Archive for the ‘Idyllwild Arts Academy’ Category

Closet Installation Defines Art Student’s Life

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Kevin plans to be part of an installation for his senior art show

By Marcia E. Gawecki

For his senior art show at Idyllwild Arts on April 20, Kevin is exposing a part of himself. In fact, he’s going to be part of an ongoing installation.

He’s showing some large, abstract paintings, but his installation showcases an unusual closet along with some track music that he mixed himself.

“Both of my parents work in the fashion industry, so it would be natural for me to follow in their footsteps,” said Kevin, who is from Korea. “It’s been a struggle for me deciding between fashion and art.”

Kevin is a 4-year senior, which means he attended Idyllwild Arts from his freshman to his senior year.

In Kevin’s closet installation, he’s selected only black and white clothes.

“It’s kind of a statement about human growth,” Kevin explained.

Kevin had difficulty deciding between art and fashion as a major

For example, white clothes would identify him as a baby, while black clothes would show him in old age. As the track music changes, Kevin plans to change clothes.

“I have to practice a lot to get it right,” he said with a smile.

Kevin also has some large, abstract paintings that together form a butterfly.

A few months back, Kevin got some encouraging words from Idyllwild Arts alum and street artist, Shepard Fairey. In fact, there’s a photo of the two of them on the Idyllwild Arts web site.

When he visited Idyllwild Arts on Feb 10, Shepard gave a lecture and held a Master Class for the visual artists (See “Welcome Back” Idyllwild Me post dated Feb. 16, 2012).

“He said that he liked my stuff, especially the figurative paintings,” Kevin said. “But he encouraged me to use different materials and take risks.”

(from L) Kevin and Cynthia before Shepard Fairey's art

Perhaps Kevin is taking Shepard’s recommendations to heart as he “performs” his closet installation on Friday, April 20 in the Parks Exhibition Center.

Also showing that evening are Visual Art seniors Bella, SoYe and Mia. Like all Idyllwild Arts events, Senior Show II is free and open to the public.

For more information about student art events at the Parks Exhibition Center on the Idyllwild Arts campus, visit www.idyllwildarts.org or call Mallory Cremin at (951) 659-2171, ext. 2251.

Copyright 2012 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.

 

Zombie Teen Flick Shot in Idyllwild

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Idyllwild is the perfect locale for a zombie movie

By Marcia E. Gawecki

‘Bong of the Dead,’ ‘Chopper Chicks in Zombie Town,’ ‘Dead Men Don’t Die,’ ‘Flesh Eating Mothers,’ ”Oh, My Zombie Mermaid,’ and ‘Plan 9 from Outer Space’ are among the more curious titles of zombie movies listed on the internet.

You could say the world doesn’t need another zombie movie.

“But it’s not just a zombie movie,” insists Armani, a sophomore film student at Idyllwild Arts. “It’s got a decent storyline.”

Armani is talking about “Life After Death,” his short film that was “green lit” recently. (Green means ‘go’ in the film world). The high school students that make up his crew began shooting yesterday.

There’s no ‘zombie’ or zombie reference in the title of his film, which was intentional. In fact, Armani doesn’t even want to discuss zombies.

“I don’t want to speak of it,” he insisted. “Everyone has their own opinion of zombies.”

However, he will talk about is his storyline.

Recently, teen zombies were roaming on the Idyllwild Arts campus

“It’s about a guy who convinces a girl to leave her 5-year-old brother at home so that she can go out with him,” Armani explained.

Zombie drama ensues.

“‘It’s more about the story between the sister and brother,” Armani said. “I’m fighting hard to keep that part alive.”

“Life After Death” is not the first film at Idyllwild Arts that was written one way and turned into quite another.

Two years ago, “Prima Ballerina Assoluta,” Dhavit’s 18-minute short film about ballet dancers, started out as a Kung Fu ninja fighters movie, with lots of death and fight scenes. (See “Kung Fu Ballerina” blog post dated 4/20/10).

“But then Isaac (Webb) and I realized that the only ones on campus athletic enough to carry off a fight scene were the dancers, so we had to change it a bit,” Dhavit said.

Armani has plenty of students willing to turn into zombies for him, but he wants to make sure they don’t take over the movie. The familial relationship is key.

“No, it’s not a true story,” Armani laughs, when asked. “My sisters didn’t leave me home alone until I was 10.”

