Arts & Entertainment Year In Review 2022-23

Emma Armijo, Arts & Entertainment Editor

GV hosts Art Prize pieces

GVL / Sydney Lim

Grand Valley State University’s Pew Campus is a venue for ArtPrize 2022, an independent art competition in Grand Rapids, Michigan. GVSU aims to connect to the wider Grand Rapids community through hosting art pieces.

GVSU has participated as a venue since the first ArtPrize event in 2009. This year, the university is hosting the work of Scott Froschauer, an experimental artist based out of Los Angeles, California. His work explores the idea of typical street signs and what new messages they could present through art.

Joel Zwart, Curator of Exhibitions and Collection at GVSU’s Art Gallery, said he is excited for the university to be able to work with Froschauer. Zwart said that Froschauer’s unique art style and message are both “surprising and uplifting.”

“He takes the visual language and form of street signs, and then shifts the traditionally negative messages in them towards a hopeful and positive direction,” Zwart said. “His work makes viewers consider the role of signage and points them toward positive forms of communication.”

To read more of Steven Lawrence’s coverage of Art Prize at GVSU, click here.

Professional dance company performs and teaches at GV

Courtesy / GVSU Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance

As a part of the Grand Valley State University Arts Celebration, South Chicago Dance Theatre (SCDT), a professional dance company, performed their show titled “Energy | Power | Grace” at the Haas Center for Performing Arts.

In addition to her company’s performance, Executive Artistic Director of SCDT Kia Smith taught classes for the GVSU dance program students and hosted an audition for spots in her company.

Smith began her dance career at age 16, later than most professionals do. She said ever since she was a kid, she was drawn to dance and knew she wanted to have a dance company.

Smith pursued her dance journey and attended Western Michigan University where she obtained her BFA in dance. Later, Smith founded her dance company in 2017 while working towards her Master’s degree.

“I knew I wanted to call my company ‘South Chicago Dance Theatre’ for a long time because my company has a long history on the south side (of Chicago),” Smith said. “My family came to the south side of Chicago during the Great Migration, so my family has been here for a long time so I just feel very tied to it.”

To read more of Allison Bair’s coverage of SCDT at GVSU, click here.

Barrier-breaking art exhibit opens on campus

GVL / Bethann Long

“Convergence: Cracks in the Glass Ceiling,” is an exhibit on display in the Haas Center for Performing Arts at Grand Valley State University that encourages students to push boundaries and engage in the conversation of racial injustice. It is co-curated by Muse GR, an art gallery in Grand Rapids that fosters an inclusive and passionate creative space.

The display includes the work of eleven artists, including Grand Valley State University alumni. They use a wide range of media and styles to create a vibrant portrayal of art and culture. The contemporary art in the exhibition fuses together pop, street and graffiti, fiber and urban genres in its presentation.

According to a learning guide provided to visitors by the GVSU Art Gallery, “Artists in this exhibition engage directly and indirectly with social and racial justice and economic issues. Stylistically, their works embody both joy and anxiety, while embracing the angst and excitement of living in 21st-century America.”

The artists come from various locations such as Detroit, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and London to piece together a narrative of experiences and community. Three themes prevalent throughout the exhibition are “Breaking Barriers,” “Pushing Boundaries” and “Activism in Art.”

To read more about Convergence: Cracks in the Glass Ceiling by Hailey Hentz, click here.

Ignite Dance Co. wins GV’s Got Talent

Courtesy / GVSU Campus Activities Board

“GV’s Got Talent,” put on by the Campus Activities Board (CAB), is an event where students can show off their talents for an opportunity to win first, second or third place, receiving cash prizes. The winner of the competition is awarded the opportunity to be the opening act for CAB’s spring concert. This year, the event was held on March 15.

“GV’s Got Talent is an opportunity for GVSU students to showcase their talents, whether it is singing, dancing, poetry, comedy, playing an instrument,” said CAB member Chad Novak.

Novak helped to plan and set up GV’s Got Talent. He said it took CAB around a month to prepare for the talent show.

“About a month out, we host auditions and do logistical work for preparing for the talent show – reserving rooms and equipment, purchasing supplies, reaching out to judges, putting in promotions requests for graphics and photo and video coverage,” Novak said. “The day of, we start to set up five hours before the event. We set up the stage, chairs, balloon arch, decorations, etc. Three hours before the show, we have rehearsal for the performers.”

To continue reading Haley Rosendale’s coverage of GV’s Got Talent, click here.

GV Baton Twirler joins TEAM USA for international championship

Courtesy / GVSU Laker Marching Band

Grand Valley State University’s Feature Twirler, student Emelia Adam, will be traveling to Liverpool, England to compete with Team USA at the Nations Cup for baton twirling.

Being Feature Twirler means that Adam performs routines at GVSU’s sporting events alongside the marching and pep bands to provide entertainment and school spirit. At games, she can be seen spinning her way through routines on the court or field. The act of baton twirling is a culmination of many facets and determination – it’s considered an art form in its own regard.

Adam began baton twirling at the age of 5 when she was inspired by twirlers at the Hamburger Festival, a local event in her hometown of Hamburg, Pennsylvania. Since then, she’s known that twirling is her calling.

“From that moment on I knew I wanted to twirl,” Adam said. “I knew this was going to be my sport. 15 years later, I can proudly say it has been everything and more than that 5-year-old girl could have wanted.”

To continue reading Hailey Hentz’s coverage of Emelia Adam’s twirling story, click here.

Guest speaker advocates for diverse and indigenous art in VMA dept

GVL / Annabelle Robinson

This past week, the Grand Valley State University Visual Media Arts Department (VMA) welcomed design anthropologist and Dean of Faculty of Design at Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD) University, Dori Tunstall. OCAD University is the largest art and design institute in Canada and the fourth largest in North America.

Among these things, Tunstall is also a writer and educator. Her visit was centered around her new book, “Decolonizing Design: A Cultural Justice Guidebook.”

Tunstall’s book discussed important topics around the gentrification of art and its persistence through many centuries. It highlights key factors within diversity and inclusion on any school campus.

Tunstall made an appearance at a few events for GVSU during her visit, the first of which was a VMA luncheon held at Calder Art Center Atrium on the Allendale campus. This event was open to all GVSU students and faculty. The next event was a panel discussion with Tunstall over the topics of decolonizing design, academia and business.

To continue reading coverage by Omari Seaberry regarding Dori Tunstall, click here.