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On Feb. 18, the St. Olaf Art Department kicked off its annual Arnold Flaten Memorial Lecture Series. Patrick Kelley ’91 and Mary Reid Kelley ’01, two Ole graduates now married and working together as professional artists, returned to the Hill for the first lecture in the 2014 series. A long-standing tradition beginning in 1981, the series recruits nationally recognized artists to discuss their work, artistic processes and experience making a living in the field. This year, eight individuals representing different artistic mediums will speak over seven sequential Monday nights at 7 p.m. in Dittmann Center 305.
Kelley and Reid Kelley, video and 2-D artists, came back to the Hill with a goal of inspiring young artists to think about their careers beyond St. Olaf. Both artists have graduate degrees, teaching credits and extensive show experience. For art students anxious about future career prospects, success stories like theirs are sure to be a comfort.
Professor of Art and Associate Dean of Fine Arts Mary Greip introduced the pair as “the perfect advertisement for the liberal arts” due to their diverse backgrounds, interests, skillsets and artistic abilities. While their work is, perhaps, a bit too risqué to grace the cover of a St. Olaf brochure, the comment perfectly summarizes the artistic processes that these two artists employ in their work.
During their lecture, the pair discussed their artistic process in the development of four of their recent films, elaborating on each stage from idea to finished product. Their interests in language, history, poetry and political and sexual commentary come through in their black and white multi-media films, offering students an example of the cross-disciplinary approach they both bring to their work. They encouraged students to bring their own experiences and interests – any and all of them – into their own work.
One such example of interest integration is the dialogue the artists use in their films: rhyming narrative that takes its cue from early twentieth-century art and literature that was popularized for critiquing wartime institutions.
According to Reid Kelley, “That cultural response really happened through poetry,” and if all of those “normal people” could take up poetry in order to have a voice amidst the conflict, she could try it too. This newfound interest in poetry transitioned into a love of puns and alliteration, a fascination evident in the titles of two of her films: “Sadie the Saddest Sadist” and “The Syphilis of Sisyphus.”
While Kelley’s and Reid Kelley’s areas of expertise vary greatly from one another, it is their collaboration that offers an entirely new form of artistic expression.
Rather than focusing purely on new media, the pair utilizes 3-D modeling to allow their “videos [to] become collages.” Reid Kelley’s background in physical media like painting and drawing shines through via the integration of motifs like a cobblestone road, paintings on the wall and patterns on the furniture. These components contain physical textures within the computer-generated format, allowing the Kelleys’ videos to become multi-dimensional.
Kelley noted that he particularly enjoys the freedom these digital sets intrinsically allow. With a computerized (rather than physical) set, the pair has the opportunity to continue “working and constructing and layering,” constantly adding depth to their work.
The two artists’ calculated fun shines through in every film. Black and white face paint, parodied characters, punny humor and clever rhymes highlight the couple’s love of craft. When combined with darker themes of war, sexuality and political tension, the juxtaposition created in each film parallels their artistic process of combining physical and digital media with performance and language arts. Shown in galleries on looping tapes, the Kelleys’ work can be watched over and over.
“Our work always has something further to give you,” Reid Kelley said. This diversity in both theme and process exemplified the couple’s vital advice for the students in attendance regarding the advantages of multilayered thought.
Several weeks remain in the Flaten Lecture series, and several more artists have yet to come challenge our perception of art, our methods of thinking and our processes of creating. On Tuesday, Feb. 25, Scott Stulen, a multimedia artist exploring “the fleeting nature of memory,” continued the series. Other upcoming lecturers include large-scale sculptor and installation artist Pritika Chowdry (March 3), photographer Andrew Moore (March 10), art critic Mary Abbe (March 17), ceramicist Maren Kloppmann (March 31) and behavior and conceptual artist Marcus Young (April 7). Each lecture will be different, but the series promises to excel in a way any eager, multi-talented liberal arts student is sure to appreciate.