Kai, a former film student at Idyllwild Arts, said that horror films and night shooting takes a lot of work.

“You have to light every step,” Kai insisted. “Sometimes it’s better to rewrite a night scene.”

Armani said that most of “Life After Death” will be shot during the day or inside the house at night, so lighting isn’t going to be a problem.

“We’re shooting at Bruce Ryan’s son’s house in Idyllwild,” Armani said. “It’s practically across the street from us.”

Look for "Life After Death" to be shown at the IAF Theatre in the spring

Bruce Ryan donated the funds for the sound stage, and his son often lets film students use the house when they’re away. And it’s secluded enough that you wouldn’t see zombies roaming on Tollgate.

Not too long ago, zombies were roaming around on campus. They were not the undead, but students playing a Humans vs. Zombies tag game that lasted more than a week.

“You can stun a zombie by throwing a sock at him,” explained a faculty member at a recent All-School Meeting. “Inside is safe, but outside anywhere is fair game.”

Throwing socks seemed harmless enough until one dancer lost her balance in all the excitement and dislocated her shoulder.

“The sock didn’t hurt her, but her heavy shoulder bag pulled her down,” explained a student who witnessed the fall.

As a heavy fog rolls up the mountainside, Idyllwild appears to be the perfect setting for a zombie movie. Likely, the students have already wrapped up shooting. But in this small town, where many residents believe in fairies, ghosts, and Idyll-Beasts, it’s possible that zombies already roam Hwy. 243.

“Life After Death” and other student shorts will be screened at the end of the school year. The film screening is free and open to the public. For more information about the film department at Idyllwild Arts,  visit www.idyllwildarts.org.

Copyright 2012 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.

 

New Music: Dramatic Shift for Students

Monday, April 9th, 2012

Orchestra students (file photo) have mixed feelings about New Music

By Marcia E. Gawecki

Students from the Idyllwild Arts Orchestra will take a dramatic shift from their classical music repertoire to New Music for their next concerts on April 28-29. Some of them like New Music because it’s so different, while others don’t like it as much.

“We don’t just listen to songs written by dead people,” chided Peter Askim, music director and composer-in-residence at Idyllwild Arts (see New Music post on Idyllwild Me dated May 7, 2010).

He’s used to their resistance.

“When I told Peter that I didn’t like New Music, he said that it was because I didn’t understand it,” said Rong, a cello player.

“I like it because it tells a story,” said Meng, a double bass player, from Beijing, who also plays the cello and piano. “But it can be hard to play sometimes.”

Meng, a double bass player, says New Music tells a story

Mostly because there’s no CDs they can listen to, and it’s not posted on You Tube.

Rong said that this next concert is particularly hard for the three percussionists. Dixin, a violin player, agreed.

“They have to play so many instruments,” Dixin said. “It’s really amazing!”

For the New Music concerts each year, Peter also helps promote the new works by emerging and established composers. Richard Thompson, voted among the Top 20 best guitarists by Rolling Stone magazine, will be performing “Interviews with Ghosts” on his guitar.

Also Chen Yi will be performing “Tone Poem,” a piece commissioned by the student orchestra and the Richard P. Wilson Fund for New Music.

Three composers from So Orchestra will be performing individual works, including “Oblique Music” by Jason Tretuing, “Credo in US” by John Cage and “Music for Pieces of Wood,” by Steve Reich.

Also on the docket is Peter’s brand-new piece, “Elsewhere.”

Dixin said Peter Askim's "Elsewhere" is kind of quiet and slow

“It’s kind of quiet and slow,” explained Dixin. “But I like it.”

Andrew Leeson, a staff member in Creative Writing, has called Peter “The Master of the Dramatic Pause.” (See “Askim’s New Music Revealed” on  Idyllwild Me posted Nov. 11, 2011).

Jo, another bass player, said that the New Music they’re performing with Richard Thompson sound more like Rock n’ Roll.

“He was knighted, you know,” she said.

Many in Idyllwild may remember Thompson’s “Cabaret of Souls” that was performed with the Idyllwild Arts Orchestra last year.

The New Music concerts will be held on Saturday, April 28 at the IAF Theatre on campus and on Sunday, April 29, at 4 p.m. in The Barnsdall Gallery Theatre in Hollywood. The Idyllwild concert is free and open to the public, while the LA concert is a fundraiser and Pre-sale tickets range from $1o to $20, and a little more on the show day.

