College of Fine Arts News Archive

May 2015

  • SFA art scholarship recipients announced

    SFA art scholarship recipients announced

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    Among the SFA School of Art and Friends of the Visual Arts scholarship winners are Megan Henderson, Travis Erxleben, Ausra Dwyer, Brianna Deterling, Christopher Talbot, director of the School of Art, Tori Rice, Tristan Brewster-Arnold, Kaydee Wolter, and Randi Vinson-Davis.

    May 28, 2015—Robbie Goodrich

    Christopher Talbot, director of the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Art, announced the recipients of SFA art and Friends of the Visual Arts scholarships for the 2015-2016 academic year at the recent opening of the Art Alliance Spring Show in the School of Art Galleries. Winners included:

    • Kaydee Wolter of Fort Worth, awarded a Patricia Roberdeau Mast Scholarship.
    • Randi Vinson-Davis, Nacogdoches junior, awarded the Robert Kinsell Art Scholarship and a Patricia Roberdeau Mast Scholarship.
    • Travis Erxleben, Nacogdoches graduate student, awarded the Piero Fenci Scholarship for Ceramic Arts.
    • Brianna Deterling, Nacogdoches graduate student, awarded a Patricia Roberdeau Mast Scholarship.
    • Megan Henderson, Round Rock senior, awarded the Gary Q. Frields Art Scholarship and the Jack McKinney Memorial Art Scholarship.
    • Ausra Dwyer of Nacogdoches, awarded the Melba Cranford Memorial Art Scholarship and the Art Alliance Scholarship.
    • Tori Rice of Austin, awarded the Elsie Arscott Art Scholarship, the Lucille Fouts Raborn Art Scholarship and the Stephen Weeks Memorial Art Scholarship.
    • Carlton Herbert, Longview graduate student, awarded the Charles Jones Art Scholarship.
    • Tristan Brewster-Arnold, Cleveland sophomore, awarded the Brian Philip Joseph LaBarbera Memorial Art Scholarship.
    • Genevieve Nied of Dallas, awarded the John and Doris Daniel Art Scholarship and the Debbie Simpson/Terry Miller Memorial Art Scholarship.
    • Andrew Davis of Carthage and Stefano Ragonesi of Nacogdoches share the Eloise Chambers Adams Art Scholarship to assist in their travel to study at the Libera Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence, Italy, during Maymester 2015.

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  • SFA School of Theatre gearing up for SummerStage Festival

    SFA School of Theatre gearing up for SummerStage Festival

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    May 28, 2015—Robbie Goodrich

    The academic year at Stephen F. Austin State University may have ended, but the activity in SFA’s School of Theatre is gearing up for the 2015 SummerStage Festival, which will feature two classics that are sure to please audiences of all ages.

    This year’s SummerStage Festival is slated for June 26 through July 17 and features Tennessee Williams’ masterpiece “The Glass Menagerie” along with children’s favorite “The Emperor’s New Clothes: The Musical” by Karen Boettcher-Tate and Bill Francoeur.

    The SummerStage Festival was launched last year as the School of Theatre began to reach out to new audiences looking for a casual and entertaining way of spending warm-weather time with family and friends, according to Scott Shattuck, the school’s director.

    “With live music and refreshments before the shows, the wonderfully social part of seeing a favorite story onstage is more fun than ever at SFA,” Shattuck said. “We had our largest summer audience yet in 2014, and we think that this year’s plays will appeal to even more people from throughout our community.”

    Angela Bacarisse, who directed the popular and successful production of Monty Python’s “Spamalot” last fall, returns as director of “The Emperor’s New Clothes: The Musical,” one of the world’s most beloved children’s stories freshly enhanced with original songs in various pop styles. Hans Christian Anderson’s short tale is about two mischievous swindlers who persuade a vain emperor that they can outfit him in a suit so glamorous that it’s invisible to fools. When he falls for their scheme, the results are hilarious.

    Laura Rikard, assistant professor of theatre at SFA, will direct “The Glass Menagerie,” the story that launched Williams’ career as America’s greatest playwright. The play revolves around Williams’ unforgettable characters – Amanda Wingfield, the faded southern belle, her daughter Laura, as fragile as the shimmering animals of the title, Laura’s compassionate but frustrated brother Tom, and the “gentleman caller” that rocks their delicately balanced world.

    Weekday matinee performances of the children’s production are popular not only with daycare and school groups but also with retired grandparents looking for great things to do with kids when it’s often too hot to play outside, Shattuck explained. The 6:30 p.m. curtain time for evening children’s shows gets children home for a reasonable bedtime, while the 7:30 p.m. curtain time for “The Glass Menagerie” provides time for a bite of dinner after work without getting grownups home too late, either.

    “This year we’re experimenting with 2 p.m. Sunday matinees of both shows to provide even more options for our audiences,” Shattuck said. The weekend afternoon performance of “The Emperor’s New Clothes” is scheduled for July 5, with “The Glass Menagerie” set for Sunday, July 12, at 2 p.m. “We’ve also added one ‘early-to-bed’ 6:30 p.m. curtain time for ‘The Glass Menagerie’ on Thursday, July 16, for those who don’t want to stay out late mid-week,” he continued.

    Two “Pay-What-You-Can” performances, sponsored for the third year by the Nacogdoches Walmart store, allow audiences to choose the amount they pay for admission, Shattuck explained.

    “These special performances make it possible for everyone, regardless of ability to pay, to enjoy the stories,” he said. “At these shows, those who are able to pay $15 for a ticket are asked to support our work by doing so, but those who can only pay $10, $5 or even $1 are equally welcome.”

    “Pay-What-You-Can” performances are at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 27, for “The Glass Menagerie” and at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 2, for “The Emperor’s New Clothes: The Musical.”

    “‘The Glass Menagerie’ is one of the most popular stories ever written for the American stage,” according to Shattuck. “Many of us have read it in school or seen it onstage somewhere, and it recently had a sensationally successful Broadway revival, reminding us of how much people love to return to visit the Wingfield family.

    “In the end, ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’ is a story about how much we need children’s genuine sincerity to keep us honest and sane,” Shattuck said. “There’s a great lesson there for kids and adults alike, and the rockin’ score of this version makes learning just as fun as can be.”

    The Great American Cookie Company will offer sweet treats for sale outside the Griffith Fine Arts building prior to performances.

    “Around both shows we hope to create a true festival atmosphere – a refreshing destination that will make an ideal break from the summer sun,” Shattuck said. “Before performances of ‘The Glass Menagerie’ we’ll have rock and folk played live outdoors by favorite local musicians, including Charlie Jones, Jon Hall, Mark McLain, Marshall Hance and The Mellows. Before ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes,’ the cast will entertain outside as well.”

    Performances of “The Glass Menagerie” are at 7:30 p.m. nightly on June 26 and 27 and July 9, 10, 14, and 17, and at 2 p.m. July 12. General admission tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and $7.50 for students/youth. Performances of “The Emperor’s New Clothes: The Musical” are at 10 a.m. July 14 and 17; at 2 p.m. July 2, 5, 7 and 15; and at 6:30 p.m. July 2, 11 and 15. General admission tickets for “Emperor” are $7.50.

    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 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

    You may also be interested in the following related article:

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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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