College of Fine Arts News Archive

April 2021

  • Selden’s work selected for display in Indiana

    Selden’s work selected for display in Indiana

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    SFA art professor Lauren Selden’s public sculpture titled “Charlie” is currently on display in Richmond, Indiana.

    April 30, 2021—Robbie Goodrich

    Lauren Selden, professor of art at Stephen F. Austin State University, was the featured artist for April at Indiana University East in Richmond, Indiana.

    Selden’s public sculpture titled “Charlie” is currently on display in Richmond. In an interview with Selden, she shares a look into her work, inspiration, creative process, problem solving and teaching philosophy in a YouTube video accessed at http://www.iue.edu/gallery.

    “Your amazing energy, words and work will have a great impact on our students and community,” Nate Kuznia, IUE studio and gallery coordinator, wrote.

    Selden also discussed the challenges of 2020 and how the pandemic’s restrictions affected her approach to making her own art, which was previously inspired significantly by travel. Current work is especially inspired by time spent with her daughter and her interactions with her students. “Artists are so good at adapting,” she said. “We kept rolling with the punches.”

    Selden’s work may also be accessed at https://seldenart.com.

    article ID 2006

  • SFA Music Prep plans May 1 festival to celebrate 40 years of service

    SFA Music Prep plans May 1 festival to celebrate 40 years of service

    April 27, 2021—Robbie Goodrich

    Plans are being finalized for the May 1 outdoor music festival hosted by the Music Preparatory Division of the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music in celebration of Music Prep’s 40th anniversary.

    The all-day event will take place at the Music Prep House, located at 3028 Raguet St., and will feature the talents of Music Prep’s outstanding student musicians and give local merchants the opportunity to showcase their businesses while showing support for the School of Music’s outreach program, according to Alba Madrid, Music Prep director and program instructor.

    “This family-friendly outdoor music festival is the perfect way to end our school year, and it is a fitting tribute to 40 years of making music,” Madrid said. “This music festival will be a socially distanced event allowing music lovers to enjoy exceptional music, exhibition booths, food vendors and the great outdoors.”

    The festival is designed to celebrate the accomplishments of current Music Prep students by sharing their performances with the community. The program will begin with the youngest artists in Kindermusik and Suzuki programs. Students taking private lessons will be featured in solo performances in various instruments. The festival will include a compelling performance by the Piney Woods Youth Symphony Orchestra.

    A number of local merchants have signed on as sponsors for the event, including Lisle Violin Shop and Regents Academy, allegro sponsors; Rex Perry Autoplex, Etech, University Rental, Elliott Electric, New Camerata Opera, Nacogdoches Pediatric Dentistry and Gobel School of Dance, moderato sponsors; and Morning Glory Yoga, Commercial Bank of Texas, McWilliams & Son, Rodan + Fields and Nest Spa, adagio sponsors. Additionally, several merchants will have booth spaces to showcase their businesses. Local food trucks will be on site.

    A new project also being celebrated is the creation of the Shirley Watterston Piano Lab at the Prep House. With the lab, named in honor of the Music Prep co-founder, the Preparatory Division will be able to deliver affordable group piano instruction to members of the Nacogdoches and East Texas community. Classes will be offered for students of all ages (retirees, adults, teenagers, elementary) and skill levels. In addition to outreach potential, the piano lab program will also provide music majors internship opportunities to gain valuable teaching experiences in conjunction with their piano pedagogy classes.

    The festival is from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 1. For more information about the festival or the programs offered by Music Prep, contact Madrid at (936) 468-1291 or musicprep@sfasu.edu, or visit sfamusicprep.com.

    article ID 2005

  • SFA graduate art students present ‘Collected’ exhibition

    SFA graduate art students present ‘Collected’ exhibition

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    Among the works in the exhibition “Collected” presented by SFA graduate art students is Weelynd McMullan’s “High Anxiety,” mixed media on wooden board, 2021, 48 x 24 inches. The exhibition shows in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House through June 12.

    April 27, 2021—Robbie Goodrich

    In recent years, people have become familiar with “pop up” events, including spontaneous shopping fairs, street dances, festivals and art exhibitions. Sometimes opportunities arise when least expected, and graduate art students at Stephen F. Austin State University embraced the opportunity to show their work after an unexpected cancellation at the Ed and Gwen Cole Art Center @The Old Opera House.

    Their “pop up” show, which features work from a graduate seminar, takes up the ground floor Ledbetter Gallery and the Hallway gallery space on the second floor, and selected works by SFA filmmaking students can be viewed in the upstairs Reavley Gallery. The SFA art students have called their exhibition “Collected” to reflect its character as a group effort.

    “The word ‘collected’ here takes on both the basic dictionary meaning ‘gathered together’ and the implied meaning of being emotionally collected, that is, ‘to be calm and composed through concentrated effort,’” said Dr. David Lewis, professor of art history at SFA.

    “The title well reflects the cooperative nature of their joint activities in putting the show together within an unusually short time frame,” Lewis added. “The exhibition did come together quickly: it had to, and these emerging artists were up to the challenge.”

    The show represents a broad range of styles and media, including painting, sculpture, printmaking, digital media and film, and it offers an introduction to some of the larger ideas, issues and media that represent current trends in the visual arts.

    Among the works are digital prints by Kendra Brown, including “Fan Favorite,” which playfully uses quilt patterns; large, imposing sculptures in mixed media by Kailan Counahan, such as “The Lines we Walked …,” composed of nylon, wood, nails and thread; and charcoal drawings by Lindsey Creel portraying forms suggesting crumpled paper or cloth, including “Hivemind.” Elizabeth P. Fontenot contributes oil painting, watercolor and prints in various media, with titles such as “Shelter in Place,” reflecting the events of recent times. Work in ceramics is represented by Homero Gutierrez with the whimsically titled “Hare Season.” Jessica Gryder contributes photography and digital media works like “Exaggerated Spin.” Working in a graffiti art style reminiscent of Basquiat, Weelynd McMullan shows mixed media paintings and drawings. “Always Watching” and other digital works by Charles G. Oliveri create dynamic optical effects; and the oil paintings of Travis Walthall portray eerily surreal images of mysterious workers in Hazmat suits cleaning up disaster areas. The film selection includes shorts ranging from 45 seconds to five minutes: “A Siren’s Lullaby” and “Fragmented” by Calvin Henson Jr. and “The Calm Interrupted V3” by Oliveri.