For tickets, visit www.bgttix.com or call (323) 644-6272. For Pre-Sale tickets and more details on the New Music concert, visit www.idyllwildarts.org. There are several videos of Richard Thompson singing and playing his guitar, including one from 1952.

Copyright 2012 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.

Geisha Focus at Senior Art Show II

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

Bella working on her geisha sculptures

By Marcia E. Gawecki

Always fashionable, Bella, a senior Visual Artist at Idyllwild Arts, was looking a little tired. Which is rare for students on their 2-week Spring Break. There was no time for Bella to go shopping or sight-see. In fact, she never left Idyllwild.

“My senior show is coming up, and I must be ready,” she said.

Along with five other senior Visual Artists, Bella will be showcasing her work at the Parks Exhibition Center on Friday, April 20 (as part of the second senior class art show. The first one opens this Friday night.)

Bella, who has already been accepted to a fashion college in England, is focusing her small ceramic sculptures on the societal role of the Japanese geisha. Some are kneeling in kimonos, and are headless. Only one is standing tall.

“They are obeying the roles of the geisha,” Bella explained about the headless geishas. “There are many limitations.”

The prettiest geisha isn't always the top geisha, Bella said.

Bella has studied geishas a bit. She said most people know about geishas from the popular American movie, “Memoirs of a Geisha” (2005).

“The lead actress wasn’t even Japanese,” said Bella. “She’s Chinese.”

Geishas are traditional female Japanese entertainers, whose various skills include singing, dancing and performing classical music. As portrayed in the movie, geishas could also be quite theatrical and egomaniacs.

According to various web sites, there was a significant decline in geishas during WWII because many women had to work in factories, and most of the teahouses and bars shut down.

Geishas start out as apprentices or maiko, and learn their craft from established geishas.

“The most beautiful geisha isn’t necessarily the most high-ranking geisha,” explained Bella.

She pointed to her standing geisha sculpture, that hadn’t even been painted yet.

Some of her geisha sculptures will remain headless

“She is the most noticable,” Bella said. “But another one could be more beautiful.”

Beautiful, educated, and cultured, geishas inhabit another reality.

Bella said that she identified with geishas a bit, but didn’t elaborate. She also didn’t want her picture taken because she wasn’t wearing any makeup. Yet, this is the same girl who sported a neon pink wig to her junior show. Will she be wearing a full kimono on April 20?

Regardless, Bella’s six ceramic geishas will be on display during Senior Show II, at 6 p.m. on Friday, April 20 at the Parks Exhibition Center on campus. Like all Idyllwild Arts events, it is free and open to the public. However, don’t miss the Senior Show I this Friday, April 6 at 6 p.m.!

For more information, call the Parks Exhibition Center at (951) 659-2171, ext. 2251.

Copyright 2012 Idyllwild Me. All right reserved.

Student ‘Green Team’ Focuses on Recycling, Growth

Friday, March 30th, 2012

Devin worked on a garlic farm for a week

By Marcia E. Gawecki

“It’s not easy being green,” sang Kermit the frog from The Muppets.

Students from the ‘Green Team’ at Idyllwild Arts can identify. The ideas they plan to propose for their school will take time and effort, but the payoff will be well worth it.

Four of them, including Devin, Alex, Michelle and Katherine, recently attended the ‘Green Schools National Conference’ in Denver with faculty member Shannon Jacobs. They wanted to help their school become more eco-friendly.

During their All-School meeting on Friday, March 9, the group presented a 5-minute video they had created about the experience.

Devin, an Interdisciplinary Arts (IM) major, was the one who interviewed many attendees on camera. They didn’t just interview students, but families and older people as well.

“Why is the environment important to you?” Devin asked.

“Because we live in it,” one student said.

“It’s the only thing that we have left,” quipped another.

An older woman said that it was an important for her to hand over the earth in a good state to her children.

“We need to give a beautiful gift to them,” she said.

The video also showed B-roll of the breakout sessions, lectures, and some new environmental products.

“They also shot about five minutes of Michelle eating french fries,” teased Isaac, a friend of Michelle’s, a dance major.

She said that she enjoyed the conference because of all of the ideas presented there. The Green Team is currently looking over many of them, including growing a garden.

The Green Team hopes to grow garlic and sell to local merchants, such as Cafe Aroma

Devin said they’re considering growing garlic, and maybe selling it to Idyllwild merchants, such as Cafe Aroma at a reduced price.

