College of Fine Arts News Archive

May 2015

  • SFA to screen ‘Dirt! The Movie’

    SFA to screen ‘Dirt! The Movie’

    May 27, 2015—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 “Dirt! The Movie” at 7 p.m. Friday, June 5, in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

    “Dirt! The Movie” is narrated by Jaime Lee Curtis and brings to life the environmental, economic, social and political impact that the soil has, according to information at It shares the stories of experts from all over the world who study and are able to harness the beauty and power of a respectful and mutually beneficial relationship with soil.

    The film, which runs 86 minutes, was directed and produced by Bill Beneson and Gene Rosow with Laurie Beneson as executive producer. The Hollywood Reporter described it as “an uplifting story about people from all walks of life who are striving to renew our relationship with the ground beneath our feet.”

    This screening is part of the School of Art’s monthly Friday Night Film Series and is sponsored in part by The Liberty Bell, Main Street Nacogdoches, Bill Arscott, Jill Carrington, Karon Gillespie, John Heath, David Kulhavy and Brad Maule.

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

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  • Registration under way for SFA Summer Art Academy

    Registration under way for SFA Summer Art Academy

    May 20, 2015—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 8 through 19 on the SFA campus.

    Students in 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 at 5 p.m. Friday, June 19, in the Art Building. Afterward, the students may take their work home.

    The registration fee, which is $160 if received by Friday, May 29, includes all art supplies, refreshments and exhibition expenses. After May 29, late registration cost is $175. Registration information is available at or by calling the School of Art at (936) 468-4804.

    For additional information, contact the School of Art or email Coats at

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  • SFA’s A Cappella Choir prepares for concert tour in Italy

    SFA’s A Cappella Choir prepares for concert tour in Italy

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    The SFA A Cappella Choir performs at St. Paul’s Within the Walls, Rome, in this file photo from 2009. The choir will return to Italy this week to sing at the Vatican and St. Mark’s Basilica, among other historically significant venues.

    May 20, 2015—Robbie Goodrich

    Stephen F. Austin State University’s A Cappella Choir leaves Friday for a concert tour of Italy that will include performances at the Vatican and St. Mark’s Basilica, among other historically significant venues.

    “This performance tour will highlight to European audiences our students’ artistry and SFA’s musical excellence,” said Dr. Manny Brand, director of the SFA School of Music.

    The choir makes a triennial European trip to visit musically historic places that SFA’s music students read about in their studies, according to Tim King, director of choral activities at SFA.

    “This year, it happens to be to Italy,” King said. “We will sing at St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican, for Holy Trinity Sunday; St. Mark’s Basilica, Venice, for Pentecost; and The International Choral Festival in Marostica, Italy, to highlight a few performances.”

    SFA has a strong history of providing valuable opportunities for students outside the classroom, and this trip is another illustration of the university’s commitment to student success. Additionally, students will tour Ancient Rome, including the Vatican Museum and the Catacombs, the Accademia Gallery in Florence, and side excursions to Pompeii and Siena.

    “The Vatican is certainly an important event,” King said. “Educationally, Venice and Florence are so important. One of the birthplaces of Baroque music is St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice. This is where such great composers as Monteverdi, Gabrieli and de Rore worked.

    “To sing in the same places where these giants of music performed is awe-inspiring,” he said. “Of course, Florence is the very birthplace of the Renaissance. To see Michelangelo’s David, to view Florence from the top of the Duomo, to see the works of Brunelleschi and Alberti ... one could go on and on!

    “World travel opens a young person’s eyes, and when it is to places that they have read about in their musical studies, it makes ever so much more personal,” King said.

    One of the more rewarding aspects of these tours is when King hears the comments his students make after they have sung so well in the historic places.

    “I want our audiences to appreciate our great music,” he said. “It is the music that tells the story about us, not what we say.”

    King said he is appreciative of the support the choir has received at the university level, around the community and across the state.

    “I want the entire Nacogdoches community and supporters across the state to know how much we appreciate their efforts in our behalf,” he said. “They have been so giving. We could not make this happen without them, nor would this be possible without the support of SFA Provost Dr. Ric Berry.”

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  • SFA Art Alliance spring show winners announced

    SFA Art Alliance spring show winners announced

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    SFA Art Alliance spring show winners and art instructors include, from left, Nikki Purcell, Jill Carrington, professor and Art Alliance faculty treasurer, Brianna Deterling, Jeff Brewer, assistant professor and Art Alliance faculty sponsor, Kyle Rogers, Javier Vega and John D. Cole. Rogers’ “Countenance” is visible behind the group.