    The exhibition continues through June 12.

    The Cole Art Center is SFA’s historic downtown art gallery, located at 329 E. Main St. For more information, contact the School of Art at (936) 468-4804.

    article ID 2004

  • SFA A Cappella Choir to present ‘Hope is the Tide That Rises’

    SFA A Cappella Choir to present ‘Hope is the Tide That Rises’

    April 26, 2021—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music will present the A Cappella Choir performing the program “Hope is the Tide That Rises” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 1. The concert may be accessed virtually at music.sfasu.edu.

    Under the baton of Dr. Michael Murphy, featured works are Franz Schubert’s Mass in G Major and the 2021 commission “Tides” by SFA’s own Reginal Wright, who earned music degrees from SFA in 1997 and 2007. The program also includes choral music by Joel Thompson, Lili Boulanger and Moses Hogan.

    Dr. Ron Petti, director of accompanying at SFA, will also perform, along with music faculty Dr. Jennifer Dalmas and Fabiana Mosca, violin; Prof. Melissa Nabb, viola; Dr. Evgeni Raychev, cello; and Dr. Carlos Gavira, bass. The concert features Debbie Berry, soprano; Dr. Ric Berry, tenor; and Dr. Scott LaGraff, baritone.

    To access the live virtual concert free of charge, visit music.sfasu.edu the night of the performance. For additional information, contact the School of Music at (936) 468-4602.

    article ID 2003

  • SFA School of Theatre presents Martin’s ‘Talking With …’ through Saturday

    SFA School of Theatre presents Martin’s ‘Talking With …’ through Saturday

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    Senior theatre major Crayten Clendion of Cypress performs in “French Fries,” one of several monologues in the play, "Talking With…"

    April 23, 2021—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre will present Jane Martin’s “Talking With …” at 7:30 nightly through Saturday, April 24, in Kennedy Auditorium on the SFA campus for in-person audience performances and virtual performances. Senior theatre major Crayten Clendion of Cypress performs in “French Fries,” one of several monologues in the play that features idiosyncratic characters who amuse, move, frighten and always speak from the depths of their souls. They include a baton twirler, a fundamentalist snake handler, an ex-rodeo rider and a person whose greatest desire is to live in a McDonald’s. The play is recommended for mature audiences. General ticket prices are: adult, $15; senior (62+), $10; non-SFA student, $10; SFA faculty/staff, $7.50; youth, $7.50; SFA student, $5; virtual access, $15. Purchase tickets/virtual access at https://finearts.sfasu.edu/boxoffice. Seating is limited; face masks are required.

    article ID 2002

  • SFA’s new Electric Guitar Ensemble to perform

    SFA’s new Electric Guitar Ensemble to perform

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    SFA’s new Electric Guitar Ensemble will present the livestreamed “Baroque to Bossa to Blues” concert at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 28, accessible at https://music.sfasu.edu

    April 21, 2021—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University’s new Electric Guitar Ensemble will perform in a virtual concert at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 28, under the direction of Larry Greer, School of Music adjunct faculty member and guitar instructor.

    “Baroque to Bossa to Blues” concert will feature “Sinfonia XX” (fourth movement) by J.H. Roman; “Tequila” by D. Flores; “Blue Bossa” by Kenny Dorham; “Blues in the Closet” by Oscar Pettiford; and “Blues Walk” by Clifford Brown.

    The newly formed electric guitar ensemble will showcase works arranged for up to six guitars in a variety of styles, according to Greer.

    The first piece by Roman, considered by many as the “Swedish Handel,” is the fourth movement from his “Sinfonia XX” arranged for guitar quartet by Manley Mallard. The second piece is the well-known tune “Tequila” made famous by the 1950s R&B group the Champs, arranged for six guitars by Steve Briody. “Blue Bossa,” the third piece, is a popular jazz standard that Greer arranged for the ensemble. The final selection is a medley of the two standard blues tunes, “Blues in the Closet” and “Blues Walk.”

    Performers include Hayden Udy of Nolanville, Tanner Tankersely of Tyler, Joshua Hall of Frisco, Drew Williams of Fairfield, Sam Slape of Houston, Chandler Barton of Burleson, Noah Harper of Spring, Sean Clifton (electric bass) of Clyde and Lucas Freer (percussion) of Whitewright. All guitarists are sound recording technology majors except for Barton, who is a music performance major, and percussionist Freer, who is a music education major. Featured soloists are Tankersley, Udy, Slape, Hall, Clifton and Barton.

    The concert is accessible at https://music.sfasu.edu. For more information, contact the School of Music at (936) 468-4602.

    article ID 2000

  • SFA’s Singin’ Axes, Kantorei choirs to present ‘The Storm is Passing Over’

    SFA’s Singin’ Axes, Kantorei choirs to present ‘The Storm is Passing Over’

    April 21, 2021—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University Singin’ Axes and Kantorei choirs will present their final concert of the spring semester titled “The Storm is Passing Over” in a livestreamed event performed at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 27, and accessible at music.sfasu.edu.

    “This theme was chosen due to the difficulties choirs all over the world have faced during the pandemic,” said Dr. Tod Fish, associate director of choral activities in the SFA School of Music and the choirs’ director. “I am hopeful that brighter days are ahead and a return to normalcy is on the horizon.

    “This concert has a wide variety of styles and time periods,” he added, “and the choirs will sing as a combined mixed choir and their individual treble and tenor-bass choirs.”

    As a mixed choir, they will sing the double-chorus “Haec est dies” by Jacobus Gallus; “Bogoroditse devo” from “All Night Vigil,” by Sergei Rachmaninoff; and Barbara W. Baker’s arrangement of Charles Albert Tindley’s “The Storm is Passing Over.”

    The Kantorei will sing “Ave Maria” by Ellen Keating; “Laudate pueri” by Felix Mendelssohn; and Tawn B. Thomas’ arrangement of the spiritual “Rockin’ Jerusalem.”

    The Singin’ Axes will perform Edvard Grieg’s “Ave Maris Stella,” arranged by Mark LaBelle; “Cantate Domino” by Alec Schumacker; and Elaine Hagenberg’s “O Love.”

    “We will be joined by undergraduate cello major Ella Gaertner on Hagenberg’s beautiful setting of ‘O Love,’” Fish said. Gaertner is from Mount Pleasant.

