Spring season of events at ETSU School of the Arts sows seeds of music, poetry, fun; traces quests, journeys.
Mayhem and poetry. Strings and keys. Visual art and health care. Polyphony and percussion. Children’s stories and the ravages of poverty and AIDS. A North Philadelphia creative sanctuary and three minutes of terror.
The season begins with a look Along the Horizon at Contemporary Drawing in Tennessee. This exhibition, curated by Andrew Ross and Vanessa Mayoraz of the ETSU Art & Design faculty, focuses on drawing as a useful medium for artists. The exhibition, displaying the work of 13 contemporary Tennessee artists, opens Jan. 16 at both Reece Museum and Slocumb Galleries and runs through mid-February.
Highlighting the exhibition will be an artist panel discussion exploring the range and limits of the medium on Thursday, Feb. 15, at 5:30 p.m. in Ball Hall room 127. A reception in Reece Museum will follow at 7 p.m.
On Tuesday, Feb. 6 at 7:30 p.m. in Martha Street Culp Auditorium, the School of the Arts will bring some merry mayhem to campus, in the form of three poets – The Mayhem Poets – who are on a mission to change the face of spoken-word poetry. Using a blend of theater, improv, comedy and hip-hop – without the “gangsta” poses – The Mayhem Poets take audiences on what The New York Times calls “an amazing ride.” Their kinetic performances have been called “The Simpsons meets Malcolm X at a Notorious B.I.G. concert.”
“This will be a somewhat different approach to poetry than many people might expect,” says Anita DeAngelis, director of the Martin School of the Arts. “There will be a little bit theater, a little bit of slam poetry, a little bit of comedy and a lot of fun.”
While The Mayhem Poets have their say verbally, activist/artist Regina Holliday uses her artwork to speak volumes on the subject of access to medical records and its effects on health care and mortality. Holliday will share her personal and public journeys at ETSU on Thursday, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m. in Culp Auditorium as the visiting artist for the annual Evening of Health, Wellness and the Arts, sponsored by ETSU’s College of Public Health, Martin School of the Arts and Quillen College of Medicine. The event is free and open to the public.
Harmony begins building as March opens, with a performance by the London-based a cappella group The Swingles on Thursday, March 1, at 7:30 p.m. in the Mary B. Martin Auditorium, Seeger Chapel, Milligan College. The five-time Grammy-winning vocal ensemble has numerous film and TV soundtrack credits, including Sex and the City, Milk, Grey’s Anatomy, Glee and the December 2017 Matt Damon film Downsizing.
Mid-March cues the percussion, Third Coast Percussion, to be exact, another Grammy winning group – on Thursday, March 22, at 7:30 p.m. in Science Hill High School Auditorium. Established in 2005 in Chicago, Third Coast Percussion is an artist-run quartet of four classically trained percussionists praised for their direct connection with the audience, elegance, wit and “inspirational sense of fun and curiosity,” says the Minnesota Star-Tribune.
While in Johnson City, Third Coast will not only have a master class with ETSU music students, but also with SHHS percussionists. “Third Coast is so much fun and has so much talent,” DeAngelis says. “We are excited that they will be able to share their expertise with both ETSU and Science Hill students. The Martin School of the Arts loves to make those campus-community connections.”
Some discordant notes join the chorus on April 9 as Martin School of the Arts screens Voices from Chernobyl, an award-winning film that documents the stories of the 1986 nuclear power plant disaster from the perspective of the people affected by it. Citizens and responders of all ages, reflect on the mystery of Chernobyl and the future in a now-dystopian landscape. The free screening on Monday, April 9, at 7 p.m. in Ball Hall 127, is part of ETSU’s Earth Month festivities.
The season will crescendo Tuesday, April 17, with harmonious interplay between the Parker Quartet – yet another Grammy winner – and ETSU piano faculty member Dr. Esther Park. The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. at Munsey Memorial United Methodist Church, Johnson City. Following a 2017 summer season that had the string ensemble crossing North America for appearances at music festivals in Maine, Colorado and Virginia, the Parker Quartet will begin its fourth year in-residence at Harvard University, as well as performing around the country. Pianist Park is a graduate of Yale’s School of Music, with a master’s and doctorate in Musical Arts.
Spring 2018 at ETSU’s Martin School will also feature three additional films in the 2017-18 South Arts Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers series – featuring animated and live personal journeys and suspenseful reflections.
We are known for our eclectic and diverse seasons, Spring 2018 is certainly no exception.”
– Anita DeAngelis, director of the Martin School of the Arts.
On Feb. 12, the combination of documentary and animated feature Liyana follows a young Swazi girl on her heroic trek to rescue her two young brothers. The vivid film uses the power of storytelling, to address the effects of poverty, alcohol and HIV/AIDS. On March 12, film-goers will meet a North Philadelphia family and share their joys and crises in the “eloquent” documentary Quest. Then, on April 16, the screeching strings, plunging knife, 78 camera set-ups and 52 edits of Hitchcock’s classic Psycho shower scene will be the focus of 78/52.
At ETSU, all Southern Circuit films are free of charge and are followed by a catered light reception with the filmmakers, who also provide a talkback after each screening. All spring Southern Circuit films are on Mondays at 7 p.m. Liyana and Quest will be screened in ETSU’s Culp Auditorium, while 78/52 will screen in Ball Hall 127.
For more information about ETSU’s Mary B. Martin School of the Arts or to purchase tickets, visit www.etsu.edu/martin or call 423-439-TKTS (8587). Follow the Martin School of the Arts @artsatetsu and on Facebook.