    May 15, 2015—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University Art Alliance student organization recently held its 32nd Annual Spring Art Show in the School of Art Galleries.

    Students may enter one to three recent works. Forty students participated. Zhi Lin, Floyd and Delores Jones Professor of Art at the University of Washington and juror of Texas National 2015, juried the show. The winners Lin selected included:

    • Kyle Rogers, Nacogdoches senior, first place for both “Countenance” and “The One Without,” both oil on paper.

    • John D. Cole, Nacogdoches graduate student, second place, for “Ken Wood,” an oil painting.

    • Brianna Deterling, Nacogdoches graduate student, third place, for “Tower,” a ceramic work.

    Honorable mentions went to Michelle Filer, Alto junior, for “Neverland,” an oil painting; Arely Morales, Nacogdoches senior for “Self-Portrait with Cactus,” a drawing; Nikki Purcell, Houston senior, for “Microorganism Real Estate,” a metal/mixed media work; Madison Rowe, Tyler junior, for “Light,” an oil painting; and Javier Vega, Nacogdoches graduate student, for “Starfall,” an inkjet print.

    Each winner received a cash prize.

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  • SFA’s Music Preparatory Division offers variety of summer programs

    SFA’s Music Preparatory Division offers variety of summer programs

    May 15, 2015—Robbie Goodrich

    The Music Preparatory Division of the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music offers a number of summer music programs for all ages.

    Registration is under way for summer activities with forms available at Private lessons in a number of different flexible time slots and dates are available in piano, voice, guitar, harp, viola, flute, Suzuki violin, cello, violin, clarinet, euphonium, French horn and certain other instruments. Fees are outlined on the registration form. Private lessons begin June 8 and must be completed by Aug. 15.

    Intermediate level adult piano classes will be offered from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Mondays for seven weeks beginning June 8 and concluding on July 27. There is no class on June 29. Cost is $105. The class is taught by Dr. Ping-Ting Lan.

    Kindermusik Adventure Camps for children will be presented by Karen Greer the week of July 13 through 17. Deadline to register is June 30. At-home Kindermusik materials are included. Camp topics are “Oh, What Busy Days!” for newborns to 18 months; “Zoo Train” for 18 months to 3 years; “On The Road” for 4- to 5-year-olds; and “Tell Me A Tale” for 6- to 7-year-olds. Fees and times are outlined on the registration form available on the website.

    Music Mind Games, offered July 20 through 24, will teach students to read music and develop skills for understanding music theory and becoming a well-rounded musician. Two separate classes are available for 4- to 6-year-olds and for 7- to 11-year-olds. Cost is $100, and Brenda Josephsen is the teacher.

    Piney Woods Fiddlers, a summer program taught by award-winning fiddler Emily Williams, will take place from 2 to 3 p.m. on June 8, 22 and 29; July 27; and Aug. 3 and 10. Cost is $60. The class is open to all levels of playing ability with a minimum of one year of prior instruction. Contact Williams at

    For more information about Music Prep’s summer programs, contact director Pat Barnett at (936) 468-1291.

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  • SFA graduate’s work to be shown in Short Film Corner at Cannes Film Festival

    SFA graduate’s work to be shown in Short Film Corner at Cannes Film Festival

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    A short film by SFA graduate Brandon Polanco (right) will be shown at the 68th Cannes Film Festival. He is shown here with his “Writer’s Block” star Bryan Cranston.

    May 12, 2015—Robbie Goodrich

    A short film written and directed by a Stephen F. Austin State University graduate has been accepted into the world-renowned Cannes International Film Festival as part of the Short Film Corner.

    Brandon Polanco’s film “Vicky & Jonny” was produced last August and is the story of a young woman coming to terms with her memories and taking responsibility for her choices.

    “Vicky Jones confronts her inner demons through a series of memories. We meet Vicky, in her apartment smoking cigarettes, and analyzing a memory of when her father abandoned her in a diner. She ultimately finds the power of forgiveness which helps take control of her life,” according to the film’s synopsis on the Festival De Cannes’ website.

    “I am proud of this moment,” Polanco said in an email interview. “I will be attending the festival throughout the entire week. I am excited for the experience and chance to meet so many talented artists and producers.

    “To me it means a chance to share my work with a broader audience,” he said. “However, deep down I hope to manifest strong relationships with industry leaders who can help bring my work to a bigger platform.”

    Polanco earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in theatre at SFA in 2009. He was among the Rose Bruford Exchange students in the School of Theatre, and while on the exchange he also studied at RESAD (Spain’s Royal Dramatic Academy) in Madrid. His short film “Writer’s Block” starring Bryan Cranston of AMC’s “Breaking Bad” fame won widespread acclaim in 2013-14 and was shown at the 2014 Nacogdoches Film Festival.

