College of Fine Arts News Archive

May 2016

  • SFA College of Fine Arts announces 2016-2017 University Series

    SFA College of Fine Arts announces 2016-2017 University Series

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    Big Head Todd and the Monsters join forces with second-generation blues stars Mud Morganfield, Billy Branch and Ronnie Baker Brooks to pay tribute to one of the most influential songwriters of early rock and roll in presenting “The Songs of Willie Dixon” in a College of Fine Arts’ University Series event at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.

    May 23, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    The College of Fine Arts at Stephen F. Austin State University continues its tradition of bringing professional artists to East Texas in presenting five national touring acts in the 2016-2017 University Series.

    This fascinating mix of performance art features a famous British actor performing the works of a Nobel Prize-winning playwright and poet, a Celtic Christmas celebration and a Dutch vocal ensemble performing a repertoire that covers more than five centuries.

    “We round out the series by paying tribute to one of the pillars of modern blues and showcasing the music of America’s top female brass quintet,” said John W. Goodall, associate dean of the College of Fine Arts and director of the series.

    “Designed to bring quality fine arts experiences to East Texas, the series consists of five highly acclaimed professional touring groups,” Goodall said. “This year’s series offers a wide range of artistic talent, from dance to music to theater.

    “From a Celtic Christmas performance to a tribute to blues great Willie Dixon, it’s going to be another great season, and one our loyal University Series patrons, and newcomers alike, will not want to miss,” he said.

    The season opens Thursday, Sept. 15, with extraordinary British actor Julian Sands presenting “A Celebration of Harold Pinter,” directed by John Malkovich. Sands was approached in 2005 by the Nobel Prize-winning playwright and poet to prepare a set of Pinter’s poems for a special presentation in London. This extraordinary collaboration evolved into this wonderfully humorous and fascinating solo show nominated for a 2013 Drama Desk Award.

    If you’re a fan of Muddy Waters and Bo Diddley, or even Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix and The Rolling Stones, then you’ve heard the songs of Willie Dixon. On Thursday, Oct. 13, Big Head Todd and the Monsters join forces with three second-generation blues stars, Mud Morganfield, Billy Branch and Ronnie Baker Brooks, to pay tribute to one of the most influential songwriters of early rock and roll in presenting “The Songs of Willie Dixon.”

    Acclaimed Irish ensemble Danú celebrates Christmas at SFA with “Féile Na Nollag” (A Christmas Gathering) on Friday, Dec. 16. Celtic music lovers around the globe have been thrilled by their virtuoso players on fiddle, flutes, button accordion, percussion and the gorgeous voice of Nell Ní Chróinín, along with top-notch guest dancers.

    A radiant, charismatic quintet comprised of America’s top female brass players, Seraph Brass will perform on Tuesday, Jan. 24. The quintet is committed to challenging audiences with engaging and exciting programming, presenting a diverse body of repertoire that includes original transcriptions, newly commissioned works and well-known classics.

    The series concludes with a performance of the Olga Vocal Ensemble on Thursday, Feb. 2. Hailing from the land of tulips, wooden shoes and windmills, the Dutch vocal ensemble Olga creates pure musical joy from five distinct but harmonious voices. With their red kettle mascot, these men are ready to conquer every heart with their powerful and charming presentation that combines enthusiasm, humor and drama with genuine vocal clarity that enchants both young and old.

    Season tickets for the complete 2016-2017 University Series go on sale Aug. 1 and are $100 for adults, $80 for seniors and $40 for students. Single event ticket prices are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors and $10 for students/youth.

    “These are fantastic prices for quality entertainment,” said Diane Peterson, Fine Arts Box Office manager. “Season tickets provide a 25-percent savings over single tickets, and patrons can have their same seat throughout the season.

    “Plus, we offer season-ticket options,” she said. “The classic package includes one ticket to each of the five performances, and the TixMix package allows patrons to create their own season.”

    Single-event ticket purchases for the University Series or any of the other performances presented through the College of Fine Arts can be made beginning Monday, Aug. 15.

    For more information on the 2016-2017 University Series, visit, stop by the Box Office in Room 211 of the Griffith Fine Arts Building, or call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS. All performances are at 7:30 p.m. in Turner Auditorium, which is also located in the Griffith Fine Arts Building, 2222 Alumni Drive.

    For a complete schedule of all College of Fine Arts events in art, music and theatre, visit

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  • SFA theatre students plan biennial Ireland exchange

    SFA theatre students plan biennial Ireland exchange

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    SFA theatre students Gary “Chipper” Morris, left, of Grand Prairie and Tanner O’Neal of Longview pose with the statue of Irish novelist and poet James Joyce in Dublin, Ireland, in 2014.
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    SFA theatre students tour Thoor Ballylee during the School of Theatre’s biennial trip to Irela
    May 23, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    International experience and cultural exchange are at the heart of the biennial trip Stephen F. Austin State University theatre students make to Ireland every other June.

