Archive | March, 2011

White House U.S Department of Education Summit

28 Mar

By: Katelin Perry

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On Wednesday, March 23rd Ivy Tech Community College was chosen to be the home of the third regional community college summit for this year’s U.S. Department of Education. The all day meeting brought together over 150 educators and participants from 13 surrounding states to learn practical and strong practices to improve community colleges throughout the United States. Along with the educators other representatives were present from the departments of business, labor, industry, philanthropy, state and local governments, and college students. This summit connects all community colleges to high-end universities and private colleges nationwide including states Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, North Dakota, Ohio, and Tennessee only to name a few.

The special keynote speakers included U.S. Under Secretary Martha Kanter, who gave the summit’s opening speech, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels and Ivy Tech’s president, Thomas Synder, who both addressed the summit during the morning hour, and Roberto Rodriguez, special assistant to President Obama for the Department of Education. Rodriguez ended the summit with his closing remarks on the importance of a better future for students and their educators, and what they plan to do for Skills for America’s Future— a partnership President Obama created last October to improve community colleges to ensure that skills learned in school match the needs of business and industry. Their goal for 2011 is to increase the future of community colleges’ attendance and graduates by 50%, and lead the future leaders of America to success.

To have this summit available to Ivy Tech Community College became great publicity and knowledge to those who are thinking of applying and are interested in improving their futures.

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A Dose of Hard Truths: Thorton Dial at the IMA

22 Mar

By: George Adrian

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To the inexperienced eye, Indianapolis is often overlooked when it comes to the Arts. The common consensus of what “art” really is seems to be defined by commercialized images of Van Gogh coffee mugs, Monet calendars and Calder sculptures installed in commerce hubs across the country. In my opinion, that’s the beautiful thing about art: scavenging beyond what is commonly accepted always leads to wonderful discoveries. The IMA has spent millions on renovations, expansions, commissioned gallery exhibits, public functions and community outreach programs the past several years. Thanks to the Lilly Endowment, the IMA has weathered the storm of declining donations and attendance so we can all embark on our own personal treasure hunts of the Arts for free. However, there are exhibits that land up in the IMA, which do cost money, but please trust me; it is a small price to pay to ensure that public interest perpetuates the quality of cultural experiences courtesy of our patronage of the IMA.

This past month the IMA unveiled a collection of mixed-media pieces by folk-art legend Thornton Dial. “What’s so special about Dial that I should pony up the $25 for the exhibit”, you ask? The logical response is “What isn’t special about Thornton Dial?” Born and raised in abject poverty in rural Alabama, Dial does not fit the paradigm of “successful artist”; instead, he breaks the mold and commands your attention with his unique “dumpster diving” collages of random junk, spray paint, scrap metal and anything else you might find in a dumpster, trash can or landfill. I like to think of Dial as the Fred Sanford/Jackson Pollock hybrid of the Art world; anything is fair game as he pieces together some of the most intense mixed-media works of Art I have been privy to admire. Personally, I gravitate towards prints and etchings, abstract expressionism, new-contemporary and neo-classical pieces; surprisingly, I was taken completely off guard as I was rapidly sucked into the powerful narratives Dial conveys with his amalgamations of texture, perspective, color and the occasional odd-ball juxtaposition of random items cleverly injected into his creations.

“Hard Truths” is a diverse collection of sculpture, installations, and mixed-media collage assemblages on canvas that spans the last 20 years of Dial’s professional career. Around every turn there is a new collection focusing on a separate theme ranging from 9/11 to racial tensions that still simmer in the Deep South. Upon first glance, Dial’s artwork seems monotonous; however, digging deeper unveils the “Hard Truth” of Dial’s style, conceptual vision and the passions that drive him to create.

I highly recommend taking the audio tour of the exhibit as you pursue each collection in order to fully digest each and every piece. Despite the markers detailing the aesthetic principles of Dial’s art, having an audio guide transforms the experience from “black and white” into a vivid “high-definition” journey within Dial’s inner-aesthete. Personally, I found a few “Objets d′art” in particular which caught the eye more than the rest. “Looking out the Windows”, “Redemption: Musings on the Spiritual” and “False Promises” not only piqued my curiosity on a visual level, they tugged on my heart-strings as I attempted to immerse myself into Dial’s creative visions. Out of the myriad of Dial’s contributions to the exhibit, “Everybody’s Welcome in Peckerwood City” stood out the most. Dial’s method of projecting his narrative with this piece in particular left me awestruck; I could not help but feel the raw emotion invoked by Dial’s allegorical depiction of racism in his native Alabama.

