Tag Archives: College of Fine Arts

Under the Elms Series Provides Free Entertainment

ElmsFive nights this summer students, community members, faculty and guests will come together both as audience members and participants to experience the Under the Elms Concert Series. This free open-air concert series on College Green has been an Athens tradition since the late 1940’s and attracts audiences of nearly 500.

After World War II Ohio University saw an influx of soldiers on campus studying music, so the University organized an event for the students to more deeply understand what the job of a band director entails. The event ran continuously until the 1970 Kent State shooting, when the Athens campus shut down, and the Under the Elms Series was suspended and didn’t resume until seven years later.

The five summer concert nights consist of an hour of various bands, soloists, ensembles and directors performing everything from classical and popular repertoire, to marches and Broadway hits. ‘Variety is the name of the game’ is the slogan emphasized by Andrew Trachsel, Ohio University Director of Bands and current director of the series. After five years of organizing the series, Trachsel aims to imagine an overriding theme for every concert.

“I hope that the concert can serve as a gateway leading into an interest for other events in Athens, and that the audience continues to branch out and discover other arts events,” said Trachsel.

On a typical concert night the audience would most likely be as diversified as you could imagine. Babies cling to their mothers, attendees over the age of 90 stake out a spot in the front and college students frolic in the back with their dogs. The musicians provide a wide variety as well, ranging from local high school students to retirees coming back to play.

Take for example Peter Couladis, an Under the Elms musician. Couladis began playing in the summer band around 1964, but was unable to play during his U.S. Army break and the cease of the series, but has played continuously since 1981. A retired auditor, he plays the trumpet and always anticipates catching up with old friends who come back as guest conductors.

John McCutcheon is a semi-newbie to the summer series, who started playing in 2009. McCutcheon is an Associate Professor Emeritus at Ohio University and was enthused to pick up his tuba for the first time in 47 years. He enjoys being part of the typical four generations of musicians playing.

As an Athens native, Christina Wince has attended the series since her younger years, first participating as a high schooler. Graduating with a Music Performance and Music Education degree, Wince has thoroughly appreciated her time playing flute and piccolo in the series.

“This ensemble is a testament to the lifelong love of playing music; it is so inspiring to see community members who have been playing in the ensemble for 20 or more years,” said Wince. “There are so many gifted musicians in this ensemble every year, and it is a joy to share the gift of live music performance with the Athens community. These concerts are deeply treasured by the musicians and the audience alike.”

Every year Tachsel has looked to incorporate a different aspect to the program, and this year for the first time during the 4th of July celebration the series will feature a performance of 1812 Overture and with approval from the National Guard will be shooting off cannons. Tachsel can’t stress enough his appreciation for the College of Fine Arts sponsoring this program and making it free for all attendees.

“I look at it as a free service to the community to present art that is accessible,” said Tachsel. “That’s what it’s all about; reaching out to the community and providing them with a unique opportunity they may not find elsewhere.”

Under the Elms Concert Series

All concerts will begin at 7 p.m. on College Green.

June 5 – Wright State University Associate Director of Bands Shelly Jagow will guest conduct.

June 12 – Guest ensemble Ohio Capital Winds will be featured.

June 19 – In conjunction with the first annual Ohio Summer Music Camp

June 26 – In conjunction with the Moving with Meaning conducting workshop

July 3 – Special 4th of July celebration

-Ashleigh Mavros, Events Publicity Assistant


Athens International Film Festival Celebrates 40th Anniversary

2013coverThis past Friday the Athena Cinema celebrated a special occasion as the 40th anniversary of the Athens International Film Festival kicked off from April 12-18th. Since the founding of the festival in 1974, thousands of independent films from across the globe have competed for the coveted Golden Athena Award.

“Our festival has taken a remarkable journey for the past 40 years,” said festival director Ruth Bradley. “When I think of the films and filmmakers that have participated it’s really quite breathtaking. All Athenians should be really proud that our community sponsors and celebrates this renowned event. There are only a handful of festivals that have thrived for as long as we have.”

Over the past 40 years the Film Festival has acquired a rich history and tradition that has a distinct position in the Athens community. During the first festival that ran for three days, around 3,000 participants were in attendance; in just three short years, attendance was up to more than 10,000 viewers. Since the first festival, renowned film directors have graced the event, it was extended from three to five days, it was broadcast over PBS channels, a battle of the bands was organized as a fundraiser and a mini festival was planned for children in the area.

Preparation for the 2013 Film Festival began earlier this year as more than 1,000 entries were submitted for review. A pre-screening committee made up of artists, students and community activists watched every submission and narrowed their selection to 250 to be shown throughout the festival. Some of this year’s submissions have traveled far and wide from India, Senegal, Norway, Mexico and NYC. Cash prizes will be awarded at the end of the festival in the categories of documentary, experimental, narrative and animation.