    Visiting the sites of major events in Irish history, which is inextricably tied up in the country’s dramatic tradition, is another key benefit. Throw in a lot of museum visits and theatre-going, and you have the makings of a once-in-a-lifetime learning experience, according to Dr. Richard Jones, professor of theatre in the SFA School of Theatre.

    “Many of the students who go on the trip have never been out of the U.S. before, and simply the day-to-day process of experiencing a different culture, even for a couple of weeks, expands horizons,” he said.

    Every other summer since 2006, Jones has taken a Summer I theatre class to Ireland where students see Irish plays performed in famous theatres, tour historic sites, and participate in workshops and seminars with noted artists, scholars and theatre administrators. The students will leave June 12 and return June 29, spending 10 days in Dublin and six days in Galway.

    Among the more interesting events the SFA students have attended included a poetry reading and book-signing with Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney and Dutch poet Rutger Kopland in 2006 and a one-woman show of “Molly Bloom” (the entire last chapter of ‘Ulysses”) on Bloomsday night in 2008. A highlight in 2010 was a completely unscheduled tour of the Smock Alley Theatre led by Kristian Marken, the man in charge of converting the space back into a theatre. This same tour with Marken is now a regular part of the trip, along with a visit to the house Oscar Wilde grew up in (a site not open to the general public). There’s been a private production of the award-wining “The Cambria” with only the SFA group and a group from the University of California in the audience in 2012, and a workshop with the Abbey Theatre’s voice director, Andrea Ainsworth in 2014. The students also visit the Books of Kells and the Long Room at the Old Library at Trinity College. They’ve done walking tours of both Dublin and Galway, and they’re going to an evening of music and story-telling at the Brazen Head Pub (established 1198) for the third time this trip.

    The students have done day-trips out of Galway, including one to Inis Mór, the largest of the Aran Islands, and the other to Thoor Ballylee (W.B. Yeats’s tower in County Galway), Coole Park (Lady Augusta Gregory’s estate, where much of the planning for the Irish Literary Theatre took place), and the monastery ruins at Kilmacduagh.

    “This year, for the first time, we can actually go inside Thoor Ballylee, which had been closed for several years because of flood damage,” Jones said. “And we’re adding the Woodville Walled Garden to that tour this time around. And, of course, we see theatre productions every year. This year will include productions at the Peacock, Abbey and Smock Alley theatres in Dublin and at the Town Hall Theatre in Galway, plus Trad on the Prom, an Irish dance show in the ballroom of a Galway hotel.”

    This year’s trip coincides with the centennial of the Easter Rising.

    “We’ve always covered the Easter Rising in the readings and lectures that precede the trip, but this year promises to be special,” Jones said. “When we were there 10 years ago, the 90th anniversary commemorations were everywhere, so the centennial promises to be even crazier.”

    The students have traditionally toured Kilmainham Gaol (jail), and they’ve stopped at the GPO (General Post Office, where the proclamation of an independent Ireland was read) on a tour Jones leads up O’Connell Street. This year, the O’Connell Street tour will be incorporated into a commercial walking tour called Revolutionary Dublin, 1913-23.

    The students are eagerly anticipating a private session with award-winning Irish writer, performer and musician Little John Nee, who struck up a friendship with SFA students after they watched him perform in his show “Sparkplug” in Galway in 2014.

    “I’m not sure how much will be performance and how much will be a seminar, but we’re excited, either way,” Jones said. “And we were thrilled to hear that John was recently elected to Aosdána, an honorary organization for Irish artists, limited to 250 members.”

    Other learning sessions will be with Willie White, formerly the artistic director of the Project Arts Centre for several years who is now artistic director of the Dublin Theatre Festival. “He’s been kind enough to meet with us every trip,” Jones said. “We were also lucky enough to get a seminar with Willie’s successor at the Project, Cian O’Brien, and we’ll be meeting with him for the third time this trip. We’ll also have a seminar with Nicholas Grene, one of the most celebrated scholars of Irish theatre; I think this is the fourth time Nicholas will be joining us.

    “Our students are not merely encouraged but required to see other cultural sites,” Jones added. “There’s a point system requiring students to go to shows, museums, etc., on their own. No specific show or venue is required, but most students find their way to the National Museum of Archeology, the National Gallery, the Dublin Writers Museum, Christchurch Cathedral, the Cliffs of Moher, Galway Cathedral and other venues.”

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  • SFA’s Music Prep Division offers summer FlexLessons

    SFA’s Music Prep Division offers summer FlexLessons

    May 20, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    Registration is underway for private summer FlexLessons through the Music Preparatory Division of the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music.

    Lessons are available for piano, guitar, harp, Suzuki violin, clarinet, French horn, flute, bassoon, trumpet, saxophone and more. Students may register for four, six or eight lessons for 30 minutes, 45 minutes or one hour. Teachers and students schedule the private lessons and take into account vacations.

