2010 Fall Arts Celebration closes Monday

GVL Archive / Nicole Lamson
Grand Valley students were recognized this Fall during an event to display their work that was entered into ArtPrize 2010

GVL Archive / Nicole Lamson Grand Valley students were recognized this Fall during an event to display their work that was entered into ArtPrize 2010

Rebekah Young

Grand Valley State University’s 2010 Fall Arts Celebration came to a close Monday night with the music department’s performance of George Frideric Handel’s “Messiah” at the Fountain Street Church in downtown Grand Rapids.

With the semester winding down and the fall arts events officially over, GVSU professors involved in the festivities reflected on the purpose at the heart of the Fall Arts Celebration.

“The university sees this as a way to showcase the incredible talent of our own faculty and students,” said Teri Losey, chair of the Fall Arts Celebration and GVSU’s 50th Anniversary committee. “It’s a wonderful way for our students to learn about the music, art, dance and poetry offerings at the university and have an opportunity to see them.”

This year’s celebration primarily featured seven key programs, including a poetry night with Detroit native Carolyn Forch?© and GVSU alum Bob Hicok and an event with distinguished academic lecturer and businesswoman Dr. Jill Ker Conway. Other events during the fall semester included were also part of the university’s 50th Anniversary program schedule.

“It’s been a very exciting year at Grand Valley, more so than others in the past,” said Henry Matthews, Grand Valley State University’s director of Galleries and Collections. “This year’s Fall Arts Celebration came and went in a flash. It was such a crazy time, in a good way.”

Matthews organized one of the celebration’s main events, the two-part Multimedia I and Multimedia II exhibition. Running from late August to early October, this art show featured more than 75 new pieces of work from 28 faculty members in the Art and Design department as well as the School of Communications.

“It’s a way of celebrating who we are as an institution,” Matthews said. “Another important part is that it connects with the community around us — Grand Rapids, Holland, Muskegon — so people in this region can become more acquainted with all we do. The event goes way beyond just our students and faculty.”

Losey, who has attended all of the celebration’s main events for several years running, echoed this sentiment. She said the celebration is a way to give back to the university and community for their support.

The celebration brought guest speakers and professionals from diverse fields to share their knowledge and experiences with students and staff.

Shawn Bible, assistant professor of dance, said the Fall Arts Celebration offers “students, faculty and staff the chance to intersect with professional artists from around the globe. Allowing our students to interact with professional guest artists in collaborative environments enriches their educational and life experiences.”

Bible, who worked with students on the fall production of “Appalachian Spring,” expressed great gratitude and awe that students of GVSU’s dance program were granted permission to perform what he called “one of the greatest modern dances in history.”

“It is an arts initiative to bring the most quality caliber performances and fine arts to the Grand Valley community,” he said of the celebration. “It is amazing to witness the quality of GVSU students and faculty and to share our successes with the entire Grand Rapids community.”

Austin Bunn, an assistant writing professor who served as a writing supervisor for the student-written, directed and acted production, “Founding,” said he values the celebration’s focus on the university’s talent pool and its goal to keep students at the center of the experience.

“At a big, busy institution like Grand Valley, it’s a chance to raise the bar and look outward, upward and backwards at how far GVSU has come,” he said. “It’s easy to think ‘good’ art comes from elsewhere, but this school has enormous creative resources.”

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