    His second short film was “Passing By” in 2014, followed by “Vicky & Jonny.” He has directed other projects ranging from music videos to commercials. He also wrote, directed, acted in and executive produced the series “Pride” shown online at

    Polanco is currently working on three feature films in various stages of development as well as other projects.

    “My feature film ‘Dylan Rey’ is set in Austin and takes place in East Texas and South Texas,” he said. “It is a story about magic and the death of ‘god.’ I am passionately working on the film and will be venturing to Texas this summer to work on the project.”

    He will soon kick off an Indiegogo campaign for his feature film “Ursula,” and he has a
    newly written feature called “Vicky Jones,” which is the sequel to the Cannes short film “Vicky & Jonny.” He is also prepping season two of “Pride” and is finishing up post-production on his fifth short film, “Alchemy.”

    “I have been a busy bee, but I can’t complain,” Polanco said. “I am truly passionate about my work and focusing on manifesting these big projects.”

    Originally from Austin, Polanco lives and works in New York City. He is co-owner of 3 of A Kind Productions.

    The 68th annual Cannes Film Festival is schedule for May 13 through 24 in Cannes, France. The festival previews new films of all genres from around the world.

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  • Berry, Turner to perform as soloists in University Series concert

    Berry, Turner to perform as soloists in University Series concert

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    Debbie Berry, soprano
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    Chris Turner, baritone
    May 5, 2015—Robbie Goodrich

    Two members of the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music faculty will be soloists in the end-of-semester Choral Masterworks Concert to be presented at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 8, 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 Choir and the Orchestra of the Pines will perform “Ein Deutsches Requiem” (A German Requiem) by Johannes Brahms as part of the SFA College of Fine Arts’ University Series. Guest soloists will be Debbie Berry, soprano, and Chris Turner, baritone.

    Berry is a native of Wichita Falls. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in voice performance from SFA. After teaching at Wayland University, she moved to Kansas City where she did post-graduate work at the Conservatory of Music of the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Following her study in Kansas City, she spent five years in Denver, performing and teaching. She returned to Nacogdoches from San Antonio where she was a private voice instructor at John Marshall High School. She teaches studio voice at SFA. Her performance credits include solo performances with the Kansas City Philharmonic, the Civic Orchestra of Kansas City, the Longview Opera Company, the Central City Singers (of the Central City Opera House Association), and regular appearances as a recitalist in Denver, Kansas City, and in various regions of Texas. She has performed extensively in musical comedy, with more than a 20 roles in productions of Nacogdoches’ Lamp-Lite Theatre.

    Turner is a native of Pascagoula, Miss., where he began singing at the age of 5. Having studied at Mississippi College, Louisiana State University and the Eastman School of Music, he is an experienced and award-winning vocalist. His performance experience is in a wide variety of genres from opera and oratorio to contemporary settings. Turner is a recipient of the Governor’s Award and a five-time state and regional award winner with the National Association of Teachers of Singing. Among other honors, he was finalist in the Lois Alba Opera Aria Competition and finalist in the Lyndon Woodside Solo Competition. Turner is an assistant professor of voice at SFA.

    Although the work will be sung in German, surtitles will be provided.

    Prior to the performance, King will give a 7 p.m. informative talk in Griffith Gallery located across the hall from Turner Auditorium.

    Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and $7.50 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’s Music Preparatory Division presents spring recitals

    SFA’s Music Preparatory Division presents spring recitals

    May 5, 2015—Robbie Goodrich

    Students in the Music Preparatory Division of the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music will continue to present their spring recitals through May 22.

    “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 Mary Cooper will perform at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, May 10, in Cole Concert Hall.

    Violin students of Brenda Josephsen will perform at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 14, in the Music Recital Hall.

    On Saturday, May 16, piano students of Linda Parr perform at 2 p.m. in Cole Concert Hall, and piano students of Theresa Moon perform at 2 p.m. in the Music Recital Hall.

    Josephsen’s violin students will perform at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 17, in the Music Recital Hall.

    The Piney Woods Youth Orchestra, conducted by Dr. Evgeni Raychev, will perform with guests at 7 p.m. Monday, May 18, in Cole Concert Hall.

    On Thursday, May 21, violin students of Dr. Jennifer Dalmas and cello students of Raychev will perform at 7 p.m. in the Music Recital Hall.

    Spring performances will conclude with recitals for Parr’s senior students at 7 p.m. Friday, May 22, in Cole Concert 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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