    Also offered this summer is an adult piano class taught by Dr. Ping-Ting Lan, who has taught the class for several years and offers it in the fall and spring, as well. The current class being offered is for intermediate piano students and will meet from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in Room 223 of the Boynton Building on the SFA campus. Tuition is $110. Days and dates are Tuesdays, May 31 and July 5; and Mondays, June 6 and 13 and July 11, 18 and 25.

    Visit the Music Prep website at for more information or to download a registration form, or contact Pat Barnett, Music Prep director, at (936) 468-1291.

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  • Kindermusik Adventure Camps offer summer fun, learning experiences

    Kindermusik Adventure Camps offer summer fun, learning experiences

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    Martha Robertson Lee participates with her twin sons, Jackson and Robert, in a Kindermusik session offered by the Music Preparatory Division of the SFA School of Music. Registration for summer programs is underway.

    May 20, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    Kindermusik Adventure Camps will be offered July 25 through 29 through the Music Preparatory Division of the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music.

    Camp sessions take place at the Music Prep House, 3028 Raguet Street. Karen Greer, certified Kindermusik teacher, will teach two classes.

    “Peekaboo, I Love You” is a class for newborns through 18 months of age with parents in attendance. The class will be held from 9:30 to 10 a.m. in the Music Prep Performance Hall. Tuition is $110. Home materials include a book, CD and duck.

    “Peekaboo, I Love You” features Mother Goose games like peekaboo to help babies understand language. In this special camp, uncover more ways to say “I love you” using American Sign Language, soap bubbles and parent-baby dances. Plus, parents can meet with other newborns and families in the community and learn how music improves the child development process, according to Pat Barnett, Music Prep director.

    “Beach Days Summer Camp” is the camp theme for children ages 18 months to 3½ years. Children can enjoy favorite songs and dances, do an octopus hula, jump on a banana boat and then snuggle up and happily relax to gentle beach sounds and songs.

    “‘Beach Days’ is as fun and restorative as … well, a trip to the beach,” Barnett said.

    Tuition for “Beach Days Summer Camp” is $135 and includes home materials of a book, CD and seashell castanets.

    In Kindermusik summer camps, parents play, learn, sing, dance, create and share in the fun of making music together with their children. The deadline to register is July 12.

    For more information or to register for a camp, contact Barnett at 936-468-1291 or visit

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  • ImageMakers photography exhibition showing at Cole Art Center

    ImageMakers photography exhibition showing at Cole Art Center

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    Among the participants in this year’s ImageMakers photography exhibition are, front, from left, Asiyah Brown, De'Quavious Brooks, Storm Mackenzie, Laiyla Grant, Lakiyah Page, Ironeshia Jackson, and back, from left, Jade Vivas, Shatrya King and Daniela Hernandez.

    May 19, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    The award-winning works of students participating in the Nacogdoches Boys & Girls Club’s ImageMakers photography program will be displayed in an exhibition that runs through June 11 at The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

    The exhibit was organized by the Nacogdoches Photographic Association and funded through a Community Outdoor Program grant provided by Texas Parks and Wildlife and administered by the gardens education staff at Stephen F. Austin State University, according to Elton Scifres, NPA member.

    ImageMakers is a national program sponsored by the Boys and Girls Clubs of America to encourage members to learn and practice various photography methods, Scifres explained.

    “The ultimate purpose is to provide children the opportunity to express themselves creatively, build confidence and learn new skills,” he said.

    Winners in various categories in the local show will advance to competitions at the regional and national levels. The photographs in this exhibit are the result of six photo outing/training sessions. Thirteen Boys and Girls Club members participated and were mentored by members of NPA. William Nieberding, assistant professor in the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Art, juried the show.

    Categories and winners included: Nature and Surroundings – Malaya Jackson, first place; Shatrya King, second place; Storm Mackenzie, third place. Portraits – Ironeshia Jackson, first place; Ja’Christopher Benton, second place; Lakiyah Page, third place. Culture – Jade Vivas, first place; Aniya Jackson, second place; Shatrya King, third place. Malaya Jackson’s entry was also named “Best in Show.”

    The Cole Art Center is located at 329 E. Main St. Gallery hours are 12:30 to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. The exhibition can be seen during the Texas Blueberry Festival. For more information about this exhibition and others, call (936) 468-1131.

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  • Harpist Mitchell releases new collection

    Harpist Mitchell releases new collection

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    May 12, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    Harpist Emily Mitchell, newly appointed artist-in-residence and professor of harp in the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music, has released her fourth CD of compositions by American flutist and composer Gary Schocker.

    Recorded under the Albany Records label, “Changes” includes three pieces for solo harp, a piece for flute and harp, on which Schocker joins Mitchell in the performance, and two pieces for harp duo with harpist Jaymee Haefner, assistant professor of harp and director for undergraduate studies at the University of North Texas, also performing with Mitchell.

