Texas artists who have received national acclaim, many of whom live and work within a hundred mile radius of Huntsville, will be featured in a Folk Art Exhibition which opens this week and which is expected to become an annual event.

Stephanie Smither, who became interested in folk art while traveling in Africa a decade ago, is curator of the show, which is sponsored by the Sam Houston State University art department. Its location is the Gaddis Geeslin Gallery, in the SHSU art department's Building F on the southwest corner of the SHSU campus. Shown here is "God Loves Everybody," a work by Reverend Johnnie Swearingen.

The show opens with a reception from 5-7 p.m. Thursday and runs through April 24. The gallery is open from noon to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Admission is free.

The exhibition will also introduce folk art to the 7th grade history classes in Huntsville. The students will view the exhibition and then be guided through an art-making process based on folk art tradition. Sandra Linderman of the art department staff is project coordinator for the school program.

Smither said that she became interested in self-taught or "folk" art as the result of a chance encounter in Africa with Bert Hemphill, who is known as "Mr. American Folk Art." She has since visited many of the artists represented in the exhibition, investigating their backgrounds and the experiences that produced their imaginative outpourings.

Featured artists in addition to Swearingen include Eddie Arning, John Banks, Hector Benevides, Henry Ray Clark, Patrick Davis, Carl Dixon, Ezekiel Gibbs, Mark C. Greene, Reverend Johnny Hunter, Frank Jones, Ike Morgan, Semone Robinson, Isaac Smith, David Strickland and Tom Tarrer.

Mrs. Smither will give a lecture on the collecting of folk art on April 22 at 5:30 p.m. in the gallery. For further information, call the art department at (409) 294-1315.


"Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street," is the final offering of the spring 1997 season of Sam Houston State University's Department of Theatre and Dance.

Written by composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim and librettist Hugh Wheeler, the show is scheduled for 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, with a 2 p.m. Saturday matinee. General admission tickets are $10, or $7 with an SHSU or senior citizen I.D.

Called a "musical thriller," "Sweeney Todd" is based on one version of a popular English melodrama set in 19th Century London. The main character, Sweeney Todd (Scott Bonaso) returns to London incognito after being arrested and convicted on false charges and sent to a prison colony.

When he returns he learns that his wife is dead and his daughter Johanna (Janelle Christie) is in the care of his sworn enemy, Judge Turpin (Jay Meyer). Bent on revenge, he teams with Mrs. Lovett (Heather Hodnett), the owner of a pie shop. Also in major roles are Joanne Dooley, Kelly Burnett, Tyler Jones, Aryn Priest and Michael Moore.

"What transpires is a tale designed to transport audiences into a world filled with intrigue, mystery and passion," said director Thomas Soare of the theater faculty. Musical direction is by music faculty member Barbara Corbin.

Set design is by Jerry S. Hooker and costumes by Kristina S. Hanssen, both theatre faculty members. Choreography is by dance faculty member Terri McWilliams with senior musical theatre major Vanessa Durst as assistant choreographer.

Senior theatre major P. J. Stuckey designed the lighting and sophomore theatre major Robert Gammons is the stage manager.

For more information or to make reservations, call the theatre box office at (409) 294-1339 or the theatre office at (409) 294-1329.


James Goodwin, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said that many students who must be advised by a faculty member before being allowed to register for future classes are not scheduling sessions with their advisers.

All students with a grade point average below 2.5, those which do not have a SHSU grade point average, those who have not completed TASP testing and requirements, and those admitted provisionally, are subject to the process. An estimated 6,000 students are affected.

Goodwin said that last fall students who needed to be advised were sent letters, but this spring they are expected to determine eligibility and schedule sessions on their own. Procedures and requirements are listed on page 3 of the schedule of classes booklet. Faculty advisers are listed on the upper portion of student transcripts. Students with questions can also call the College of Arts and Sciences at (409) 294-1401.

The advisement process was adopted to assist students in taking the correct courses and to increase student retention.


Two musical events are scheduled this week on the SHSU campus.

Diane Hilbert, who is completing her requirements for a master of music degree, will conduct the Sam Houston Symphony Orchestra in its performance at 7 p.m. Monday in Killinger Auditorium of the Beto Criminal Justice Center.

On Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in the Recital Hall, the Flute Choir will present a concert under the direction of Natalie Syring.

The symphony concert will open with Mozart's "Overture to The Impresario" under the baton of Carol Smith, director of orchestral studies at SHSU.

Ms. Hilbert will then take the podium to lead the ensemble in three works: "Entrance of the Queen of Sheba" by G. F. Handel; "Preludium and Allegro" by Fritz Kreisler, and Stravinsky's "Fire Bird Suite."

Admission to music events is free to students and Friends of Music. Tickets at the door are $5. For further information, call (409) 294-1360.


Representatives from approximately 60 companies and institutions will participate in the 1997 Business and Government Career Fair scheduled for noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday in Johnson Coliseum.

The career fair is sponsored by SHSU's Career Services office. Charles Western, who directs the office, said that the event is open to SHSU graduates, current students, and members of the community. There is no admission fee.

Western said that students in their sophomore year and up should attend the event to seek information on internships, on companies for whom they might like to work, and to meet company representatives.

"We've had students who made contacts when they were sophomores be offered jobs two or three years later," he said.

Students nearing graduation, alumni, and community residents with experience in sales, marketing, management and accounting, are most likely to find positions, he said.

Examples of the kinds of companies and institutions who have indicated they will attend include representatives of city police departments, university graduate schools, life insurance companies, state agencies, military branches and brokerage firms.

Contact Career Services at (409) 294-1713 for more information.


The 9th Annual SHSU Bearkat Football Dinner and Auction, offering opportunities to "guest coach" in the Orange/White spring game, sports trip packages, pro sports tickets, and SHSU sports memorabilia, is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday at the Walker County Fair Grounds.

Proceeds from ticket sales and the auction will go to the SHSU Football Enrichment Fund for scholarships, equipment and recruiting expenses. Tickets for the event, which begins with a social hour and silent auction, are $30 each, or $50 per couple. Organizations may participate by reserving a table for eight for $200.

Monday is the deadline for buying tickets. Contact Denise Holcomb in the SHSU Athletic Department, at (409) 294-1735 for tickets and information.

The Orange/White spring football game is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday in Bowers Stadium.


Students who plan to graduate in December must file applications to do so by May 1 in the Registrar's Office in room 104 of the Administration Building. Commencement exercises are scheduled for Dec. 20 in Johnson Coliseum.


Media Contact: Frank Krystyniak

April 6, 1997