    To access the livestreamed concert free of charge, visit music.sfasu.edu the night of the performance. For additional information, contact the School of Music at (936) 468-4602.

    article ID 2001

  • SFA School of Theatre presents Martin’s ‘Talking With …’

    SFA School of Theatre presents Martin’s ‘Talking With …’

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    SFA theatre student Cameron Wall of El Campo

    April 20, 2021—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre opens Jane Martin’s “Talking With …” at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 20, in Kennedy Auditorium on the SFA campus for in-person audience performances and virtual performances. Pictured is SFA theatre student Cameron Wall of El Campo in “Rodeo,” one of several monologues in the play that features idiosyncratic characters who amuse, move, frighten and always speak from the depths of their souls. They include a baton twirler, a fundamentalist snake handler, an ex-rodeo rider and a person whose greatest desire is to live in a McDonald’s. The play, which is recommended for mature audiences, will be presented at 7:30 nightly through Saturday, April 24. General ticket prices are: adult, $15; senior (62+), $10; non-SFA student, $10; SFA faculty/staff, $7.50; youth, $7.50; SFA student, $5; virtual access, $15. Purchase tickets/virtual access at https://finearts.sfasu.edu/boxoffice. Seating is limited; face masks are required.

    article ID 1999

  • Pin Pals: SFA metalworking, jewelry students participate in collaborative project

    Pin Pals: SFA metalworking, jewelry students participate in collaborative project

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    The results of a project in which SFA metal/jewelry students collaborated in a semester-long technical process to create and trade metal brooches with three other universities will be displayed in the window of The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches starting April 22.

    April 16, 2021—Robbie Goodrich

    Metalworking and jewelry students from Stephen F. Austin State University, Dallas College, New Mexico State University and the University of Texas at El Paso collaborated in a semester-long technical process to create and trade metal brooches.

    Practicing the historical process of lost wax casting, the students created original designs by carving wax, according to Lauren Selden, professor of metal/jewelry at SFA. The project was designed to help students learn to problem solve, be persistent and work in a condensed time frame.

    “After placing the flasks filled with refractory material and the original wax in a kiln, students cast original forms in bronze into the void left from the melted wax,” Selden explained. “Each artist created rubber molds and wax additions of the original. Participants made a brooch for all of their classmates as well as the three participating universities.”

    In addition to Selden, professors Natalie Macellaio, Motoko Furuhashi and Jess Tolbert shared project guidelines and technical tips and had a “Pin Pals Symposium” lecture discussing their personal artwork with all the participating students. Each professor provided an exhibition space in their respective towns of Nacogdoches, Farmers Branch and El Pass in Texas and Las Cruces, New Mexico. Each university will keep the finished pin collection for their programs’ permanent collection. SFA students’ work will be displayed in the window of The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House beginning April 22.

    “In a time where we haven’t been able to travel and see one another,” Selden said, “these tiny pins have traveled hundreds of miles in order to do what jewelry is often charged to do: bring joy and be a reminder of community.”

    A collective virtual lecture is planned for 6 p.m. Monday, April 26, accessible on Zoom. For inquiries, contact lselden@sfasu.edu.

    Participating artists included:

    SFA: Professor Lauren Selden; Amber Barrett, Kingwood sophomore; Kevin Burgess, San Antonio senior; Kailan Counahan, Rusk graduate student; Lindsey Creel, Austin graduate student; Miguel Gonzalez, Georgetown junior; Kitty Hall, Melissa senior; Heath Pyle, Dallas senior; Morgan Ray, Center senior; Brendan Ryan, Cedar Park junior; and Michelle Salerno, Cypress senior.

    Dallas College: Professor Natalie Macellaio, Kenya Diaz, Nomaan Mohammed, Ofelia Alvarenga, Raul Najera, Lily Chenbuynak, Daniel Townzen, Maria Villa Reyes, Rebecca Kim, Andrea Robinson, Ray Lavin, Kelaine Kvale and Douglas Jochum.

    New Mexico State University: Professor Motoko Furuhashi, Tessa Bond, Paola Corchado, Mathew Deed, Sadie Esquer, Betty Hase, Julieanna Lerma, Everlyn Padilla, Nicholas Quartieri, Trisha Quintero, Cierra Redding, Ruben Reyes and Ger Xiong.

    University of Texas at El Paso: Professor Jess Tolbert, Brandon Contreras, Andres Delgado, Ivan Esparza, Roxy Gonzalez, Noelle Marquez, Jess Ceballos, Jess Rivera, Mikayla Fraire, Skylar Boone, Roxy Rodriguez, Robbie Vazquez, Caro Villarreal, Alan Maguregui, Diane Morales and Gaby Alvarado.

    For more information about this project and others in the SFA School of Art, call (936) 468-4804. The Cole Art Center is located at 329 E. Main St.

    article ID 1998

  • SFA Art Alliance announces spring show winners

    SFA Art Alliance announces spring show winners

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    First place in the SFA Art Alliance’s 2021 spring show is “Bartholomew” by Weelynd McMullan.

    April 15, 2021—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Art will host the SFA Art Alliance 2021 Spring Show digitally this year, and the exhibition can be viewed at http://www.sfaart.weebly.com.

    Selected entries can be viewed on the main monitor in the Art Building with 36 pieces selected for the show from more than 200 entries by SFA students. The show is open to all students.

    Winners included Weelynd McMullan, art major from Nacogdoches, for “Bartholomew,” first place; Kate Tenenbaum, interior design major from Austin, for “Coming Apart,” second place; and Koi Johnson, theatre major from Waco with an additional major in art, for “Release What no Longer Serves” and Samuel Johnson, mass communication major from Nacogdoches, for “Faces,” both in third place.

    Serving as juror for the show was Heyd Fontenot, director of the San Antonio nonprofit art center Sala Diaz. He is a former artist resident of Tulsa Artist Fellowship and a former director of CentralTrak in Dallas. He is a Dallas Museum of Art Dozier Travel Grant recipient, a Mastermind Award recipient from the Dallas Observer and was named one of the Observer’s top 100 Dallas Creatives in 2014. He is represented by the Conduit Gallery, Dallas’ premier contemporary art gallery.

    For more information about the SFA Art Alliance, call the School of Art at (936) 468-4804.

    article ID 1995

  • SFA bands present traditional Concert in the Park

    SFA bands present traditional Concert in the Park

    April 15, 2021—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Music will present its Concert in the Park at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 25, in the wooded area between Wright Music Building and the Baker Pattillo Student Center on campus.