    “All works on the CD are world premiere recordings,” said Mitchell, who presented the recordings at the Bright Ideas Conference 2016, an annual event that highlights faculty research, scholarship and artistry at SFA.

    An acknowledged concerto soloist, recitalist and chamber musician, Mitchell has performed around the globe, including in the United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Brazil, Israel and Canada. She has toured 48 states of the United States under the auspices of Community Concerts for Columbia Artists Management. Mitchell has been profiled on “The Today Show,” “Good Morning America,” “Live with Regis and Kathie Lee,” CNN, CNBC, Arts & Entertainment, the BBC, DRS-Swiss TV, the New York Times’ WQXR, Radio France, National Public Radio’s “Performance Today” and in People Magazine.

    Mitchell enjoyed a 30-year career in New York City where she was principal harpist for Eos Orchestra, an established name in the television, motion picture and recording studios, and taught on the distinguished faculties of New York University and Purchase College. She also performed with the New York City Ballet and American Symphony Orchestras as well as the Broadway orchestras of “42nd Street,” “The Producers,” “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” “Light in the Piazza” and “Wicked.”

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  • Registration under way for SFA Summer Art Academy

    Registration under way for SFA Summer Art Academy

    May 12, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    Registration has begun for the annual Summer Art Academy offered by the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Art for the two-week camp that will meet June 6 through 17 on the SFA campus.

    Students going into kindergarten through sixth grade may enroll in classes that include drawing, painting and ceramics.

    “The academy is an exciting opportunity for young artists to work with a variety of media under the supervision of practicing artists and educators,” said Cala Coats, SFA art instructor and director of the academy.

    Classes will meet from 1 to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday in the Art Building on Wilson Drive. The students’ work will be exhibited Friday, June 17, in the Art Building. Afterward, the students may take their work home.

    The registration fee, which is $185, includes all art supplies and daily refreshments. Registration information is available at or in person at the School of Art.

    For additional information, contact the School of Art at (936) 468-4804 or email Coats at

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  • SFA theatre student selected for national scholarship award

    SFA theatre student selected for national scholarship award

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    SFA theatre major Kathleen Easterling was recently selected as one of two national Alpha Psi Omega Scholarship recipients for 2015-2016.

    May 12, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    Stephen F. Austin State University theatre major Kathleen Easterling of Central Heights was recently selected as one of two national Alpha Psi Omega Scholarship recipients for 2015-2016.

    Continuing a tradition of excellence in the SFA School of Theatre, Easterling’s selection represents the fourth time in seven years an SFA theatre student has been chosen for this prestigious award, according to Dr. Richard Jones, professor of theatre at SFA and advisor to SFA’s Beta Phi cast of Alpha Psi Omega. Jones nominated Easterling for the award.

    The scholarship, presented by the national office of the Alpha Psi Omega theatre honor society, is to be used to further a recipient’s education and/or professional goals in theatre. The criteria are outstanding achievement in theatre work and academic performance, Jones said.

    “It’s very clear that the judges do indeed value both scholarship and versatility,” Jones said. “Kathleen has been a model student (a perfect 4.0 GPA) and an active participant in our theatre program, both as an actor and as a costume designer, wardrobe master and stitcher. She interned in the costume shop at the Texas Shakespeare Festival in Kilgore last summer.

    “Kathleen is one of those students you just want in your classroom or working on your show,” he added. “She’s always prepared; she always works hard; she is always professional and positive.”

    Dr. Bret Jones, Alpha Psi Omega’s national business manager, said many impressive applications were submitted, and Easterling’s “stood out.” In notifying Easterling of her award, he wrote, “The selection committee was very impressed with the application materials submitted. You should be very proud of your accomplishments and of this recognition from the Alpha Psi Omega/Delta Psi Omega National Theatre Honor Society. Many fine applications were submitted, and yours stood out.”

    In nominating his student, Richard Jones wrote: “She’s a solid actor, an excellent costumer in terms of both design and construction, and one of the top dozen or so scholars I’ve seen in a teaching career that began in 1979. To top it all off, she’s universally liked as well as respected: when I say I’ve literally never heard a bad word about her from faculty or students, I do mean literally.”

    Easterling is a senior theatre major and music minor at SFA. As an SFA student, she has been involved with costuming, acting and singing. She has acted as wardrobe master for several shows, including “Trojan Barbie,” “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and “Alice in Wonderland” and the School of Music’s opera presentations of “Gianni Schicchi” and “Suor Angelica,” and, most recently, “The Bartered Bride.” This past year, Easterling has fulfilled the roles of assistant costume designer for “The Arabian Nights” and co-costume designer for “Clybourne Park.” She has also acted in theatre productions of “Blood Wedding,” “Spamalot” and “Macbeth.” She was also involved with the outreach program, The Fredonia Players. She currently serves as the co-historian of the Beta Phi cast and is the secretary-elect for next year. Outside of the university, Easterling will return this summer to the Texas Shakespeare Festival as a professional costume stitcher. She enjoys other artistic outlets, besides theatre and music, such as crocheting, baking, scrapbooking and drawing.