New York Fashion Week, which took place Feb. 6-14, annually showcases new collections by the world’s top fashion designers. These looks introduce upcoming fashion trends for the fall. While many people attend Fashion Week purely to see the clothes and discover these trends, one running complaint about the event has been a lack of diversity among Fashion Week models.
Jezebel.com, a feminist website that focuses on a variety of women’s issues, reports that out of a total 4,621 looks seen at Fashion Week, only 985 were worn by models of color (black, Asian, Latina or otherwise). This means that 78.69% of the models at New York Fashion Week were white.
These numbers are not that different from those of previous years. In 2013, the percentage of white models was 82.7. This indicates persistent uniformity among fashion models.
While some defend this trend simply as a reflection of the racial makeup of the U.S. itself (which is proportionally close to that of the NYFW models), I see this more as a systemic problem that is only one of many associated with diversity in the world of fashion.
Homogeneity shows itself in numerous ways at events like New York Fashion Week. In addition to the models’ lack of racial diversity, there is also a (predictable) lack of plus-sized – or even normal-sized – models at the event. The fashion world’s persistent belief that only unhealthily thin women can model clothing is both inexplicable and bizarre.
This belief unquestionably stems from the pervasive image in the media of idealized female beauty, one that is in truth neither accurate nor representative of the U.S. (or world) population as a whole. Is there a connection between this image of idealized beauty and whiteness? Why are white models, for the most part, chosen to represent the pinnacle of female beauty?
Perhaps this lack of diversity stems from the simple reason that the majority of women who want to be models are white. Or perhaps it is mainly white women who succeed in the fashion world. While there are some successful black models – Naomi Campbell and Joan Smalls are two examples – and black actress Lupita Nyong’o has lately been finding a lot of success as the muse of countless fashion designers, it is undeniable that the majority of successful and recognizable models today are white.
These issues send very clear messages that shape the values of today’s young women. When they watch these models walk down the runway, they are implicitly told what society expects them to look like. And if they deviate from that standard, they will not be accepted or thought of as beautiful.
As girls are met with these unattainable images every day, it becomes more and more important that influential institutions like the fashion industry grow aware of the messages they are sending and the potentially negative effects these messages can have on consumers.
Next year at Fashion Week, designers should make a conscious effort to increase diversity among the models they hire. Perhaps their models can all be of different ethnicities and racial backgrounds. After all, giant events like NYFW are catering to an international audience, and their runways should honor that. Further, what would be the harm in introducing a variety of sizes among the models – some 6s, 8s, 10s, 12s and 14s could walk down the runway with the 0s and 00s.
If even one designer introduces these changes, there’s a chance that the rest will follow. Fashion is about taking risks and being creative, so why not apply that mindset to all aspects of the event? Maybe if these changes are made and more perspectives are represented and validated by the models, events like New York Fashion Week will become accessible and inviting to a more diverse crowd.
Nina Hagen ’15 (email@example.com) is from St. Paul, Minn. She majors in English.
This past weekend, eight members of SGA traveled to Boston, Mass. for the 2014 National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) Convention.
The convention serves as a medium for students around the country to connect with and book big-name acts, such as comedians, hypnotists and musicians, who will visit their colleges during the following year. The convention began last Saturday, and SGA members returned to the Hill the following Tuesday.
“It was a really good networking piece for all these different talent agencies, but also a really good piece for the SGA members in the middle of their leadership,” said Nickolaus Stumo-Langer ’15, who serves on both ADC and SAC. SGA sent representatives from the Music Entertainment Committee (MEC), the After Dark Committee (ADC), the Student Activities Committee (SAC) and the Political Awareness Committee (PAC). Most representatives were sophomores and juniors who will be returning next year to help plan the events.
According to Stumo-Langer, SGA relies on student feedback from past events to discern which ones would be worthwhile. No official decisions have been made yet about which acts will be booked for next year, but the selections ultimately come down to what SGA thinks will be best for St. Olaf students.
“We don’t want to get stuff because we like it, we like to get acts because they’re right for St. Olaf,” Stumo-Langer said.
