Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Faculty and student updates for Spring

Perpich Arts High School is winding up what has been a stellar year for students and faculty alike. Many awards, many exhibitions, many performances and lots of deserved recognition.


Perpich Arts High School Principal Ahava Silkey-Jones was featured in Americans for the Arts ARTSblog! Her blogpost highlights the unique way in which arts communities thrive during challenging times, citing the extraordinary passion and purpose she's experienced in the Perpich community during these uncertain times. Love Principal Silkey-Jones’ national advocacy for the arts, arts education and Perpich!
Pat Benincasa, chair of the visual arts faulty, has been creating a series of art works for three years and says that she is proud to share the stories of the women featured in her work, “Women at the Wheel: Stories of remarkable women shattering cultural roadblocks and gendered assumptions.” United Autoworkers Women have showcased two of the paintings from “Women at the Wheel.”  Congratulations, Pat!
Destiny Billges curated an amazing visual exhibition as part of “Femme Fatale,” a show composed of all femme identifying artists and performers whose work focuses on identity as it relates to gender, sexuality and the strength that comes with being a woman. “Femme Fatale” featuring Destiny’s curated art, an installed sculptural garden and musical performances from DJ Keezy, Lydia Liza, Ayvah, and Good Luck Finding Iris. The event was at the Cedar Cultural Center on Saturday, April 22. Great work, Destiny!
Not only that, but Destiny has been awarded a Rose Rees Peace Award this week. Destiny was one of 25 students recognized for demonstrating a special interest in and commitment to international relations and world peace. The award commemorates Rose Rees, a past president of NCJW-Greater Minneapolis Section. Rees' passion for world peace was a guiding principle of NCJW, as well as the World Affairs Council of Minneapolis, which she founded. Each year, NCJW honors selected seniors from participating schools (as well as their family members, teachers and principals) in her honor. Congratulations!
This news is a bit old because it got lost in someone’s email inbox (that would be the editor’s) but it’s important to give a shout-out to media students Kamryn Friedrich and Dani Rogers who had their video poems screened at the Walker Art Center as part of the Twin Cities Youth Media Event. We know it’s important because media arts chair Rebecca Bullen added this at the end of her announcement: “Perpich media viewed on the big screen AT The WALKER ART CENTER!” Not shabby, not shabby at all, Kamryn and Dani.
If the cake is winning a Minnesota Book Award for poetry, the icing on the cake is when someone writes music in honor of your award and it's played as you accept. English instructor Sun Yung Shin has the cake (for her book of poetry, "Unbearable Splendor") and the icing: Ben Siems, the bandleader of The Willie August Project, composed a piece in honor of "Unbearable Splendor" as the music to accompany Sun Yung's award this year at the ceremony. Its title is "Black Hole Robot Graph_for Sun." To understand that title, you must read the book!
Seven students auditioned for the role of student speaker/master of ceremonies for the 2017 graduation ceremony. Graduation committee members selected Cyd Carroll, music senior. Congratulations Cyd!
Pat Benincasa, visual arts chair, spoke at Minnesota State University at Moorhead (MSUM) School of Art Spring Colloquium on March 28, on the topic "If Only Walls Could Talk: Contradiction and the creative process." A video of the entire talk may be found here. (Video recorded by Bob Schieffer, MS and video editing by Laurel Cohen) One great quote from the presentation (with a nod to Heidegger): "Art is something that gathers the world unto itself. It dissolves the here and thereness."
Dani Rogers, media arts junior, had photographic work accepted in Intermedia Arts Up & Out Exhibition over the past weekend. Dani also has work in the Orca Tribe YOUTH CULTURE exhibition opening May 12, 7-10 p.m. at Public Functionary, 1400 12th Ave. NE, Minneapolis. In addition to writers and visual artists, they will be featuring musical guests the Watkins String Quartet, Lydia Liza and Early Eyes. Orca Tribe is a youth culture initiative that seeks to enable, promote and connect artists from various backgrounds through an accessible platform. Way to go, Dani!
Media arts students Em Olson, senior and Amal Flower Kay, junior, and visual arts students Kyle Williams, senior, and Lucinda Boyum, junior, have work in the 5th Congressional Art Exhibition. The opening event featured musician Andre Cymone as the keynote speaker. Nice job!

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