    “Those of us who work with people like Kathleen every day already know this, but this is just one more indication that our students can absolutely compete with their peers at any other institution in the country,” Richard Jones said.

    The Beta Phi cast of Alpha Psi Omega, founded in 1936, is one of the oldest in the organization and one of the oldest honor societies at SFA.

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  • Art Scholarships announced for 2016-2017 academic year

    Art Scholarships announced for 2016-2017 academic year

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    Among the 2016-2017 SFA art scholarship recipients and School of Art faculty members are, from left, Tristan Brewster-Arnold; Josh Welch; Jacob Moffett; Alexandra Rodrigues; Gabriela Hijar; Christopher Talbot, director of the School of Art; Shaun Roberts, assistant professor and scholarship committee chair; Carlton Herbert; Victoria Sturm; Sarah Jentsch; Jill Carrington, professor and award certificate preparer; Jacqueline Morales; Julia Lott; and Sherry Snowden.

    May 12, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    Christopher Talbot, director of the School of Art at Stephen F. Austin State University, announced the recipients of SFA and Friends of the Visual Arts Scholarships for the 2016-2017 academic year at the recent opening of the 33rd Annual Art Alliance Spring Show. More than $34,000 in scholarships was awarded.

    Recipients included:

    • Tristan Brewster-Arnold, Cleveland junior, awarded a Patricia Roberdeau Mast Scholarship.

    • Sarah Jentsch, Etoile sophomore, awarded a Patricia Roberdeau Mast Scholarship.

    • Shelby Locklin, incoming freshman from Southlake, awarded a Regents Scholarship for housing.

    • Emily Attebery, incoming freshman from Tyler, awarded a Regents Scholarship for housing.

    • Gabriela Alejandra Hijar Soto, Creel, Mexico, graduate student, awarded the Piero Fenci Scholarship for Ceramic Arts.

    • Korey Burns, Grayson, Louisiana, graduate student, awarded the Eloise Chambers Adams Art Scholarship.

    • Jacob Moffett, Hockley sophomore, awarded the Robert Kinsell Art Scholarship and the John and Doris Daniel Art Scholarship.

    • Alexandra Rodrigues, Montoursville, Pennsylvania, graduate student, awarded the Brian Philip Joseph LaBarbera Memorial Art Scholarship, the Debbie Simpson/Terry Miller Memorial Art Scholarship and the Stephen Weeks Memorial Art Scholarship.

    • Amber Law, incoming freshman from Pasadena, awarded the Art Alliance Scholarship and the Diane, Casey and Court Fouts Art Scholarship.

    • Krystal Hornung, incoming sophomore from Garden City, Kansas, awarded the Elsie Arscott Art Scholarship.

    • Jacqueline Morales, Plano junior, awarded the Gary Q. Frields Art Scholarship.

    • Josh Welch, Nacogdoches junior, awarded the Gary Parker Art Scholarship.

    • Victoria Sturm, Katy senior, awarded the Charles D. Jones Art Scholarship.

    • Julia Lott, Rockwall sophomore, awarded the Melba Cranford Memorial Art Scholarship.

    • Bailey Idom, Nacogdoches graduate student, awarded the Snyder Family Art Scholarship.

    • Jordan Weaver, incoming freshman from Buda, awarded the Jack R. and Claudine W. McKinney Memorial Art Scholarship.

    • Sherry Snowden, Nacogdoches sophomore, awarded the Barbara Brown Shoenewolf Art Scholarship.

    • Jessica Massey, Center junior, awarded the E. Diane Ford Art Education Scholarship.

    • Carlton Herbert, Longview graduate student, awarded the Carolyn and Richard Skurla Graduate Scholarship.

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  • New Mexico artist wins first in Texas National

    New Mexico artist wins first in Texas National

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    First place at Texas National 2016 went to David Shannon-Lier for “Grassland Moonset, Gla National Forest, New Mexico.”
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    Second place at Texas National 2016 went to Serena Stevens for “Just Keep Swimming.”
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    Third place at Texas National 2016 went to Betsy Lewis for “Finale (3).”
    May 12, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    Phoenix, Arizona, artist David Shannon-Lier won first place in the 2016 Texas National Competition and Exhibition at Stephen F. Austin State University.

    Commenting on the high quality of work entered in the 22nd Texas National event, Juror Abelardo Morell selected Lier’s piece titled “Grassland Moonset, Gla National Forest, New Mexico” the top honor.

    Second place went to Albuquerque, New Mexico, artist Serena Stevens for “Just Keep Swimming,” and third place went to Portland, Maine, artist Betsy Lewis for “Finale (3).”

    Honorable mention entries were by Houston artist Kathy Drago for “Pre-Contact,” Hattiesburg, Mississippi, artist John Lawler for “Innocence and Violence,” and Gainesville, Virginia, artist Raphael Warshaw for “Rio Douro 18.”