The convention consisted of three main events. These included the showcase, where musicians and other acts performed for students. Next was the marketplace, which one attendee described as similar to walking down a storefront with various services and talent agencies waiting to connect with students. The final piece was an education session, where students attended presentations on topics like leadership and advertising.
Event booking for SGA goes beyond traditional entertainment acts like musicians and hypnotists. Rachel Palermo ’15, another of the SGA members who attended the conference, recalls attending snippets from lecturers who speak around the country.
“There was a wide variety of people talking about really amazing topics that Oles would be interested in,” Palermo said.
A number of acts also stood out for Stumo-Langer. He remembers seeing a comedy duo that has appeared on VH1 and Comedy Central. Mary Lambert, featured on Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ “Same Love,” also appeared at the convention.
“She is phenomenal live,” Stumo-Langer said.
As a member of ADC, Stumo-Langer spent a fair amount of the time at the convention representing his own committee and deciding how the acts he saw fit into St. Olaf night life. He focused on comedians whose acts contained more explicit material, or hypnotists he considered to be more “scary.”
“Getting a feel for our respective committees was really interesting in this light,” he said.
Several attendees also expressed appreciation for being able to meet other college students from around the country who share their interests in student leadership.
“Seeing all that across-the-board passion for student government and hearing everyone’s story about how their own versions of SGA work was a big benefit,” SGA member John Bruer ’16 said.
Bruer noted that a major advantage of the convention is the opportunity for block booking, which allows college students in nearby locations to book an act during a similar time period for a steeply discounted price.
SGA sends students to the national NACA convention every few years and to the regional convention in St. Paul every year. However, the national convention happens on a larger scale and puts more emphasis on student training and leadership.
Palermo explained how valuable the NACA convention was for developing leadership skills and meeting students from other colleges who are interested in student government.
“You go all excited about student government and come back even more excited,” she said.
ST. PAUL, Minn. - Justin Pahl had 20 points and Sterling Nielsen 16 as visiting St. Olaf defeated St. Thomas 63-53 in the MIAC Men's Basketball Playoff championship game on Sunday afternoon.
The Carleton College women’s track team outdid itself yet again at the Ole Open. Another slew of school records fell on Friday night in what has become a weekly occurrence in the team’s remarkable season. This was the sixth consecutive meet at which the Knights broke at least two school records.
In its final tune up for the MIAC Championships, the Carleton College men’s track and field team competed at the Ole Open Qualifier, held across town at St. Olaf College. Even with some of the squad’s top runners taking a break before the conference meet, the Knights still saw strong showings up and down the roster.
First-year Patton McClelland aided in a thrilling doubles win and then dethroned the reigning MIAC Player-of-the-Week in singles as the Carleton College men’s tennis team dispatched Bethel University by an 8-1 margin.
The Carleton College women’s tennis team bounced back from its first loss of the season with a 9-0 victory over MIAC opponent Bethel University. Molly Hemes and Joyce Yu both recorded victories during singles and doubles action.
MENDOTA HEIGHTS, Minn. - Top-seeded St. Thomas held off St. Olaf 2-1 in the semifinal round of the MIAC men's hockey playoffs on Saturday night at St. Thomas Arena.
MINNEAPOLIS - St. Olaf posted three NCAA Division III Championship qualifiers -- Carl Elmer (157), James Roach (174) and Zach Gibson (285) -- as the Ole wrestling team competed at the NCAA Division III West Region Championships on Saturday at Augsburg College.
MINNEAPOLIS - James Roach was second at 174 and Zach Gibson third at 285 as the St. Olaf wrestling team competed at the NCAA Division III West Region Championships on Saturday at Augsburg College.
This afternoon, the Minnesota State Patrol and Dakota County Sheriff’s office notified Carleton College officials that three of its students had been fatally injured in an automobile accident in Dakota County, less than three miles from the Carleton campus. The three students who died as a result of their injuries sustained in the accident: James Adams ’15, Michael Goodgame ’15, Paxton Harvieux ’15. Two other students were injured and transported from the scene. They are both hospitalized but are in stable condition: Conor Eckert ’17, William Sparks ’15.
