. 2

The popular free concert series hosted by Pellissippi State Community College throughout each academic year begins its new season on Tuesday, Oct. 2, with the Faculty Recital Showcase. The theme for this year’s performance is “Music Faculty Favorites.”

The 2012-13 Pellissippi State Music Concert Series 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.

This will be the second season that Pellissippi State’s Music program presents concerts as an All Steinway School.

The 2012-13 Pellissippi State Music Concert Series includes the following performances:

FALL 2012

Oct. 25, 7 p.m.—Fall Choral Concert

Nov. 15, 7 p.m.—Instrumental Concert (Studio Orchestra and Percussion, Brass, Bluegrass, and Guitar ensembles)

Dec. 6, 6 and 8 p.m.—Holiday Spectacular

SPRING 2013

Feb. 26, 7 p.m.—Winter Choral Concert

March 5, 7 p.m.—Student Honors Recital

March 28, 7 p.m.—Jazz Band/Bluegrass Concert

April 18, 7 p.m.— Instrumental Concert (Studio Orchestra and Brass, Guitar, and Percussion ensembles)

May 2, 7 p.m.—Spring Choral Concert

The Oct. 2 showcase begins at 7 p.m. and takes place in the Clayton Performing Arts Center at the Hardin Valley Campus. Ample free parking is available. Admission is free, but donations are accepted at the door for the Pellissippi State Foundation on behalf of the Music Scholarship Fund.

For additional information about “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 State debuts arts series with two performances of ‘biting comedy’

The new “Arts at Pellissippi State” series showcases an eclectic mix of theatre, music, lectures and visual arts for 2012-13. Pellissippi State Community College’s first theatrical offering of the series features an evening and a matinee performance of “Pardon Me for Living: A Biting New Comedy.”

The first performance is at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, and the second is at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30. Both take place at Pellissippi State’s Clayton Performing Arts Center, located in West Knox County on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

Co-produced by Pellissippi State and Flying Anvil Theatre, the one-woman show features performer Staci Swedeen, also the playwright. Jayne Morgan directs. The idea for the show came to Swedeen in 2003, when she was bitten by a raccoon at her home in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.

“It’s my version of ‘Alice in Wonderland,’” she said, “but instead of ‘through the rabbit hole,’ it’s ‘through the rabid raccoon hole.’”

“[Swedeen] captures the event and its aftermath with comedic flair,” wrote Peter Kramer in Gannett’s Journal News of the 2008 Hudson Stage Company production.

Tickets are now on sale for both performances. Cost is $20 general admission in advance, $24 at the door, $16 with student ID and $18 for discount groups. Proceeds go to the Pellissippi State Foundation to benefit Flying Anvil Theatre and the Pellissippi State Theatre program.

Tickets are available at the Clayton Performing Arts Center Box Office beginning one hour before each performance.  They also can be reserved by phone at (865) 694-6684 or by email at foundation@pstcc.edu.

For more information on “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 for Pellissippi State, (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State hosts exhibit featuring African-American artist Harold Winslow

He lived on the roof of a five-story apartment building in Mexico, and his room was so small that it contained little more than a bed, some canvases and his painting tools. It was from there, though, that African-American artist Harold Winslow created more than 1,300 pieces, securing a place in art history as a prolific chronicler of Mexican culture.

A collection of 50 of Winslow’s works will be shown at a special traveling art exhibit hosted by Pellissippi State Community College and the Tennessee Consortium for International Studies. The works have been on tour since August 2011 at selected Kentucky and Tennessee colleges and universities.

Slated for display at Pellissippi State Sept. 19-Oct. 3, “Una Visión de la Mexicanidad”—“Mexicanidad” refers to the Mexican national identity and culture—offers a record of one artist’s experience in two cultures. Winslow, who was born in 1918 in Dayton, Ohio, moved to Mexico in 1940 in the hopes of escaping racism. He remained there until his death in 2001, at the age of 83.