“I worked on a garlic farm for a week, and its surprisingly easy to grow,” Devin said.

The Green Team is also looking into hosting a guest lecture series to learn more about recycling and the environment. They’ve heard there are groups in town, such as Sustainable Idyllwild, that perhaps they can collaborate with.

Although most of these ideas are still in the planning stages, the Green Team actively searches out new ideas from other students and the faculty. Brian D. Cohen, the school’s headmaster, is a strong proponent of recycling and saving energy.

Just this year, the academy’s cafeteria saw a big change. Signs went up about food waste, and they even weighed the garbage cans to prove it.

Then there was an effort to help save water and energy by not using food trays, but carrying your dishes to the table. Once finished, everyone was encouraged to scrape their plates and separate them into bins.

Just the act of standing over a trash can and scraping away your leftovers made students aware of what was being wasted.

“I started gaining more weight because I didn’t want to throw any food away,” said one van driver.

Everyone is encouraged to ask for less portions, and those who want more must go through the line a second time.

Besides the cafeteria, the offices got a change with energy efficient lighting. They’re the kind of lights that come on automatically, and shut off after you leave. That way, no one is walking into a dark bathroom or hallway.

(from L) Michelle, who attended the Denver conference, and her friend, Becky

“They detect motion, so they’re not going to shut off after a few minutes,” explained Angela, the school’s receptionist.

She said she likes the new improvements, and its nice to know they’re saving energy.

Another idea the Green Team are considering is healthy vending, which means healthy alternatives in the vending machines and in the school’s bookstore.

He encouraged everyone to check out their Facebook page called, “Idyllwild Greenies.”

Copyright 2012 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.

 

 

Spring Dance Features Interesting Mix

Sunday, March 18th, 2012

Cats consult with Cinderella about going to the ball

By Marcia E. Gawecki

The Idyllwild Arts Spring Dance Concert, held for three days this week, featured a nice mix of ballet, modern and jazz.

Standout pieces included Cinderella, and contemporary ballet and hip-hop pieces from two guest choreographers.

However, the final piece, featuring video and poetry from the seniors, was an emotional good-bye.

The show opened with a grand production of ‘Cinderella,’ with their own twists. After being told that she cannot go to the ball, Cinderella (Madison) consults with cats (instead of mice). But its the seasonal fairies who convince her to go. Big show stealers were male dancers Cemiyon and Gilbert, as the wicked stepsisters, with stepmother Gerard, all dressed in drag.

(from L) Cinderella (Madison) celebrates with Lani (fair godmother) and the fairies

The fairy godmother (Lani) and spring/summer/winter/fall fairies (Gina, Giovanna, Cheyenne and Adrianna) were all played beautifully by senior dancers.

The fairies’ ballet costumes were not the traditional starched variety, but colorful and flowing, making one yearn for spring. (Ten inches of snow arrived the day after the show’s end).

Will Dingledein, a 2011 dance grad, was in attendance for all three shows. He laughed his head off when Gerard, as stepmother, scolded Prince Charming (Mauricio).

“He stole the show!” Will said during the first intermission.

“Le Papillon,” a modern ballet by guest choreographer, Josie Walsh, was funded by a grant from the AEL Foundation. Given the title, one expected to see butterflies, but the opening showed dancers rolling other dancers wrapped in cocoon-like materials.

From 'Pas de Quoi'

The piece, which also featured the original music by Josie’s husband, Paul Rivera, Jr., featured sound effects like echoes, which piqued your interest.

'Lotus' was a hip-hop piece by guest choreographer Brandon Aiken

The costumes, sheer peach long dresses, were elegant, yet functional. In the end, dancers wrapped themselves in the same material as capes that were stepped on by other dancers.

It was artfully choreographed, and a treat to watch its transformation.

‘Lotus,’ by guest choreographer Brandon Aiken, told a different story. Borrowing from “West Side Story,” the hip-hop piece featured a dance-off contest between two rival dance gangs. Torn between the two were star-crossed lovers, played by Allison and Gilbert.

Paris, who was adamantly opposed to the pair, was perfectly theatrical. Hip-hop music by Chris Brown, Lil Jon, young Jeezy and Wale kept the crowd enthralled.

Senior dancers Giovanna and Mauricio

‘A Leaving,’ the last piece, featured an emotional good-bye from seniors, Adrianna, Cheyenne, Natalia, Lani, Mauricio, Gina, Giovanna, Delaney, Allison, Madison, Sorrelle and Gerard. Each took their turns at the microphone, citing poetry and memories over the past four years.