    The outdoor concert, featuring all SFA wind bands, is a community favorite but was canceled last year because of COVID-19.

    Featured bands include the Wind Ensemble, directed by Dr. David Campo, director of bands at SFA; the Wind Symphony, directed by Dr. Tamey Anglley, associate director of bands and director of the Lumberjack Marching Band; Symphonic Band, directed by Dr. Chris Kaatz, assistant director of bands; and the University Band, directed by graduate conductors Felipe Hernandez of Lufkin, Jacob Bridges of Lake Charles, Louisiana, and Abbigail Ramsey of Prosper.

    Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma band organizations will sell food and band apparel as a fundraiser. Safety protocols such as facemasks, gloves, social distancing and hand sanitizer stations will be in place.

    Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets for seating. Admission is free. For more information, contact the School of Music at (936) 468-4602.

    article ID 1996

  • SFA Symphony Orchestra concert will feature Parr piano performance

    SFA Symphony Orchestra concert will feature Parr piano performance

    April 15, 2021—Robbie Goodrich

    The Symphony Orchestra at Stephen F. Austin State University will perform works by Ludwig van Beethoven, Felix Mendelssohn and Jean Sibelius when the ensemble performs at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 29, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

    Conducted by Dr. Gregory Grabowski, director of orchestral activities for the SFA School of Music, the Symphony Orchestra’s centerpiece of the concert will be Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 “Emperor,” a work Grabowski specifically chose to feature Dr. Andrew Parr, professor of piano at SFA.

    “This is Dr. Parr’s last semester at SFA, and I wanted to showcase his amazing talent and give him the sendoff he deserves,” Grabowski said.

    The concert will also include Mendelssohn’s “Hebrides Overture,” which Grabowski describes as a travel piece inspired by the composer’s visit to the British Isles.

    “The music depicts the beauty, the majesty and the power of Fingal’s Cave in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland,” Grabowski said.

    Sibelius’ “Rakastava,” the second piece of the performance, is a three-movement work originally for men’s chorus that the composer later adapted to a string orchestra.

    The final piece of the concert, “Emperor” is unlike Beethoven’s (or anyone’s) earlier concertos, Grabowski said. “There is a clear projection of power in the whole piece,” he explained. “While Beethoven was composing for the next generation of virtuoso (the piece is incredibly difficult), it is not an overt display for the soloist (there are no solo cadenzas). Instead, Beethoven created a truly symphonic concerto.”

    The concert will be open to a limited in-person audience; it will not be livestreamed. Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. To purchase tickets, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit finearts.sfasu.edu. For additional information, contact the SFA School of Music at (936) 468-4602. The performance will be broadcast at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 5, on the SFA Symphony Orchestra YouTube page.

    article ID 1997

  • SFA theatre alumnus Richard Robichaux to appear in new Disney+ series ‘Big Shot’

    SFA theatre alumnus Richard Robichaux to appear in new Disney+ series ‘Big Shot’

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    “Big Shot,” a new Disney+ original series streaming April 16, stars John Stamos and Yvette Nicole Brown and also features SFA theatre alumnus Richard Robichaux ’96, far right, playing the role of a school counselor.

    April 12, 2021—Robbie Goodrich

    Stephen F. Austin State University graduate Richard Robichaux has landed a role in the new Disney+ show “Big Shot,” an original series streaming April 16.

    “Big Shot,” which stars John Stamos and Yvette Nicole Brown, is the story of second chances for a hot-headed coach (Stamos) who loses his big time collegiate coaching job in the NCAA and has to start all over by teaching at a girl’s private high school.

    “It is also a story of second chances for his relationship with his daughter and for every character in the show who seem to all be trying to start something new,” Robichaux said.

    Robichaux, who graduated from SFA in 1996 with a B.F.A. in theatre, has been seen in the films “Boyhood,” which was nominated for six Academy Awards and won the Golden Globe for Best Picture; “The Book of Love,” with Jason Sudeikis and Jessica Biel with all original music by Justin Timberlake; “Bernie,” opposite Shirley MacLaine, Jack Black and Matthew McConaughey; as well as extensive television credits, including “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.” Recent credits include “Ocean’s 8,” the ABC comedy “Speechless,” and “Where’d You Go Bernadette?” with Cate Blanchett, marking Robichaux’s fourth film with award-winning director Richard Linklater.

    "To say the School of Theatre is proud to have Richard as both an alumnus and a Friends of Theatre member goes without saying,” Cleo House, School of Theatre director, said. “Richard is such a great example of the longstanding tradition the School of Theatre has of turning out top-notch graduates who go on to be successful."

    In “Big Shot,” Robichaux plays George Pappas, a school counselor, which allows him to call on his experience as an educator. In addition to continuing to earn roles on the big and small screens, Robichaux is a member of the M.F.A. acting faculty at the University of California San Diego. Playing Pappas means he “gets to be in the middle of a lot of stuff and meddle,” he said.

    “Being an actual educator has been a great asset because so many of the cast are the age of the students I work with,” he said. “It’s been a pleasure to be colleagues with young actors whom I am usually only teaching.”

    The series also stars Jessalyn Gilsig, Sophia Mitri Schloss, Nell Verlaque, Tiana Le, Monique Green, Tisha Custodio and Cricket Wampler. It was created by David E. Kelley, Brad Garrett, and Dean Lorey who also serve as executive-producers alongside Bill D'Elia.

    Robichaux described Stamos and Brown as “everything you would want them to be.”

    “Kind, genuine, thoughtful, so funny and supportive of the whole team,” he said, “especially when Covid hit and things were so hard, they were constantly texting the cast to keep up the good work and keep spirits high. They are two of the best actors in television right now, hands down.”

    “Richard is one of the most pliable actors I’ve ever worked with, and that is a high compliment,” Stamos said. “On our new Disney+ show, his character George started out one way, then David Kelley decided to take a complete 180 with George. Without missing a beat, Richard created (recreated) a character to rival my Marvyn, resulting in some of my favorite scenes on our show. To act with him is like playing music with a great musician or sports with a great athlete. He listens. I throw him a fastball; he catches it, then lobs something at me that either challenges me or makes me laugh. He’s a consummate pro who I learn something from every time I act with him. He’s a great family man, and I admire that too.”

    Brown described Robichaux as “joy walking.”

