Surviving Winter Through Art
By Jay Zheng, Staff Writer
Winter has come to Southern Oregon in waves of snow, wind, and rain. In addition to
dealing with the weather, students at Southern Oregon University (SOU) are tackling the dreaded finals this week. With winter break just around the corner, the Oregon Center for the Arts (OCA) is offering a variety of events this month to the students, staff, and faculty of SOU.
The remaining events for the month of December include a live performance by the Siskiyou Singers in their 2015 Holiday Concert on Friday the 11th. Saturday the 19th the Southern Oregon Repertory Singers will be presenting “Sing We Merrily” at SOU’s Music Recital Hall. Also at the Music Recital Hall, 19-year-old violinist Ariel Horowitz, and pianist, Miles Graber, will be performing on the 28th at 7:00pm as a part of the Chamber Music Concerts’ twelve concert series.
OCA is an academic division of SOU serving as a community arts presenter, partner, and producer. The Center offers programs in Creative Writing, Dance, Emerging Media & Digital Arts (EMDA), Music, Musical Theatre, Shakespeare, Theatre, Visual Arts, and opportunities for the community to engage in the arts at the Schneider Museum of Art, Tutunov Piano Series, summer arts institutes and workshops, and the Shakespeare Visiting Schools Program. In addition, the Center has partnerships and creative collaborations with professional arts organizations such as the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF), Rogue Valley Symphony, Britt Festivals, Ashland Independent Film Festival, Ashland Art Association and a handful of others.
Acting as a host for both academic and community audiences, the Schneider Museum of Art (SMA) is seen as a vital force in “the intellectual life of SOU and Southern Oregon region”.
The museum seeks to build a challenging environment that engages with the visual arts through exhibitions and programs supporting interdisciplinary study, research, and discourse. Promoting an understanding of the visual arts within a liberal arts education, the SMA also features artist residencies, a docent program, and other performances and presentations.
These community arts partners help provide professional and semi-professional arts experiences for SOU students. With a focus on celebrating collaborations between different art forms, newly devised works or those that put new spins on classic ideas, the Oregon Fringe Festival (OFF) is a student produced art festival sponsored by OCA. The Center is also associated with Allied Arts programs, which seek to engage the community through presentations, collaborations, special events, and performances. This includes ShakespeareAmerica, who earlier this spring presented a project featuring contemporary Shakespeare with the partnership of OSF and SOU. The Siskiyou article of which can be read here.
Collaboration between SOU and arts organization extends as far back as the 1930s, when Southern Oregon Normal School (now SOU) English Instructor Angus Bowmer founded OSF. OCA continues this collaborative tradition and looks forward to adding more organizational liaisons to its repertoire.