“I am a bird, high up in these trees,” Cheyenne said. “I am home.”

“We stuck our heads in the earth,” Delaney said in a voice over during her dance solo.

“Lizard dust fills my mouth,” Madison added. “Making it hard to say good-bye.”

Towards the end, a full-screened black-and-white video depicted the dance seniors walking away in the snow. Voice-overs talked about first loves, heartache, gratitude and self-actualization.

It was also peppered with humor.

Spring dance featured a nice mix of dance styles

“Even after four years, people still don’t know if I’m Gina or Giovanna,” Gina quipped.

At the final bow, the audience was on its feet, clapping, cheering and shedding some tears.

Wednesday night’s concert was featured on U Stream on the academy’s web site, www.idyllwildarts.org.

Angela, the school’s receptionist, was glad to be able to watch the dance concert from the comfort of her own home.

 

Copyright 2012 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.

Andy leaps in the air over his fellow dancers

 

 

Cemiyon in 'Pas de Quoi'

 

Spring Dance Concert Opens Tonight

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Spring Dance Concert will feature a guest ballet choreographer. 2011 photo courtesy Idyllwild Arts.

By Marcia E. Gawecki

Idyllwild Arts’ Spring Dance Concert will showcase the choreographic talents of two guest artists, including hip hop and ballet.

The two-hour show opens tonight (Wednesday) and runs through Friday. Expect the dance students to be enthusiastic, not just because they love their craft, but because it’s only days before Spring Break.

Brandon was a recent guest artist in the Dance Department and choreographed the hip-hop piece.

“I”m not sure who Brandon was a backup dancer for,” said Gina, a senior. “Maybe Madonna, but he’s definitely a great dancer and choreographer.”

Becca, who knows about hip hop (but isn’t in Brandon’s piece), said, “It’s like Brandon recreated a club ‘dance off.”

Skye, a dancer from Santa Barbara, will be in four pieces, including the hip-hop, modern, jazz and ballet.

Cheyenne strikes a pose for the show poster

“Most of the dancers are in three or four pieces,” Skye said. “It’s going to be a long show, but it moves really fast.”

Gilbert, one of six male dancers at Idyllwild Arts, bought pantyhose in town for the Cinderella ballet piece. They were nude, Queen-sized with reinforced toes.

“I don’t want to spoil anything, but some of the male dancers will be dressed as women for the Cinderella piece,” Gilbert said. “It’s really funny. We’re going to be wearing wigs and full makeup.”

At 13 years old, Gilbert is the youngest student at Idyllwild Arts.

“You hae to come see the hip hop piece and the ballet piece,” said Gina. “It was really wonderful working with professionals.”

Both guest artists taught Master Classes and worked closely with the dance students with their choreographed pieces.

The Spring Dance Concerts starts tonight, Wednesday, March 14, at 7:30 p.m. in the IAF Theatre at Bowman. Like all events at Idyllwild Arts, it’s free and open to the public. But you might want to get there early to get a good seat. The show continues Thursday and Friday nights at 7:30 p.m.

Copyright 2012 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.

 

Student Photographer Heads to Nairobi

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

Portraits of street artist/activist Shepard Fairey by Sidney M.

By Marcia E. Gawecki

She’s always carrying a camera, taking pictures of her friends or capturing Idyllwild’s natural beauty. On weekends, young couples pay her to shoot their weddings.

And when street artist Shepard Fairey came to Idyllwild Arts, she got five minutes alone with him.

As a photography student at Idyllwild Arts, Sidney knows what it takes to be good.

However, in June, she’ll be traveling outside her comfort zone on a 2-week missionary trip to Nairobi, Kenya. It’s sponsored by her church, Community Christian, in Hemet.

“There are one million people in Nairobi living in one square mile,” Sidney said. “We’re going to help improve their living conditions.”

According to various web sites, Nairobi is the most populous city in East Africa, with an estimated population of 3 million.

To help fund the trip to Nairobi, Sidney must raise $3,600. With her freelance gigs over the past year, (in addition to her academic and arts classes), she’s earned most of it, but she’s about $1,500 short.

So she’s offering 15-minute photography sessions for $25, which is much less than her normal $100 asking price.

“For these sessions, you can bring a friend, your pet, props or a change of clothes, if you’re quick about it,” Sidney said.