    “He makes every day on set fun,” she said. “And he’s such a great actor that even if I know what his lines are, I never know what bit of silliness or gravitas or magic he’s going to bring to them. The gift of working with him has been a masterclass.”

    Robichaux continues to keep up his teaching schedule while working on the new series.

    “Since our show is only 10 episodes, and I am usually in just a few scenes per show, it hasn’t been hard on my schedule,” he said. “It shoots in L.A., so that certainly helps. Also, UCSD is one of the best research institutions in the world. I am not only encouraged but expected to do big things in my field of research.”

    He said he wants SFA theatre students to know it’s possible for theatre graduates to be successful on many different levels.

    “I always want SFA students to know that this is possible,” he said. “I’m the perfect example. I was a first generation college student from a small town in Texas, and now I hold the endowed chair in acting at one of the most respected M.F.A. acting programs in the world, and I will also be on your TV this month. That all started with a degree from SFA.”

    Robichaux came to Nacogdoches in the early 1990s from Channelview, an oil refinery suburb of Houston. He earned a Master of Fine Arts from Rutgers University, has worked with many of the top programs in the country and is a nationally recognized leader in actor training. He is an outspoken advocate for theatre education and has delivered keynote addresses at several events, including the Southeastern Theatre Conference, Texas Thespian Festival, Florida Association of Theatre Educators, Heartland Film Festival, Colorado Thespian Festival, and the Educational Theater Association's National Teacher Conference. He is also a judge for the College Television Awards presented by the Emmys. Robichaux was the head of acting at Penn State University prior to his arrival at UCSD where he teaches acting process to M.F.A. actors as well as a course on professional practice and on-camera acting.

    article ID 1993

  • SFA Percussion Ensemble to present spring concert

    SFA Percussion Ensemble to present spring concert

    April 12, 2021—Robbie Goodrich

    The Percussion Ensemble at Stephen F. Austin State University will perform works by Brett William Dietz, Peter Naughton, Michael Burritt, Christopher Deane and Andy Akiho in a virtual concert at 6 p.m. Friday, April 23.

    Directed by Dr. Brad Meyer, director of percussion studies for the SFA School of Music, the ensemble opens its spring concert with Dietz’s ‘Sharpened Stick,” which the composer describes as a Native American war song and dance that is in the “fish-step” style. It is believed that the popular 1920’s dance craze the ‘Charleston’ was derived from this dance, Dietz said.

    In “Waiting to Exhale,” Naughton said he tried to convey a sense of constant motion and excitement for the listener.

    “I drew inspiration from the Dave Matthews Band, attempting to capture their intense energy and subtle yet distinct harmonic sensibilities,” he said. “With its relentless 16th note motor, this piece relies heavily on interlocking rhythmic cells to create a larger, compose rhythm.

    Burritt’s “Home” is a reference to both his home in Rochester and “our collective home,” the Earth. The piece is in three distinct movements and spans approximately 20 minutes. The second movement, titled “White Pines,” was inspired by “the energy, crispness and majesty of snow-covered trees in the winter months,” Burritt said. It is scored for solo marimba with both keyboard and battery percussion.

    Deane’s “Parallel Isometry” was originally written as a drum set feature with percussion ensemble in which the drum set part was completely improvised, but the scenario did not work as the composer wished. The work now features two percussionists as soloists. In its present configuration, the piece was written for Dr. Eric Willie and the Tennessee Tech Percussion Ensemble.

    The concert closes with Akiho’s “to wALk Or ruN in wEst harlem,” which is a percussion piece that features a modified Pierrot ensemble – flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano – and prepared vibraphone.

    To access the live virtual concert free of charge, visit https://tinyurl.com/2rt3y3ea the night of the performance. For additional information, contact the School of Music at (936) 468-4602.

    article ID 1994

  • SFA School of Theatre to present student-directed ‘Last Chance’

    SFA School of Theatre to present student-directed ‘Last Chance’

    April 9, 2021—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre’s presentation of the student-directed one-act play “Last Chance,” originally scheduled for Feb. 19 and 20 but postponed because of the winter storm, will now take place April 16 and 17.

    Johana Lenington, senior theatre education major from Houston, directs “Last Chance,” written by SFA School of Theatre senior lecturer Jackie Rosenfeld. The play revolves around the lives of a young married couple and issues that develop as a result of alcohol addiction.

    The cast includes Terrell junior Ryleigh Compton as Shannon; Midland freshman Zachary Jebsen as Ray; and Little Elm freshman Mariano Aguirre as Dough.

    Stage manager is Valeria De La Cruz, Zacatecas, Mexico, senior; scenic designer is Julianna Flores, Pasadena senior; costume designer is Zach White, Buffalo senior; lighting designer is Cynthia Tovar, Southeast Houston junior; sound designer is Salvador Nunez, Plant City, Florida, sophomore; and properties master is Jenna Alley, Kingwood senior.

    Transferring to SFA in fall 2019, Lenington has portrayed characters Rose in “Dancing at Lughnasa,” Chloe in “The Curse of Plenty,” Miranda in “The Tempest,” and Mrs. Martin in “The Bald Soprano.” She made her directing debut last fall with “A Perfect Match” by Stariana Johnson. Lenington stated she is “thrilled to have the opportunity to direct ‘Last Chance’ by Jackie Rosenfeld, and I am excited for more directing opportunities in the future.”

    Among other plays written by Rosenfeld are “Corner Lot,” “keepingabreast,” “Queen of the Mist” and “Performing Politics.” She is currently working on a play titled “Rodeo Rose.”

    The play will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 16, and at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 17, in Regents Suite A in the Baker Pattillo Student Center on the SFA campus. The show will also be livestreamed.

    Tickets are $4. Seating is limited, and face coverings are required. Social distancing protocols will be observed. To purchase tickets or virtual access, visit the SFA Fine Arts Box Office online at boxoffice.sfasu.edu or call (936) 468-6407.

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    article ID 1990

  • SFA Wind Ensemble to perform Maslanka’s Symphony No. 4

    SFA Wind Ensemble to perform Maslanka’s Symphony No. 4

    April 9, 2021—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University Wind Ensemble will present its final concert of the spring semester in a performance of David Maslanka’s Symphony No. 4. The concert will be a livestreamed event performed at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 22, and accessible at music.sfasu.edu.

    Composed in 1993, Symphony No. 4 was commissioned by a consortium of universities including the University of Texas, Michigan State University and SFA, according to Dr. David Campo, director of bands at SFA and of the Wind Ensemble.