St. Olaf men’s hockey defeated Augsburg College 5-4 at home on Saturday, Feb. 22 in overtime. The Oles’ senior night and final regular season game had a wild ending.
“The last two minutes of Saturday’s game versus Augsburg had many turns,” Head Coach Sean Goldsworthy said. “At the time, Augsburg needed a win to secure a playoff berth and the Oles a win to secure the third seed. Down 4-3 with two minutes, we pulled the goaltender to take a man advantage, thus creating another power play opportunity. After calling timeout, we were able to get some offensive zone time and create a passing lane to the back post, where Peter Lindblad ’16 was positioned to score the game-tying goal with 0:20 seconds left in regulation.”
St. Olaf went on to win in overtime. “Mark and David Rath ’16 were able to make a nice misdirection play below the goal line, creating a wrap-around goal by Mark Rath to secure the victory,” Goldsworthy said.
Forward Peter Lindblad ’16 completed a hat trick with the game-tying goal, adding to a pair of goals scored in the second period. Senior forward Dan Cecka scored the Oles’ third goal of the second period on a power play.
In the last ten minutes of regulation, the Auggies responded with a 3-0 run of their own to tie the game at 4-4 and set up the exciting ending.
Seniors Henrik Wood, John Avino, Dylan Porter, Bryan Glynn, Dan Cecka and Brent Hollerud were honored before the game. In their careers, they achieved an overall record of 44-42-16 (.510). In the MIAC, they compiled a four-year record of 29-23-10 (.548).
St. Olaf finished the regular season with a 11-10-4 overall record and a 9-4-3 MIAC record. The Oles, who finished tied with St. John’s University but lost the tie-breaker, will be the fourth seed in Friday’s MIAC playoff game. The game will be at home against Concordia-Moorhead College at 7:30 p.m.
A new semester has begun. New assignments claim our attention, new applications consume our time and new love interests catch our eye. But this winter weather? It’s getting a little old.
The winter woes are real. Have you been feeling perpetually tired? Are you losing the ability to feel upbeat and energized? According to the Wellness Center posters we all read with careful consideration, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that can be prompted by the weather in the dreary days of winter. People over the age of 18 are especially susceptible. Whether you have SAD or just a case of the Mondays, fear not. Read on, and you’ll find an abundance of ideas to conquer the seasonal slump. A change of perception (and perhaps a vitamin D supplement) is really all you need to flip your mood from dreary to delightful.
Outdoor Adventure Day
There’s just something about a pile of untouched snow. The glistening, undisturbed powder unleashes the child in us all, who desires nothing more than an afternoon of frolicking in the snow. So put on your boots, coat and mittens and take advantage of the winter wonderland outside. Although it may seem impossible now, soon enough campus will once again return to its grassy state, teeming with bees and mosquitoes, so appreciate this bug-free time while you can. Stuff a few extra carrots and grapes from the Caf into a pocket and use them to make a friendly snowman. Borrow (and return!) a tray and head over to Old Main hill for an afternoon of sledding. Find a friend and build your dream igloo. Then finish your day by making my favorite cold concoction: Collect some snow, toss in a splash of vanilla, sprinkle on some sugar and voila – snow ice cream is served!
Feeling too lazy to venture outside? Want to spark your imagination while remaining in the cozy indoors? I have just the solution: Host a crafternoon! An afternoon devoted to arts and crafts will surely fend off any lingering laments against the bitter breeze. First project: greeting cards. Yes, while Valentine’s Day, the quintessential crafty holiday, has passed, why not surprise your friends with a Happy St. Patrick’s Day note in their P.O. boxes? Pinterest has a plethora of ideas to get your creative juices flowing. If homemade cards aren’t your forte, you can always embellish a store-bought card and claim it as your own. For those of you seeking a new hobby, try project number two: knitting. There is nothing like a homemade scarf to keep you warm and happy throughout the winter months. Don’t know how to knit? Head on over to the Mellby Hall lounge on Wednesdays at 7 p.m., where Stiches for Peace, the St. Olaf knitting club, meets. New friends and a new talent? Talk about conquering the cold.