Sidney asked Shepard to lean forward for a stronger statement

Portraits appear to be her forte, capturing the essence of a person. For more samples of this, visit www.signeymorganblog.com.

With Shepard Fairey, she worked with him to get the right shot. She set him against a gritty black wall and asked him to lean forward.

“I think it made a stronger statement,” she said.

Recently, she photographed a young mother-to-be in a sheer blue lingerie, exposing her protruding belly.

She said that the couple was so excited about the baby, they wanted to capture every moment. A sample of that portrait is also on Sidney’s blog site.

Yesterday, she planned to photograph a few Idyllwild Arts students at the the Nature Center. Sidney picked the Nature Center (which is popular for weddings) because of its privacy, natural foliage and ample light.

So far, only a few students and locals have signed up for the mini sessions, but Sidney is confident she’ll get more as she announces them on Facebook.

In Nairobi, Sidney will be taking hundreds of photos of the locals.

“It’s going to be a lot different than taking pictures in Idyllwild,” she said somberly.

All of the details haven’t been worked out yet, but Sidney also hopes to get an art grant afterwards so that she can make a Nairobi slide presentation.

“Those photos will help tell their plight,” she said.

In the meantime, Sidney is working hard to line up the 15-minute mini sessions, until she reaches her $3,600 goal.

For more information on Sidney’s photography, call (951) 760-8754 or visit www.sidneymorganblog.com.

Copyright 2011 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.

Students to Perform at Berklee Jazz Fest

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

(from L) Lake with Ashi and Alejandro at another event

By Marcia E. Gawecki

On Saturday, March 10, four jazz students from Idyllwild Arts Academy will be attending the Berklee High School Jazz Festival in Boston. Last year, two brought back Outstanding Musician and Superior Musician Awards.

The four jazz musicians who are going this year are: Lake (guitar), Luca (piano), Mary (bass) and Max (drums). Lake and Mary are seniors, Luca is a junior and Max is a sophomore.

“I know that a piano, bass, guitar and drums sounds like an unusual jazz combo,” Max explained. “Even though we don’t have a horn player, we sound pretty good.”

Lake, the only one who will be attending the Berklee Jazz Festival both years, doesn’t feel the pressure to win more awards. He’s racked up a few of his own this year, including a Young Artist Award, a Downbeat Magazine Award (June issue), and an Honorable Mention at the Music Center’s Spotlight Competition.

Jazz drummer Max is looking forward to his first competition

Although a little arrogance would be expected, Lake remains humble.

“There are so many deserving musicians out there,” he said.

Not to be outdone, Luca, the jazz pianist, just won a songwriting award. But they won’t be playing his original music at Berklee. The jazz combo will be playing three songs, including “Moment’s Notice” by John Coltrane, “Monk’s Mood” by Theolonious Monk and “Straight Up and Down” by Chick Corea.

Max, from Russia, is looking forward to the Berklee Jazz Festival, but is a little nervous about playing before large crowds at the Hynes Convention Center. It’s his first competition, and he’s relatively new to jazz. Before coming to Idyllwild Arts this year, Max hadn’t played jazz before.

He said he looked up Idyllwild Arts online, and received a great scholarship. He likes living up in the San Jacinto Mountains, but it’s not as rustic as Russia.

“In Russia, there are more bears there than there are squirrels here,” he said.

Portrait of Marshall Hawkins by Idyllwild artist Marcia E. Gawecki

He knows about bears firsthand. When he went canoe camping with this father, he heard “crunching” sounds outside their tent late at night.

“I just knew that it was a bear,” Max said.

In the morning, there were fresh bear paw prints all around their tent and campsite.

He said he’ll never forget that sound. Perhaps it might work its way into one of his drum solos in the future? Max only laughs.

In Boston, the group, including jazz instructors Marshall Hawkins and Paul Carman, will meet up with former jazz students, Caleb (trumpet), Jacob (saxophone) and Ashi (drums), who now attend the Berkelee College of Music in Boston. In 2011, Jacob brought back an Outstanding Musician Award and Lake received a Superior Musician Award.

They got a jump start at Idyllwild Arts, and played regular gigs at Café Aroma in Idyllwild. When their schedules would allow, Caleb, Jacob and Lake would perform with Marshall and Paul on Tuesday nights. On a few occasions, they played with bassist and jazz grad Casey Abrams before he entered the 10th Season of American Idol, and catapulted into the world’s stage.