    In describing the work, Maslanka said the driving force behind Symphony No. 4 was“ the spontaneous rise of the impulse to shout for the joy of life.”

    “I feel it is the powerful voice of the earth that comes to me from my adopted western Montana and the high plains and mountains of central Idaho,” he said. “My personal experience of the voice is one of being helpless and torn open by the power of the thing that wants to be expressed – the welling-up shout that cannot be denied. I am set aquiver and am forced to shout and sing. The response in the voice of the Earth is the answering shout of thanksgiving and the shout of praise.”

    The hymn tune “Old Hundred,” several other hymn tunes, including the Bach chorales “Only Trust in God to Guide You” and “Christ Who Makes Us Holy,” and original melodies that are hymn-like in nature, form the backbone of Symphony No. 4.

    “I have used Christian symbols because they are my cultural heritage, but I have tried to move through them to a depth of universal humanness, to an awareness that is not defined by religious label,” Maslanka further explained. “My impulse through this music is to speak to the fundamental human issues of transformation and re-birth in this chaotic time.”

    Campo said performing Symphony No. 4 is especially relevant today, “as we emerge from a year that will be remembered as one of the darkest in American history, if not the history of the world.”

    “To take the opportunity to ‘shout for the joy of life’ and ‘speak to the fundamental human issue of transformation and re-birth in this chaotic time’ seems both timely and appropriate,” he said.

    To access the live virtual concert free of charge, visit music.sfasu.edu the night of the performance. For additional information, contact the School of Music at (936) 468-4602.

    article ID 1991

  • Himes retiring as dean of SFA College of Fine Arts

    Himes retiring as dean of SFA College of Fine Arts

    press image
    Dr. A.C. “Buddy” Himes

    April 9, 2021—Robbie Goodrich

    Dr. A.C. “Buddy” Himes, dean of the College of Fine Arts at Stephen F. Austin State University, will retire effective May 31 after 47 years of service in both secondary and higher education.

    In notifying the dean’s staff and fine arts faculty members last fall of his intended retirement, Himes wrote: “I am grateful to Stephen F. Austin State University for allowing me the honor and privilege to serve as dean of the College of Fine Arts for the past 14 years. I feel that coming together in unity, the university, the faculty and staff, and the community have allowed the college to be taken to the next level multiple times over.

    “Reflecting upon my career it is obvious (to me) that every challenge has been met, every goal accomplished, every expectation exceeded, and every vision realized,” he said. “And, now, after 47 years in the profession, this is clearly the ideal time for me to retire.”

    SFA President Scott Gordon praised Dr. Himes’ commitment, hard work and vision, noting the thriving and vibrant community created within the SFA College of Fine Arts.

    “The leadership he has provided will continue to impact SFA students for years to come, and we are grateful for his accomplishments as dean,” Gordon said. “Dr. Himes has been an asset to our campus and the Nacogdoches community, and we wish him all the best in his retirement.”

    Himes came to SFA to serve as the fine arts dean in 2007, moving from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where he was director of the School of Music and head of the Department of Performing Arts in the College of the Arts. There, he was recognized for his oversight of a construction project, doubling the fine arts endowment base, producing a community-based organization dedicated to enhancing scholarships, and attracting nearly $1 million in grants.

    Following the same pattern for success, Himes has guided the schools of art, music and theatre at SFA to higher levels of achievement during his 14-year leadership.

    Perhaps his greatest accomplishment at SFA is currently being realized and taking shape today before the public eye, its daily evolution apparent at the corner of North Street and East College Street. In 2015, Himes released “The Transformative 2020 Vision,” a five-year plan for a multi-million-dollar project designed to “transform the College of Fine Arts into the best fine arts program in Texas.” The plan led to the approval by the SFA Board of Regents for the $50-million renovation and expansion of the Griffith Fine Arts Building currently underway. Funding was obtained through the issuance of bonds in 2019, and proceeds must be used, in accordance with the bond documents, for construction, renovation and other project-related purposes.

    “With these new facilities, the College of Fine Arts will be able to fully alleviate concerns for space, grow to its potential in enrollment, be competitive with similar programs in Texas, and fully capitalize upon student markets for new programs,” Himes said. “As much as the college has grown in enrollment over the past decade, I predict an explosion of new enrollment in fine arts in the next decade, notwithstanding the immediate effects of a pandemic.”

    More than two decades in the making, the $50-million Fine Arts Expansion Initiative will include complete renovations to the existing Griffith Fine Arts Building and add accessible parking, a patron drop-off zone (off East College Street) and new construction which will extend the building along North Street nearly to the corner of East College Street. The renovated and expanded state-of-the-art building will include two dance studios, two theatres, an auditorium, recording studio, sound stage, audio and video editing rooms, an art gallery, multiple classrooms, rehearsal facilities, faculty offices and the offices of the dean. The facilities will house the CFA’s sound recording technology, filmmaking, theatre, dance and musical theatre programs.

    Following his arrival at SFA, Himes in 2008 established the Dean’s Circle, an external support organization of community members dedicated, in part, to nurturing potential young artists within the College of Fine Arts. The Dean’s Awards include monetary rewards to students to further their educational pursuits. Since 2008, the Dean’s Circle has presented $174,000 in student awards. Additionally, the organization established the first-ever community-established endowed professorship at SFA in 2016.

    Himes was instrumental in establishing the Sound Recording Technology program within the School of Music. “I can trace this program back to April of 2007 when I came to interview,” he said. “It began as nothing more than what was known to be a good idea, and a whole lot of faith – no curriculum, no facilities, no equipment and no students. Today, the SRT program is certainly the fastest growing program in the School of Music, and is one of, if not the, fastest growing programs at the entire university.”

    Among his other SFA accomplishments are involvement in the restoration of SFA’s bell carillon, creation of three endowed professorships, a permanent endowment for the College of Fine Arts’ generation of $125,000 in unrestricted monies annually, a 23% increase in enrollment within the college, successful advocacy for the new $50-million fine arts expansion underway, construction of 16 new music practice rooms, involvement in the production of the Nacogdoches 1938 documentary film project, and bringing the dance program into the College of Fine Arts.

    Throughout his career, Himes has been a sought-after conference presenter and panelist. He is a published author on topics of administrative leadership and teaching effectiveness, and he has served in leadership roles in academic organizations at the national and international levels.