“As a painter, Winslow expressed the enduring spirit of Mexican culture and the detailed harmony of human anatomy,” said Tracey Bradley, executive director of the consortium. “This unique perspective gives us all an opportunity to experience Mexico through his vision.”

The creative community in Mexico embraced Winslow, and he studied under such notable artists as painters Diego Rivera and José Clemente Orozco, watercolorist Pastor Velásquez, and muralist Alfredo Zalce. Winslow’s work includes paintings, murals and illustrations.

In the early 1940s, the artist also drew more than 2,000 illustrations for the “Treaty of Human Anatomy,” a textbook still in use at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, one of the most recognized academic institutions in Latin America.

“Una Visión de la Mexicanidad” marks the second time this summer that Pellissippi State and TnCIS have joined with the Ministry of Culture of Michoacán to bring an international art exhibit to East Tennessee. The three organizations teamed in August to bring “Masks of Michoacán” from Mexico to Knoxville for a 17-day showing.

TnCIS, whose headquarters are at Pellissippi State, and the Ministry of Culture of Michoacán, a Mexican state, are sponsoring the exhibit. TnCIS is dedicated to making international education and cultural understanding a central goal of higher education in Tennessee. The consortium offers study abroad opportunities to college students throughout the state.

The display of Winslow’s art 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 exhibit is on display 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. It is free and open to the public. Group tours from schools, art classes and artist groups are welcome and may be arranged with advance notice.

To learn more or schedule a group tour, contact Linnette Legg at (865) 539-7064 or llegg@pstcc.edu. To request accommodations for a disability, contact the executive director of Human Resources at (865) 694-6607 or humanresources@pstcc.edu.

Additional information about TnCIS is available at www.tncis.org. For more about Pellissippi State, call (865) 694-6400 or visit www.pstcc.edu.

Pellissippi State musical lecture pokes fun at the economy

The country’s economic situation may be enough to make you want to cry, but those involved in the first presentation of the 2012-13 Faculty Lecture Series at Pellissippi State Community College hope you’ll laugh, or at least snicker, at “Economics: the Musical.”

The musical, the first of its genre in the series, is Sept. 20, 12:30-1:30 p.m., in the Clayton Performing Arts Center on the Hardin Valley Campus. The community is invited to the free event.

Based on the recent financial crisis, the witty script by Tyra Barrett, an associate professor of the Business Administration degree program, puts an entertaining spin on our current economic woes.

The musical presentation calls upon the talents of faculty and students to poke fun at all aspects of our financial condition—from a spoof of the Julie Andrews classic “My Favorite Things,” sung by a member of “The One Percent” (a reference to America’s wealthiest), to a ukulele concert by Occupy Wall Street “protestors.”

Even “Ben Bernanke” will be there, singing “The Liquidity Trap Song” to the tune of Elvis Presley’s “Suspicious Minds.” The audience will be supplied with a program containing the words to the songs and definitions of economic concepts, so they won’t miss a single innuendo.

“I wanted to do something really different,” said Barrett. “People asked why the financial meltdown happened. It was predicted for years. We had bankers and investors with their fingers in their ears. What I’ve tried to do with the production is explain what led up to the crisis and where it has left us. The audience will be treated to a musical and an economics lesson, too!”

Robyn James, violist and Music adjunct faculty member, assisted Barrett in writing the arrangements for the production. James has collaborated musically with several local musicians, including the popular band The Dirty Guv’nahs. She also writes the arrangements for her own group, The Robyn James Trio.

The Faculty Lecture Series showcases the expertise of Pellissippi State faculty. The next lecture is “The Greatest Story Never Told,” by Donn King, associate professor of Liberal Arts. It takes place on Oct. 11, 12:30-1:30 p.m., in the Goins Building Auditorium on the Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.

For details on the economics musical, email Tyra Barrett at tbarrett@pstcc.edu. For more information about the Faculty Lecture Series, call Pellissippi State at (865) 694-6400.

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.