    The SFA School of Art’s annual juried competition and exhibition attracts entrants from across the United States, providing artists an opportunity to have their work juried by highly acclaimed artists and critics, such as Morell. The exhibition includes photography, painting, sculpture and mixed media pieces.

    Texas National 2016 and an exhibition of Morell’s photographic work will show through June 11 at The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House, located at 329 E. Main St. in downtown Nacogdoches.

    For more information, call (936) 468-1131.

    You may also be interested in the following related article:

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  • Art project expands students’ understanding of different culture

    Art project expands students’ understanding of different culture

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    A Senbazuru created by education majors at SFA hangs in the Janice Pattillo Early Childhood Research
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    Education students at Stephen F. Austin State University folded 1,000 paper cranes in an art class project to create a Senbazuru, or a group of 1,000 origami cranes.
    May 12, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    Education students at Stephen F. Austin State University gained a better understanding of Japanese culture while participating in an art class project now displayed in the Janice Pattillo Early Childhood Research Center.

    Students in School of Art Assistant Professor Bill Nieberding’s art education courses for pre-service elementary teachers recently completed a project based on a multicultural curriculum developed at Princeton University. It began by inquiring about the background behind a paper crane donated to the World Trade Center Memorial Museum in New York City in 2009.

    Using their smartphones in class, the students learned that the crane was donated by Masahiro Sasaki, whose sister, Sadako Sasaki, died of leukemia after exposure to radiation in the bombing of Nagasaki during World War II. Upon reading the book “Sadako” in class, students learned that she folded 1,000 paper cranes with the hopes that her wish to be healed would come true, an example of an old Japanese legend that if someone folds 1,000 cranes, their wish will be granted.

    “As part of our process of coming to understand the meaning of the cranes, we started folding cranes with the intention of learning the process, each student folding a few,” Nieberding explained. “However, when two of the students suggested that it would be good to exhibit the cranes on campus, it became apparent that we should complete what is called a Senbazuru, or a group of 1,000 origami cranes.”

    The students folded cranes and strung them into the traditional form of 25 strands of 40 cranes. While doing this, the students debated appropriate places to display the work, Nieberding said.

    Several students suggested the ECRC, and when Nieberding reached out to Lysa Hagan, principal of the SFA Charter School, and Elizabeth Vaughan, professor of elementary education and chairman of the Department of Elementary Education, they were “extremely enthusiastic about the project,” he said. “The students all agreed that it was a good idea to donate the artwork to the ECRC.”

    The process affected each student in a different way, Nieberding said.

    “Making 1,000 paper cranes as a class was a really unique experience,” said Sheridan Sharp, Lumberton sophomore. “ It provided a way for all of the students from different walks of life to create a simple piece of art that would be united all together in a mass display as a symbol of unity and love.”

    “To me, the cranes symbolize peace and tranquility, aspects that we, as college students, are missing in our daily lives much of the time,” Longview junior Erin Whittenberg said.

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  • SummerStage Festival offers pair of fun, lighthearted productions

    SummerStage Festival offers pair of fun, lighthearted productions

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    May 12, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    The 2016 SummerStage Festival at Stephen F. Austin State University will entertain audiences of all ages with a pair of lighthearted productions.

    This year’s SummerStage Festival is slated for June 24 through July 16 in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus and features the School of Theatre’s presentations of the children’s musical "A Year With Frog and Toad" by Robert and Willie Reale and "Picasso at the Lapin Agile," a witty comedy by actor, screenwriter and stand-up comic Steve Martin.

    The SummerStage Festival was launched in 2014 as the School of Theatre sought to reach out to new audiences looking for a fun and easy-going way of spending warm-weather time with family and friends, according to Scott Shattuck, the school’s director.

    “The festival brings people together by bringing engaging stories to life,” Shattuck said. “Half the fun is the audience. It’s full of neighbors laughing together and greeting each other before and after the show and at intermission, families making memories, and friends chatting about the amusing experience they’ve shared.”

    Angela Bacarisse, the director of the smash hit "Spamalot" and the summer kids' favorites "The Emperor's New Clothes: The Musical" and "How I Became a Pirate," now brings to SummerStage the only children's show ever nominated for the coveted Tony Award for Broadway's Best Musical. In "A Year With Frog and Toad,” based on the books by Arnold Lobel, the beloved suburban amphibians leap to tuneful life with irresistibly upbeat Frog lifting the spirits of his worrywart neighbor Toad.

    “I remember reading these books to my son when he was younger,” Bacarisse said. “We still have them on our bookshelf. I’m sure many parents and children will love seeing these characters brought to life.”