    Himes has served his community through active engagement in the Rotary Club, was a founding member of the Nacogdoches Film Festival, and is a member of First United Methodist Church, where he actively engaged in the pipe organ restoration project.

    After graduation from college in 1973, Himes began his career as a high school band director in Bluefield, West Virginia.

    Himes and his wife, Cindy, plan to stay active in the Nacogdoches community and enjoy their children and grandchildren.

    article ID 1992

  • SFA’s jazz bands to present ‘Swingin’ At The Brewery’ fundraiser

    SFA’s jazz bands to present ‘Swingin’ At The Brewery’ fundraiser

    April 7, 2021—Robbie Goodrich

    The Swingin’ Axes and Swingin’ Aces jazz bands at Stephen F. Austin State University will present their “Swingin’ At The Brewery’ fundraiser from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, April 16, at Fredonia Brewery in downtown Nacogdoches.

    Admission to the outdoor concert is free, but donations will be accepted to benefit the SFA School of Music’s jazz program, according to Dr. Deb Scott, professor of trombone and director of the Swingin’ Axes.

    “When we scheduled our fall concert downtown on the square, we were not sure how well-received it would be,” Scott said. “But we were pleasantly surprised that it sold out. We heard from the community how nice it was to have an outdoor concert, so we wanted to do it again. We have performed once before at the Fredonia Brewery, and we are very grateful to them for hosting us once more. We are not reserving seats this time, so it will be first come, first served.”

    In memoriam to the late jazz great Sammy Nestico, the Swingin’ Axes will perform Nestico’s “Tribute to Woody,” “Blues Machine” and “Beautiful Friendship.” The Axes will also perform Steve Owen’s “Goombay Smash” as performed by the U.S. Air Force Airmen of Note. Scott will provide vocals on SFA’s own Mike McGowan’s “Mean to Me.” McGowan is adjunct instructor of music theory and jazz studies at SFA.

    The Swingin’ Aces, directed by Dr. J.D. Salas, will perform jazz standards “Splanky” by Neal Hefti and Nestico’s arrangement of “Alright, Okay, You Win.” The Aces will also perform Bob Mintzer’s “Computer” and Mark Taylor’s arraignment of “St. Thomas” by Sonny Rollins.

    The concert will also feature a performance by the SFA Jazz Doctors, which is a combo group comprised of SFA jazz faculty, including Scott on trombone, Salas on upright bass, McGowan on piano, Larry Greer on guitar, and Jake Walburn and Gary Wurtz on trumpets.

    Shali’s Indian Kitchen on Wheels will be on site, and the brewery’s Rebellion Pizza will be open. SFA Jazz T-shirts and other merchandise will be available for purchase.

    Social distancing and face masks are encouraged. The Fredonia Brewery is located at 138 N. Mound St. For additional information, call the SFA School of Music at (936) 468-4602 or the brewery at (936) 305-5125.

    article ID 1989

  • Art exhibition canceled

    Art exhibition canceled

    April 5, 2021—Robbie Goodrich

    An exhibition of works by Center-based artist David Masterson, scheduled to open April 10 in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House, has been canceled.

    For information about other upcoming exhibitions hosted by the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Art, call (936) 468-4804 or visit finearts.sfasu.edu.

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    article ID 1987

  • SFA School of Theatre to present Martin’s ‘Talking With …’ monologues

    SFA School of Theatre to present Martin’s ‘Talking With …’ monologues

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    The SFA School of Theatre will present Jane Martin’s “Talking With …” Tuesday through Saturday, April 20 through 24, in Kennedy Auditorium on the university campus. The show will also be livestreamed nightly.

    April 5, 2021—Robbie Goodrich

    Even as more and more Americans are getting a COVID vaccine, and pandemic protocols are beginning to loosen up a bit, safety remains at the forefront for Stephen F. Austin State University School of Theatre as students prepare to present Jane Martin’s “Talking With …” April 20 through 24 in Kennedy Auditorium on the SFA campus.

    Martin’s “Talking With …” features idiosyncratic characters who amuse, move, frighten and always speak from the depths of their souls. They include a baton twirler, a fundamentalist snake handler, an ex-rodeo rider and a person whose greatest desire is to live in a McDonald’s.

    “The show offers a great variety in both the monologues and the acting,” according to Jack Heifner, adjunct instructor, SFA’s playwright-in-residence and the play’s director.

    “Talking With …” takes the place of a previously chosen play that required too much physical contact among actors, Heifner said. The show will be presented in person, and it will be livestreamed.

    “‘Talking With …’ is a series of monologues that can be rehearsed and performed separately, without more than one cast member being onstage at the same time,” Heifner said. “I have always liked the show and thought it was the perfect show considering the distancing guidelines we are following for both the cast and the audiences.”

    The actors and people involved in the production will wear masks except when they are onstage. They will not take the masks off until they are onstage and will put their masks back on before going backstage. They are distanced at least 10 feet from the audience when they are performing.

    “Every effort is being made to make the rehearsals and performances safe for everyone involved,” Heifner said.

    Monologues can be difficult for actors, and presenting an entire evening of them requires variety in both the presentation and the performances, Heifner said.

    “Taking the audience on a journey through the storytelling in the monologues will be a challenge for the student actors,” Heifner said. “Anyone who is interested in good writing and good acting should see ‘Talking With …,’ and those who do will be delighted in seeing the actors in such a challenging piece. The monologues offer rich characters and interesting stories about their lives.”

    The author uses a pseudonym, “and no one knows who Jane Martin is,” Heifner said. “They have been active from the early 1980s until the present, but their identity is not known.” Martin first came to national attention for “Talking With …” in Louisville’s 1982 Humana Festival of New American Plays. Since its New York premiere at Manhattan Theatre Club in 1982, “Talking With …” has been performed around the world, winning the Best Foreign Play of the Year Award in Germany from Theatre Heute magazine.

    Patrons who attend the show in person will be required to wear face coverings and socially distance themselves from other audience members not in their immediate group. Seating is limited.