For screening times, descriptions and prices please visit http://www.ohio.edu/orgs/athensfest/

-Ashleigh Mavros, Events Publicity Assistant


Lincoln Hall Fosters Growth, Friendships for Fine Arts Residential Learning Community

For an entire semester the fine arts residential learning community students living in Lincoln Hall got a little taste of everything; from art to dance, interior architecture to music and theater. Students had an entire semester to explore the best of all the disciplines that the College of Fine Arts has to offer.

The Fine Arts Residential Learning Community is for freshmen fine arts majors who live in Lincoln Hall and take a fall semester class together. Students are placed in groups of around 20 and work throughout the semester with a peer mentor and faculty advisor.

Lincoln Hall is located on East Green conveniently adjacent to all of the undergraduate fine arts classroom buildings. The fine arts learning community is residential, which means that all students who are a part of the learning community live together in the same residential hall. However, there is a small mix of students in the building who are non-fine arts majors. In Lincoln Hall there is a dance rehearsal room, art studio, music practice room and study lounge for students to utilize.

“I really loved the seminar room, which was really helpful whether you needed to work on practicing an instrument, develop a song, or work on an art project or monologue,” said Jarahme Pollock, a freshman theater performance major. “The rooms were just all around very helpful to accomplish assignments within our major.”

As for the learning community class, you could be sure to expect a different agenda every week. Different class experiences from the past semester included dance yoga, making drums, watching puppets being made and trips to the Kennedy Museum of Art. Outside of class, students were required to attend exhibits and performances which furthered their exploration of all the areas within the College of Fine Arts.

This past semester, one of the learning community groups took a trip together with their peer mentor to visit the lights at the Columbus Zoo. However, a three-hour traffic jam left the group with no time to visit the zoo, so instead they detoured to Easton for some shopping and dinner together.

“We really got to bond with each other over burgers and being together with everyone in the car really brought us closer; it was such a fun experience,” said Erica Molfetto, a freshman theater performance major.

After the learning community class ends and the year carries on, the friendships and connections made throughout the semester develop throughout the following years.

“It’s really wonderful to be in the same building and interacting on a daily basis inside and out of the classroom with people who share common interests as you and who are essentially like you,” said  Pollock.

For information on the fine arts residential learning community please visit http://www.ohio.edu/finearts/academics/rlc.cfm

-Ashleigh Mavros, Events Publicity Assistant

Ohio University and the College of Fine Arts Focus on Diversity with 3rd Annual World Music & Dance Festival and Concert

World MUsic Digital DisplayYou can read a story in a book, watch a video online and hear a professor lecture on the subject, but to truly understand the arts from cultures across the globe there’s no better way than to experience them first hand. The purpose of the 3rd Annual World Music & Dance Festival and Concert is to bring the arts from around the world here to Athens, Ohio for students, faculty and staff to get a taste of music and dance from across the globe.

“I realized; they have no clue. They don’t know anything outside of their hometown, outside of Ohio, or outside of the United States,” said Dr. Paschal Yao Younge, one of two directors of the event.

The festival started Wednesday, January 23 and will go until Friday, February 2nd. The festival consists of nearly 30 different workshops free for all students, faculty and staff to attend. The workshops range from Japanese Taiko drumming to Italian dance. On Wednesday, January 30th a Latin American and Caribbean Culture/Arts open forum will be held in the Walter Hall Rotunda from 2:00-4:00 p.m. This event features professors from the University speaking on the topics of the politics of music in Guyana, Cuban and Puerto Rican cultures and culture and the environment in Brasil.

A Global Excursions concert will then conclude the festival on Saturday, February 2nd at 7:30 p.m. in Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium. The concert will exhibit various musical and dance performances from Guinea, Italy, Trinidad, Spain, Ukraine and more. Students, faculty and special guests from around the globe will be partaking in the concert. The concert is free for OU students with a valid student ID.

Dr. Yao Younge and Dr. Zelma Badu-Younge were the founders of this program at Ohio University three years ago. After arriving to Ohio University, the two recognized a fault in students needing more than what they were getting in the classroom to get a well-rounded experience. Since then, the two have stressed diversity and getting an academic experience outside of the classroom.

“It gives the students a chance to bring to life what they’re reading about,” said Dr. Badu-Younge. “If they’re reading about it and they’ve never experienced any of it and only watched it on video, it’s not going to give you the same experience as actually engaging it yourself.”

After the event was so successful in the past two years, the directors hope for the same kind of positive feedback from the Ohio University community. As long as the two are here, they plan on continuing into the future with the event and even expanding to include theater and the visual arts next year.

“The world is changing so fast; globalization is taking over. There is no way you can survive if you’re only stuck in your own bubble,” said Dr. Yao Younge. “You have to go beyond the classroom. Go beyond the syllabus.”