    Inga Meier will make her directorial debut on the Turner stage with "Picasso at the Lapin Agile," a hilarious play about an imagined meeting in 1904 between a would-be scientist called "Einstein" and an irresistible-but-unknown painter named "Picasso" in a Paris café called the Lapin Agile. Wit and whimsy fuels their talk of creativity and inspiration with the bistro's unforgettable cast of regulars until a very different kind of genius mysteriously arrives from the future. This play is recommended for mature audiences, who are invited to call it “Picasso,” leaving out the unpronounceable locale in the title.

    “One of the compelling things to me about Steve Martin, whether as a playwright, novelist, actor or stand-up comedian playing a banjo with an arrow through his head, is his incredibly unique style of humor,” Meier said. “All bets are off. The rules of time and space and story don’t apply at all, and yet everything ties together in a delightfully magical way. He crafts worlds that are just so much fun to explore.”

    Performances of "A Year With Frog and Toad” are at 10 a.m. June 28 and July 13 and 15; at 2 p.m. June 24 and 27 and July 14 and 16; and at 6:30 p.m. June 25 and July 9 and 13. General admission tickets are $7.50.

    Performances of "Picasso at the Lapin Agile” are at 7:30 nightly July 5, 6, 7, 8, 12, 14, 15 and 16. General admission tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and $7.50 for students/youth.

    For tickets or more information, visit or call (936) 468-6407 or (888) 240-ARTS. All performances are in W.M. Turner Auditorium in the Griffith Fine Arts Building on the SFA campus.

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  • SFA music alumni to perform in ‘An American Requiem’

    SFA music alumni to perform in ‘An American Requiem’

    May 5, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    Three alumni of the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music will return to their alma mater to perform in the annual choral masterworks series concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 6, in W.M. Turner Auditorium on the SFA campus.

    Under the direction of Dr. Tim King, director of choral studies at SFA, the A Cappella Choir, Choral Union, Women’s Chorus and the Orchestra of the Pines will perform “An American Requiem” by Richard Danielpour. Guest soloists will be SFA alumni Erin Roth, mezzo-soprano; Dr. Richard Novak, tenor; and Casey Jones Parrish, baritone.

    Roth’s career as a lyric mezzo-soprano has advanced with performances at Opéra Louisiane, Des Moines Metro Opera and the Texarkana Symphony Orchestra, singing roles that include Pitti-Sing in W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan's “The Mikado,” Meg Page in Giuseppe Verdi's “Falstaff,” Siébel in Charles Gounod’s “Faust,” and Prince Orlofsky in Johann Strauss' “Die Fledermaus.” She has performed as a featured soloist in many works, including George Frideric Handel’s “Messiah,” Verdi’s Requiem, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Requiem, Felix Mendelssohn's “Elijah” and, most recently, Vivaldi's “Gloria.” She was a grant recipient in the Fielder Grant competition and a national finalist in the American Prize competition, as well as the Shreveport Opera Singer of the Year, where she received the Audience Choice Award. Roth recently performed in the inaugural season of the Dallas Choral Festival, singing Ludwig van Beethoven's “Missa Solemnis” with a professional chorus of 100 singers from across the nation. She now lives in Plano with her husband, Chad, and currently serves as the alto section leader and soloist-in-residence with the Sanctuary Choir at Lovers Lane United Methodist Church in Dallas. She regularly performs as a soloist and chorister with the Highland Park Chorale, a professional choral group. She most recently joined the Orpheus Chamber Singers, Dallas-Fort Worth’s premier chamber ensemble, where she was a soloist in Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem. She earned a master’s degree in vocal performance at SFA in 2007 and was a student of Nita Hudson.

    Novak has established a national reputation as a professional tenor and voice teacher. He has performed with Washington Concert Opera, Opera Carolina, San Antonio Opera, Opera Piccola, Annapolis Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Wichita Grand Opera, The Living Opera, Wagner Society of Washington, San Antonio Symphony, San Antonio Chamber Choir, San Antonio Choral Society, Chautauqua Symphony, Prince William Symphony, the Monroe Symphony, the Conservatorio di Musica Agostino Steffani in Castelfranco Veneto, Italy, and the Institute of Culture in Culiacán and Mazatlán, Mexico. Among Novak’s operatic credits are Rodolfo, Pinkerton, Alfredo, Don José, Nemorino, Ernesto, Werther, Eisenstein, Tamino, Lippo, Roméo, and Tybalt. In 2005 and 2006, Novak won the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Tulsa District. He is also a former winner of the Texoma NATS Singer of the Year award. He holds a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music in vocal performance from SFA, and a doctoral degree in vocal performance from the University of North Texas. He is the music director at Saints Peter & Paul Catholic Church in New Braunfels where he is also choir director and music teacher. He is an adjunct voice instructor at the University of the Incarnate Word and is founder/artistic director of the Saints Peter & Paul Young Artist Recital Series, which presents young artists with performance opportunities and financial support for furthering musical pursuits. He resides in New Braunfels with his wife, Laura, and three children.

