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Third Annual Arts in April Festival Arrives at Delta State

By April 2, 2008General

Delta State students participate in “ImprovART,” an outdoor multi-arts experience

April at Delta State University brings a focus on the arts across the campus. The DSU Special Programs Committee sponsors the month-long Arts in April Festival that celebrates the visual arts and performances, focusing on student artistry.

Dr. Mark Butler, chair of the Special Programs Committee, commented that “the Festival includes a student art exhibition, music recitals, and music ensemble concerts, that all involve Delta State student and faculty artists and musicians.”
Several main events are scheduled for this year’s festival. “ImprovART” is an outdoor multi-arts experience in which student painters and musicians paint and play to a poem written by a student, creating a painting to a soundtrack on the spot. The event will begin at 2 p.m. April 10, on the Quadrangle as a part of Springfest. The committee hopes to auction the paintings from the previous years to bring funds in for next year’s programming.
A featured concert this year is by the music and dance ensemble “Al-Andalus” from Portland, Ore., to be held Tuesday, April 15 at 7:30 p.m. in Jobe Auditorium on the campus. The two musicians and dancer in the ensemble are experts in the musical style of Andalusia, a region in Spain that bred a mix of the music of Spaniards, Sephardic Jews, and Muslims from North Africa in the years 700 to 1500 AD. The intricate style of flamenco guitar playing and dancing identifies this historic musical style.
The DSU Art Department will host a panel discussion called “Artist’s Forum” featuring DSU art alumni as panelists. The event will be held Monday, April 21 at 1 p.m. in the Recital Hall of the Bologna Performing Arts Center (BPAC).
According to organizer Duncan Baird, DSU professor of art, the focus of the panel discussion is to explore professional life in the visual arts. The panelists include Gerald DeLoach, a painter from Alligator; Bronwyn Lane, a graphic designer from Walnut Creek, California; Brian Hull, a photographer from Jackson; Davis Whitfield, a sculptor from North Carolina; and Felicia Forbes, an art educator in the Madison School District. A reception will follow in the lobby. Other sponsors are the DSU Alumni Association and Career Services. The forum is free and open to the public.
A student event that gives attention to excellence in student artistry is the Art Student Showcase, an exhibition in Wright Art Gallery, opening Sunday, April 6, at 4 p.m., and continuing through April 29.
The DSU Music Department will present several student performances in the Delta and Pine Land Theatre of the BPAC. The DSU Choirs will perform on Sunday, April 27 at 3 p.m. and the Music Student Honors Recital will be Monday, April 28 at 7:30 p.m. The instrumental large ensembles will present concerts on Tuesday April 29 at 7:30 p.m.
Large-scale arts events at Delta State during April include the 3rd annual Delta International Film and Video Festival, hosted by the DSU art department, and the ballet “Sleeping Beauty” performed by the St. Petersburg Ballet from Russia. The film festival will be held in the Recital Hall of the BPAC April 11-13. Tickets for the ballet are available from the BPAC Ticket Office. For more info call the BPAC at (662) 846-4625.

Faculty and guest recitals, a performance by students in the Delta Music Institute on April 23 and a student music composition showcase on April 24 will round out the festival. 

A complete Arts-in-April Festival calendar is published by the Special Programs committee. There is no admission fee for most events unless indicated. For more information about scheduled events or for a calendar, contact Butler at (662) 846-4619.