For more information please visit http://www.ohio.edu/finearts/whats-happening/events.cfm

-Ashleigh Mavros, Events Publicity Assistant

Aesthetic Technologies Lab Provides for Creative Inquiry

The College of Fine Arts is home to faculty and students who are encouraged to collaborate creatively and innovatively on projects. The Aesthetic Technologies Lab is available to provide the tools and resources necessary to continue that creative inquiry through the combination technology development and fine arts practice.

The Aesthetic Technologies Lab, abbreviated as “@Lab,” established in late 2004, is equipped and staffed to enable students and faculty’s artistic process and outcome. According to the @Lab’s mission statement, “The mission of the Aesthetic Technologies Lab is to provide the tools and resources to promote creative inquiry at the intersection of technology development and fine arts practice.” The @Lab provides four different studios, the @Lab Studio, The Main Room, The Printing Room and the @Lab Alt. These studios contain equipment, such as video gear, computers with cutting-edge software, printing machines and performance space, that can be used for many interdisciplinary projects across the College of Fine Arts. Helping to utilize these resources, support within the lab or hands on teachings are available throughout the year.

Each term the @Lab offers workshops, lectures, and events lead by experts from inside and outside the College. This semester the lab is offering two workshops, a website creation tutorial for WordPress and Tumblr and a Final Cut Pro video editing tutorial. Past events include Adobe After Effects and DJ workshops. These types of workshops are offered to ensure that faculty and students are learning the most recent technologies in order to ensure innovation and make use of the @Lab.

The @Lab is located in Putnam Hall on the second floor and is open 9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday. It is also available for faculty and students within the College of Fine Arts or anyone taking a class within the College.

-Ryan Judy, Communications & Marketing Assistant

More Than Meets the Eye with Kennedy’s Navajo Exhibits


Unknown Weaver
Germantown Sampler on a Loom, c. 1895
Collection Kennedy Museum of Art

With more than 700 pieces, the Navajo Collection is the Kennedy Museum of Art’s largest exhibit that circulates through with pieces ranging from the 1800’s to the late 20th century. Teec Nos Pos: Navajo Weavings is one of the current exhibits which will be showing until September 28th along with recently opened Navajo Germantown Samplers which will run until March 10th.

 The Navajo are the largest federally recognized tribe with their reservation located across the Four Corners consisting of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. These weavings were seen as a culturally rich tradition passed down mainly from mother to daughter and depending upon the time period, used for rugs, blankets, wall decorations, serapes, trading items and some purely to showcase their talent.

Behind these weavings lie many legends, traditions and symbolism that you would never have guessed solely by examining the pieces.  

• Looking at the intricate geometric patterns it is mind-blowing to imagine that all the weavings are done without a blueprint; the designs are straight out of the heads of the artists. To start the Navajo will mark the center of the weaving, but from that the design comes strictly from memory. If you look closely at the details of several weavings you will pick up on un-symmetrical mishaps due to the design-free process.

 • What do historical weavings and Starbucks have in common? Cochineal. During the 19th century the Navajo began using Cochineal, a bug found in South America and Mexico, to crush and make a crimson-colored dye for their yarn. This past spring Starbucks began using the bug in lieu of finding more “natural” alternatives to synthetic dyes in their strawberry Frappuccino’s. However, the business was in hot water when vegans were un-informed that the drink contained the bug.

 • Legends passed down through generations have told the story of “Spider Woman,” the original Navajo weaver. Between 1300 and 1500 AD the Navajo migrated from Canada and settled in the Southwest. It is told that a holy person named Spider Woman taught the tribe how to weave and Spider Man instructed how to build looms, the support tools used when making the weavings. Today the legend still lives on in that to receive the gift of weaving youth need to find a spider web with morning dew to place in their right hand without destroying and their spirit will receive the talent. 

Unknown Weaver
Teec Nos Pos Rug, c. 1930-35
Wool, vegetal and synthetic dyes, natural yarns
Collection Kennedy Museum of Art
Gift of Edwin and Ruth Kennedy
This weaving incorporates a technically difficult weaving element: interlocking circles in red that areused as a border device creating a chain-link effect. It exemplifies a transitional piece between the Early and Classic periods.


• The swastika symbol appears in many pieces, but symbolizes a different meaning than what we are disposed to. In Navajo culture the swastika is known as the “Whirling Log”. This symbol was first seen in sand paintings in relation to Navajo religious ceremonies, and along with many Navajo symbols has a lengthy legend behind the symbol.

  • Since the 1970’s the Navajo have shied away from solely geometric patterns in their small pictoral weavings and have included modern symbolism of the Anglo culture; farm animals, trucks, letters of the alphabet, people and landscapes can all be found incorporated into the weavings representing the influence of today’s culture on the Navajo reservation.

For more information visit: https://www.ohio.edu/museum


-Ashleigh Mavros-Events Publicity Assistant