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Annual Festival To Showcase SHSU's Fine Arts

April 26, 2013
SHSU Media Contact: Jennifer Gauntt

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Sam Houston State University’s Raven Films will bring fine arts to the center stage and feature all of the programs in the College of Fine Arts and Mass Communication with their second annual festival on May 5.

screen shot from Raven Film Festival
A behind-the-scenes shot from the recent Raven Films production "Kaleotechne" ("The Artist"), which will be presented at the festival. —Submitted photo

The Fine Arts Festival will include an evening of art; dance, musical and theatrical performances; and short films beginning at 5 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Ballroom.

“Our university's fine arts program is growing and gaining respect at an exponential rate, from its renowned musical theatre program to the brand new film track,” said Fariha Alam, Raven Films historian. “Separate departments have held their respective events to showcase their work, but never has there been an all-encompassing event that has celebrated what can be done when we come together and all the talent that we have to offer as an college.

“On the surface, sometimes it is perceived that an area of expertise is self-sustaining and there is no need to make connections with other fields that fall into the ‘fine arts;’ however, in essence, all that we do and love is inevitably interconnected with every other branch of the fine arts. Without the connections and relations to the other pieces, success in our own areas is slim if not difficult,” she said. “Simply put, this festival is designed to satisfy that need and potentially be the ultimate fine arts networking and showcasing event on campus.”

The event will begin with a cocktail hour, during which attendees can mingle, network and view the Art Gallery display that features the work of SHSU art majors and non-majors.

The exhibit will be followed by a line up of dance performances, musical performances, short films, and theatrical performances, which will include the short films “Eumenidies,” directed by theatre major Peter Ton, and “Nine Acres,” directed and written by mass communication major Justin Mulbry; a dance tribute to the late assistant professor Jonathan Charles Smith; musical performances of senior music major Nathan Mays’s original composition “Man with the Blue Boy” and junior music major Joey Vranas’s original composition “Nanissaanah: Ghost Dance;” and a script reading from an excerpt of the film “Men in Progress” by theatre majors Chasen Parker, Joseph Redd, Nick Cuellar, Luc Armstrong and Grant Brown, which is expected to begin production in the fall, among many others.

While SHSU’s Raven Films is a student filmmaking organization, the festival highlights all of the fine arts because “film is a multidisciplinary and all-encompassing form of expression,” Alam said.

“It's impossible to make a good film without the intense involvement of every branch of what we consider the ‘fine arts;’ from music to score a film, actors, artistic direction, to all the technical production elements involved in creating a film—absolutely every branch of the fine arts family is utilized and cherished in the process,” she said. “It sounds almost silly to say, but it's entirely true that film cannot exist without it's greater parts. We're completely dependent and intertwined in all other fields.

“So it has been a primary agenda of Raven Films to unite and create camaraderie across the College of Fine Arts and Mass Communications,” she said.

The event is free and open to the public. The festival is expected to end by 9:30 p.m.

“This festival presents the opportunity to network and appreciate the fine arts,” Alam said. “All art is an attempt at reconstructing the human experience and reality through perspectives.

“At the end of the day, that is what connects the person in their car waiting at a stoplight to the guy around the corner picking his daughter up from school; we're all connected by our experiences and emotions,” she said. “The entire world shares the feeling of happiness, misery, love, and disaster and a billion other emotions—and art, whether the vehicle is dance, a film, or a painting, is an attempt at conveying a small piece of that big world. All of us, being a part of this resulting bigger picture, should relate to what we will be presenting at this festival; because all of it is art, a piece of all of us.”

For more information, contact Alam at fta002@shsu.edu.



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