As Confucius once said, “Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.” As we artsy Oles know, music serves as one of the best antidotes to the winter woes. The Twin Cities have dozens of concert venues, most of which are a mere bus ride away, so grab a friend and head to a concert downtown. On March 13, Slightly Stoopid will be playing at First Avenue. Even if you’ve never heard of this band, the venue alone is worth making the trek for. Tickets are only $26. Another exciting concert is coming up on March 28. Dessa, a singer, rapper, spoken word artist and native of the twin cities will be performing at the New Century Theatre. Tickets can be purchased online for only $25. If you’re adamant about staying on campus, take advantage of the top-notch music programs this school has to offer and attend one of the many junior or senior recitals coming up. If you’re looking for an idea for a date, these concerts are conveniently close and, better yet, free of charge.
Dinner at Carleton
I think we can all admit that as much as we love our home on the Hill, it gets a little old eating the same meal in the same room with the same people every single day. Did you know that our meal plan works at Carleton, too? Have you ever actually ventured over there? Hop on the free bus to the college down the hill and enjoy one of the two cafeterias Carleton has to offer. If nothing else, this will allow you to check out the school (and its students) incognito. Or perhaps, if you’re feeling bold, you could dress up in St. Olaf gear for your field trip (though if you do, I cannot be held liable for any potential scuffles that may result from this daring demonstration of Ole pride).
It is far too easy to let the winter weather control your mood. If you aren’t careful, your happiness and well-being may get buried under the next ten-inch-deep snowfall. Spring break may be just around the corner, but until then, make the most of the wintry wonderland outside and transform your “bah-humbugs” into “hoorays!”
Graphic Credit: ALLI LIVINGSTON/MANITOU MESSENGER
Ellen Page – a prominent actress best known for her title role in Juno – came out publicly as gay in a speech given to a Los Angeles audience last week. Online audiences have praised Page extensively, describing her speech as moving, heartfelt and inspiring. As I write this article (on Friday, Feb. 20), her coming out speech has over 4 million views on YouTube. Clearly, Page’s speech has intrigued society as a whole.
Public testimonies like this empower those who are struggling with any type of societal expectation. Whether the issue is sexual, relational or personal, it is important to realize that personal struggles abound, often among the people with whom we interact daily. Page’s speech drew attention to these struggles. The American community needs well-known personalities to draw attention to unseen struggles, to speak out against hate, to spark conversation in society and to validate the feelings of those in pain.
Celebrity statements can do a lot of good. However, it’s easy to get caught up in the sensationalism of celebrities’ personal lives and forget that deciding when to come out is, ultimately, an extremely personal choice. American society may even overvalue statements such as Page’s, relying on them to generate change and conversation. This, in turn, may pressure celebrities to publicly come out before they are ready.
In upholding this expectation, Americans tend to forget that celebrities are human too, and that they have the right to decide personally when and where to come out to the public. This decision requires time, thought and reflection. Society needs to understand that everyone, including celebrities, has a right to maintain privacy for as long as they would like.
In some ways, it’s unfortunate that our society needs public testimonies to draw attention to the hurt of those with whom we interact daily. Still, the effectiveness of celebrity statements is undeniable. Even as they impact society for the better, the reality of their influence is unfair in many ways.
That being said, Page made it obvious that she was emotionally and personally ready to announce that she is gay. Page said that she has spent many years “hiding” her sexual orientation, suffering mentally, emotionally and relationally. Announcing her orientation was liberating to Page and offered her the chance to publicly support and acknowledge those who continue to suffer as she had.
If Page was truly ready to come out, as I believe she was, then her public support goes a long way. It becomes a part of a legacy of inclusivity that will only grow stronger as more people – both famous and not – publicly support those who suffer. However, it took Page a long time to get to this stage. She needed time to come to terms with her sexual orientation. Ultimately, we need to accept that celebrities are just as vulnerable as the rest of us.