    General ticket prices are: adult, $15; senior (62+), $10; non-SFA student, $10; SFA faculty/staff, $7.50; youth, $7.50; SFA student, $5; virtual access, $15. Live virtual access is available for all performances. Purchase tickets/access at boxoffice.sfasu.edu or call (936) 468-6407. For questions about the play, contact the School of Theatre at (936) 468-4003. “Talking with …” is recommended for mature audiences.

    article ID 1988

  • SFA’s Cole Art Gallery to host Masterson exhibition

    SFA’s Cole Art Gallery to host Masterson exhibition

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    Works by David Masterson are featured in the exhibition “A Mind Stretched by New Ideas Never Regains its Original Dimensions” showing April 10 through June 12 in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches.

    April 1, 2021—Robbie Goodrich

    The Stephen F. Austin State University School of Art will present an exhibition of works by Center-based artist David Masterson opening April 10 in The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House.

    The exhibition, titled “A Mind Stretched by New Ideas Never Regains its Original Dimensions,” will feature abstract and impressionist large-scale paintings and some sculptures. The works to be displayed are part of two painting series that Masterson has been exploring in the past few years. The "David’s World" series started as a whimsical, fantasy land for children, with the goal of placing paintings in children's hospitals where they would evolve with the patients' input.

    The second is Masterson’s "Push Series,” which emerged following a devastating family tragedy. The exhibition is dedicated to his grandchildren, Mason, Tori and Ella, who died in a horrific automobile accident in 2020. His son, the driver of the vehicle, survived but was seriously injured. Initially, after the accident, at which he and his wife were first responders on the scene, Masterson said he thought he would never paint again. But there eventually came “a divine moment” where he felt “pushed to the canvass, and I began to create art like I had never created before.”

    “The Push Series started about three months after the accident,” Masterson said. “Day after day I would try and paint, but nothing was there. One day as I stood in front of my painting wall and a fresh 6 x 8 foot white canvas that waited for me, it happened. The kids came down with angels and we all talked and hugged. It was a magical, spiritual moment that is hard to find words to describe. Then Ella ‘pushed’ me towards the canvas and whispered in my ear … ‘paint Poppy.’ So I did. But not like I used to. I needed something to work inside me that would allow the pain and suffering to come out … a space to figure things out, or perhaps not figure out. But I had discovered a process in which, when alone, I could think things through at my own pace, through my art… Day after day, hour after hour, I would allow myself to become a river, float gently downstream over any and all obstacles … and then become calm, still waters again.”

    The “David’s World” series, a project he’s worked on for 20 years, hosts a full array of animals, insects and shapes. It’s a world where people can lose themselves and find magic and mystery, creating their own story as they take in the painting, he said. Unbeknown to children or their families, Masterson often consults with hospital staff at various children’s hospitals to learn certain aspects of a particular child’s life, like a family pet or a favorite toy. Then he paints those objects into one of his giant paintings to personalize it, and the next time the family visits the hospital, they’re in for a colorful, heart-warming surprise with one of his paintings on the hospital wall. He donated four large paintings last year to the burn unit at Shriners Children’s Texas in Galveston.

    “Ideally, I envision my David’s World Series on display in children’s hospitals all over the country as a therapeutic alternative for children and their families,” he said. “Children can stare at a ‘David’s World’ painting and be taken to a place in their imagination that is theirs and theirs alone, as they sit and wait for procedures or lay in their hospital bed, or perhaps in common areas where friends and family can gather and explore paintings filled with color and images.”

    Masterson attended SFA where he majored in fine art and minored in interior design. He says he is mostly self-taught but credited art professors Gary Parker, Piero Fenci and the late John Daniel for guiding him. Masterson has painted in locations throughout the world, including the Amazon, Negro and Rhine rivers, Thanksgiving Tower, atop a 47-story Dallas skyscraper, along the streets in Amsterdam, stretching a canvas as the sun set on the Nāpali Coast in Hawaii, all the while looking to see how far he could take his craft. Prior to the pandemic, Masterson was showing in multiple juried art fairs across Texas, earning Best of Show in juried shows in Turtle Creek in 2018 and in New Braunfels in 2019. His work resides in many important private collections.

    Masterson resides in Center where he operates Davmar Gallery in a renovated 1903 bank building on the downtown square. For more information, visit davidwmasterson.com.

    Masterson will be in Cole Art Center to discuss his work during Blueberry Festival, Saturday, June 12. The show runs April 10 through June 12 and is sponsored in part by the SFA Friends of the Visual Arts, William Arscott and the Nacogdoches Junior Forum. Admission is free.

    The Cole Art Center is SFA’s historic gallery located at 329 E. Main Street. For more information, call (936) 468-4804.

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    article ID 1985

  • Ribbon cutting to celebrate Music Prep 40th anniversary, other events

    Ribbon cutting to celebrate Music Prep 40th anniversary, other events

    April 1, 2021—Robbie Goodrich

    The Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce will host a ribbon cutting celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Music Preparatory Division at Stephen F. Austin State University at 10 a.m. Thursday, April 15, at the Music Prep House, 3028 Raguet St.

    In celebration of the milestone anniversary, Music Prep will host an outdoor music festival on May 1, also at the Prep House, and plans are underway for the creation of the Shirley Watterston Piano Lab. The ribbon cutting will be livestreamed on the Chamber of Commerce Facebook Page.

    The Watterston Piano Lab, which will be housed in a renovated garage area at the Prep House, will provide space for the SFA Music Prep to deliver affordable group piano instruction to members of the Nacogdoches and East Texas community. Classes will be offered for students of all ages (retirees, adults, teenagers, elementary) and skill levels. In addition to outreach potential, the piano lab program will also provide music majors internship opportunities to gain valuable teaching experiences in conjunction with their piano pedagogy classes.

    “These supervised teaching opportunities fit the university's strategic plan by being a recruiting tool for college music majors seeking these types of transformative experiences as part of their academic and practical studies at SFA,” said Alba Madrid, director of SFA Music Preparatory Division and program instructor.

    Additionally, the ribbon cutting will call attention to the all-day outdoor music festival on Saturday, May 1, that will feature the talents of Music Prep’s outstanding student musicians and give local merchants the opportunity to showcase their businesses while showing support for the School of Music’s outreach program, according to Madrid.

    “This family-friendly outdoor music festival is the perfect way to end our school year, and it is a fitting tribute to 40 years of making music,” Madrid said. “This music festival will be a socially distanced event allowing music lovers to enjoy exceptional music, exhibition booths, food vendors and the great outdoors.”

    The festival is from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.. For more information, contact Madrid at (936) 468-1291 or musicprep@sfasu.edu. For more information about Music Prep, visit sfamusicprep.com.

    article ID 1986

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