    Parrish is a native of Livingston and has lived in Houston since July of 2015. After graduating from SFA in 2014, he served as assistant choir director under the leadership of Dr. Tod Fish at Coronado High School in Lubbock. Later, Parrish moved to Houston with his fiancé where he now serves as assistant choir director at Cook Middle School in Cy-Fair ISD. He is a member of the Houston Men’s Choir along with other SFA alumni Jake Taylor, Clint Jordan and Brian Miller. Parrish is a staff singer at the United Methodist Church-Downtown Houston under the direction of SFA alumnus Dr. Terry Morris. During his years at SFA, Parrish had the opportunity to perform a variety of opera roles, including Olin Blitch from Carlisle Floyd’s “Susannah,” Marco from Bedřich Smetana’s “The Bartered Bride,” and Germont from Verdi’s “La Traviata.” He has traveled to several European countries performing a wide variety of choral works with King and the SFA A Cappella Choir. In 2011, he had the opportunity to perform the baritone solo from Velio Tormis’ “Raua Needmine” at the TMEA convention in San Antonio with the A Cappella Choir. Parrish earned both a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance in 2012 and master’s degree in choral conducting in 2014 at SFA under the mentorship of King and Hudson.

    Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit

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  • SFA to host free screening of ‘Thunder Soul’

    SFA to host free screening of ‘Thunder Soul’

    press image
    May 3, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    The Audio Engineering Society at Stephen F. Austin State University will present a free screening of “Thunder Soul,” a documentary about bandleader Conrad “Prof” Johnson and the Kashmere High School Stage Band, at 2 p.m. Friday, May 6, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    Produced by Jamie Foxx and directed by Mark Landsman, the film tells the story of alumni from Houston’s storied Kashmere High School Stage Band who return home after 35 years to play a tribute concert for their beloved bandleader who turned the struggling jazz band into a world-class funk powerhouse in the early 1970s, according to the IMDb description.

    Now, years later, Johnson’s students prepare to pay tribute to the man – age 92 at the time the film was made – who changed their lives. Some haven’t played their horns in decades, yet they dust off their instruments, determined to retake the stage to show Prof and the world that they’ve still got it with the making of a CD release, “528-0727.”

    The film is one hour, 23 minutes and is rated PG for language and momentary smoking. A question-answer session will follow.

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  • SFA’s Music Preparatory Division presents spring recitals

    SFA’s Music Preparatory Division presents spring recitals

    May 3, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    Students in the Music Preparatory Division of the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music will present their spring recitals May 7 through May 17.

    “The students have worked hard this semester in order to bring their gift of music to parents, families and friends,” said Pat Barnett, division director.

    Piano students of Dr. Mario Ajero and music major instructors will perform at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, May 7, in the Music Recital Hall in the Wright Music Building on the SFA campus, followed by music major instructors’ string students performing at 4 p.m. in the recital hall.

    Classical guitar students of Kaleb Benge will perform at 5 p.m. Monday, May 9, in the Music Prep performance hall, 3028 Raguet St.

    The SFA Choristers, directed by Carolyn Andrews, will perform at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 10, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    The SFA Young Violinists, students of Brenda Josephsen, will perform at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 12, in the Music Recital Hall.

    Piano students of Mary Cooper will perform at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, May 15, in Cole Concert Hall, followed by the piano students of Linda Parr performing at 4:30 p.m., also in Cole Concert Hall.

    Under the direction of Dr. Evgeni Raychev, the Piney Woods Youth Orchestra will perform at 7 p.m. Monday, May 16, in Cole Concert Hall.

    Spring recitals will conclude with a performance of Raychev’s cello students and violin students of Dr. Jennifer Dalmas at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 17, in the Music Recital Hall.

    Admission to all recitals is free.

    Registrations for summer classes are being accepted. Forms are available online at For more information about the SFA Music Preparatory Division, contact Barnett at (936) 468-1291.

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  • SFA film series to feature Academy Award-winning ‘Ida’

    SFA film series to feature Academy Award-winning ‘Ida’

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    May 3, 2016—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Art and the Friends of the Visual Arts will present a free, one-night screening of “Ida” at 7 p.m. Friday, May 6, in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

    Directed by Pawel Pawlikowski, the film tells the story of Anna, a young novitiate nun in 1960s Poland, who is on the verge of taking her vows when she discovers a dark family secret dating back to the years of the Nazi occupation, according to information at

    “Ida” won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2015. The film is 82 minutes and is rated PG-13 for thematic elements, some sexuality and smoking.

    This screening is part of the School of Art’s monthly Friday Film Series and is sponsored in part by the Nacogdoches Film Festival, William Arscott, Nacogdoches Junior Forum, Karon Gillespie, Mike Mollot, Main Street Nacogdoches, David Kulhavy, John and Kristen Heath, Brad Maule, Galleria Z, Jill Carrington, Jean Stephens and Jim and Mary Neal.

    The Cole Art Center is located at 329 E. Main St. For more information, call (936) 468-1131.

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