In a highly mediated and sensationalist society, it becomes easy to depend on public statements to generate social change. Though these statements can do great good, they must also reflect the feelings and personal choices of those giving them.
Maggie Weiss ’16 (firstname.lastname@example.org) is from Excelsior, Minn. She majors in history and Spanish.Graphic Credit: ALLI LIVINGSTON/MANITOU MESSENGER
The Piper Center for Vocation and Career recently launched Ole Gigs, a new networking resource for fine arts students. Ole Gigs serves as a job board for connecting faculty members and employers to musicians, dancers, artists and theater students.
Branden Grimmett ’03, the fine arts coach and director of the Piper Center, oversaw Ole Gigs’ creation, which has recently listed postings seeking Danish Music Festival musicians, a wedding string quartet and Epic Enterprise musicians, among others. So far, postings are typically for temporary employment opportunities and remain up on the site for a couple of weeks.
While Ole Gigs originated from discussions with music faculty and most of the openings so far ask for instrumentalists, Grimmett emphasized that Ole Gigs is available for any postings dealing with fine arts. These include gigs for theater, dance and art students. He hopes that more students and faculty will take advantage of the job board in the future, for the benefit of all involved.
As of this week, only nine gigs have been posted. Grimmett hopes that this number will increase as more people take advantage of the site.
“We’re responding to what the public wants in terms of student expertise,” Grimmett said. “If the faculty can provide connections, it would be really helpful.”
The networking board first came about when Grimmett pitched the idea to the music faculty. Before Ole Gigs, professors in the music department filled gigs by sending out emails to all music students. Grimmett saw an opportunity for a networking resource to consolidate these opportunities in a job board similar to Ole Career Central.
Grimmett spoke with music department co-chair Kent McWilliams, who liked the idea of making an online space for networking between students, faculty and alumni.
“We had a great conversation about supporting music students and the fine arts in general,” Grimmett said.
According to Grimmett, the Piper Center has seen a sizeable influx of fine arts students taking advantage of its resources over the past year. He pointed in particular to the Making it in the Arts Conference this past September, which the Piper Center funded. Geared toward music, theater, art and dance, the event served as the fine arts version of Ole Biz and Ole Med. The Piper Center intends to fund a second conference next fall.
The Piper Center also hosts fine arts prepping sessions to help students who are otherwise busy with practice and rehearsals prepare a resume and think about finding internships. Grimmett noted that it is important for fine arts students to have access to the same professional help as students in other areas of study.
According to Grimmett, the Piper Center’s recently-established program for funding unpaid and underpaid internships also heavily benefits fine arts students. Over this past Interim and summer, 35 out of the 109 internship scholarships, or more than 30 percent, went to students in the fine arts.
“This percentage is larger than the actual student body representation of these majors,” Grimmett said.
For the past two years, the Piper Center has also supported the fine arts by taking a total of 50 students interested in performing and visual arts to New York City to network with alumni and learn about careers available in their respective fields.
Of the openings posted in Ole Gigs so far, only one has gone to a student, while the rest have gone to faculty, as no students were interested. Grimmett hopes that more students will take advantage of the website in the future.
Marty Baylor, Assistant Professor of Physics, has been granted a prestigious Single-Investigator Cottrell College Science Award from the Research Corporation for her project “Optimization of Index Contrast in Diffusive Photopolymers Able to Create Waveguides and Fluid Channels in Optofluidic Devices.” The award will move Prof. Baylor closer to her goal of creating 3-D, portable devices for optical sensor applications. Grant support will also enable undergraduate researchers to assist in building apparatus, acquiring data, analyzing results, and devising future experiments.
NORTHFIELD, Minn. - St. Olaf will offer student fan buses for MIAC playoff games on Saturday and Sunday, when the men's hockey team and men's basketball teams play on the road.
NORTHFIELD, Minn. - St. Olaf will offer student fan buses for Sunday's MIAC men's basketball playoff championship game between St. Olaf and St. Thomas in St. Paul.