Casey Abrams banner at Cafe Aroma. The 7 x 9 foot banner is for sale for $900

This weekend, Casey will be performing at the Idyllwild Arts Spring Gala in Los Angeles.

Whether these four will bring back more awards from the Berklee Jazz Fest is anyone’s guess. We’ll find out soon enough at the next jazz concert.

When they performed together at the last jazz concert, Stephens Recital Hall was packed. Their concerts have become so popular that they’ve had to move to the IAF Theatre in Bowman for the next one.

For more information on the Jazz Department at Idyllwild Arts, visit www.idyllwildarts.org or call (951) 659-2171. And more about the Berklee High School Jazz Festival, visit. www.berklee.org.

The original Casey Abrams acrylic banner, 7 x 9 feet, is for sale for $900. However, the Marshall Hawkins banner is sold. Email: idyllwildwriter@gmail.com.

Copyright 2012 Idyllwild Me. All rights reserved.

 

Alumni Art Show Ends Friday

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

By Marcia E. Gawecki

“Past to Present,” Idyllwild Arts’ alumni arts exhibition, ends today, Friday, March 2 at the Parks Exhibition Center on campus.  Although most of the hoopla of the show was focused on Shepard Fairey’s work (’88), there were 19 other alumni artists in the show.

Yesterday, five of the artists from the show (who live in Idyllwild) participated in a panel discussion whose topic was, “Making Art After School: Creating Art as a Lifelong Pursuit.” Daniel Gray, Erin Latimer, Alison Yates, Paul Waddell and Youree Jin all work at the academy and fielded questions from students and faculty at 3:30 p.m. at the Parks Exhibition Center.

“Three weeks ago, the opening was so packed that it was hard to talk to the artists,” said Mallory Cremin, who curated the show.

She said that she was sorry that Jonathan Taube and Tada Kono (both from ’06) left without talking much about their work. Their work from WIKI Studio featured two installations of organic materials. “Chametz Roulette” featured loaves of bread “That may nor may not contain mortal shrapnel.” Loaves were $11.99 each.

Each piece of the WIKI cacti installation was for sale for $6 each

Taube and Kono’s other installation, “Within Limbo,” featured pieces of prickly pear cactus attached to a pole.

“Each cactus is intended to be a collectible living object,” the pair wrote in the information about the show. “They are for sale for $6 each.”

When Mallory opened the gallery several days before the end of the show, several of the cacti had rotted and fallen from the pole.

“This is not part of the installation,” Mallory said, as she scooped up the debris.

Since the students didn’t get to speak with Kono and Taube, Mallory said that she wanted to give the local artists the opportunity to speak about their work before the show ended today.

Erin Latimer (’02) and Alison Yates (’03) both showcased artist books. Erin’s books were small and portable (3 x 3 inches and 2 x 5 inches). “Mythology” and “Refugee. Evacuee. Survivor,” featured linobloc prints.

The images depict a profile of a woman with an oversized heart falling down to her feet. She is shrouded, so it could depict a Middle Eastern woman’s plight, or it could depict an American woman, for example, who is “cloaked” in darkness?

Erin Latimer's art book tells a story of escape

It could also be telling a story about work or even love relationships.

Alison’s artist’s book title, “Housework,” was understated. It was actually wonderfully crafted paper cuts on wood panels. The palette of her paper cuts was limited to only three colors, red, black and white. Which was telling because they are the colors of ashes, fire and smoke.

Note that she used uniform square wood panels as pages for her art book. Threads loosely bound them.

“Sweeping crumbs or sweeping ashes,” was the text that Alison repeated on several panels, yet her compelling images in red, white and black showed a housewife going from brushing up crumbs to turning into toast.

On one of the panels, Alison asks, “Was it intentional?”

Alison Yates' art book was done in red, white and black on wood panels

The threat of fire is part of the Idyllwild fabric, even for the students who live on campus. Matches are banned from the dorm rooms. You can’t even light candles on a birthday cake. Hopefully, during the panel discussion yesterday some of the students asked Alison if her art book told a true story?

Youree Jin’s installation of small, framed etchings of “Closet,” showcased how she took one image and used various materials, including glass, paper, fabric, ink and thread, to create totally different effects. Some looked like collages, while others looked like x-ray negatives (if that’s possible!) of a closet!

More text to come

Yuree's closet has taken on many different moods