After leaving the exhibit I left with a newfound appreciation for Folk Art and perhaps some creative inspiration to create my own assemblages of random junk; realistically, I doubt my pieces would fetch upwards of $100,000 like some of Dial’s bigger pieces. The lesson here is “one man’s junk is another’s treasure”; but, more important than that clichéd adage is the fact this poor man from Alabama could create art so powerful using a non-traditional medium of discarded scraps of junk and calculated execution of texture with injections of color. The end result was inspiration and a hunger to come back to the IMA to digest “Hard Truths” all over again. At the end of the day, that’s what art is all about.

Sun Boxes

16 Mar

 By: Erin Fulkerson

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On Thursday, March 17, 2011, Ivy Tech’s North Meridian Campus played host to an Installation art piece called Sun Boxes. Craig Colorusso, the artist who created the Installation, was on campus to discuss with students and staff exactly what they were experiencing.

[Sun Boxes] is a piece of art. It is an environment, a system that interacts with mother nature. Unlike other pieces, I wanted to integrate this with what’s already here. Everything is part of this piece.” Colorusso said.

Colorusso explained how all of the ambient sounds, everything going on around the Installation, becomes part of the Installation itself. He describedSun Boxes  as being like listening to a crowded area, where many different conversations were all happening at once.

The Sun Boxes Installation consisted of twenty boxes set up in the courtyard of the North Meridian Campus. All of the boxes were speakers that had a solar panel attached to the top of them. This solar panel powered a recording to play through the speaker. Each box contained one looped note which was part of a six note B-flat chord. Cloud coverage and people walking between the speakers and the sun created a different sound, so every person had a different personal experience with Sun Boxes.

Colorusso spent time traveling on tour with bands before he created Sun Boxes.  “I wanted to do something musically, but not on stage. I wanted to give people a unique experience by eliminating the barrier between the audience and the performance.” Colorusso said.

Colorusso’s Sun Boxes Installation moved to The Indianapolis Museum of Art for Friday, March 18th through Sunday, March 20th.

Battle: Los Angeles – Movie Review

1 Mar

By: Jeremy Williams

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The movie Battle: Los Angeles has one word that automatically comes to mind when I think of it: Suspenseful. Someone that I follow on twitter suggested that all action fans go watch this movie, and while there is a fair amount of butt-kicking, gun firing, and exploding objects in the movie, the real kicker is what I would like to call the “Oh Snap” factor of the film. Every scene is filled with a cliff hanger moment, which will cause most viewers, either mentally or verbally, to say the phrase “Oh Snap!” Quiet as kept, one scene had me crying, saying “I miss my daddy!”

The plot of the movie, is that a bunch of aliens come to Earth on some “Kill All Humans” mission in order to take all of our resources, namely, our water. Our heroes, a random group of Marines, along with a handful of civilians, must find a way to escape L.A., and eventually become humanity’s last hope of survival. Since the plot of the movie isn’t the most original in the world, there is also an interesting subplot of the group learning to trust the man in charge, a Captain who was responsible for getting a bunch of soldiers under his command killed in a previous mission. Yeah, that’s not that original either, but the movie is still pretty good.

 One thing I have to complain about in this film is the presence of the singer Ne-Yo. He should never, ever, ever be given any role that has anything to do with a Marine. When I think Marine, I should think “Tough Guy”. When I think of Ne-Yo, I think “Interior Decorator”. The fact that he had those horrible Harry Potter glasses on throughout the film did not help his case one bit. A few other people starring in this film are Aaron Eckhart, Briget Moynahan, and Michelle Rodriguez (In her 1,389,393rd Role as the “Tough as Nails chick”. Seriously, she’s played the same role for the entirety of her career. Can somebody say “Safety Zone”?)

Overall, the movie was great for what it’s worth. I’m sure no one expected it to revolutionize action flicks, but the suspense alone and character interaction is worth paying for. The acting wasn’t half bad either. Be prepared to say, “OMG…He’s gonna die, he’s gonna die, he’s gonna…AHHHHH!!!!!….He’s not dead?” a few times over.