Multiple points of view result in multiple works

The Lederer Gallery of Brodie Hall showcased an exhibition entitled "Defining Multiple Points of View," which featured the work of five Florida State art graduate students, along with associate professor Kabuya Bowens.

According to Gallery Director Cynthia Hawkins, Bowens assigned her students (Rhonda Thomas, David McLeish, Jessica Gatlin, Clint Shaw and Amy Flemming) to work using the concept of "multiples." Each student interpreted and dealt with the concept differently, producing an exhibition with a wide range of media and subject matter.

Bowens, who is also the curator the exhibit, is showing a lithograph entitled "Hell or High Water: Blackburn Speaks." It consists of numbered panels with repeated images of figures and wheels in predominantly black and white, interspersed with yellow and green. The notion of multiples can be seen in both the repetition of images and the fact that the complete image is spread across multiple sheets of paper.

Thomas also chose to work in the format of panels. Hers are black and white, and composed of repeated images of signs and logos associated with popular culture. The phrases interspersed throughout the montage, such as "No Limits!" and "Take Advantage," appear to be clipped from newspapers. Although constructed with a "vintage" appearance, the panels clearly make a statement about our modern day society by simply observing common motifs in our culture.

Flemming explained that the idea behind her mixed-media pieces came from Ezekiel's vision of the valley of dry bones. These three large wall hangings depict abstracted skeletons, hidden behind layers of dense patterns, which she created from "rubbings" of actual junkyard objects.

"I began drawing junkyard landscapes some years ago and littered them with bones, since human beings tend to get thrown out just like the rest of everything that isn't wanted anymore," she said. "I wanted those bones to come back to life, so in the woodcuts and screen prints you'll see that muscle and tendons have started to re-grow over the bones, just as in Ezekiel's vision."

Shaw utilizes black and white contrast to the fullest extent in both of his ink drawings. His incredibly detailed montages of cars and car parts appear almost three-dimensional, reminiscent of the work of M.C. Escher. He handled the idea of multiplicity in a unique manner, by connecting the repeated images in such a way that they form an entirely new pattern.

McLeish is showing four steel sculptures, constructed in a crude yet stylized manner, and painted in glossy black. "Hungry Farmers" is composed of steel columns reminiscent of oppressed figures, hunched under teetering crossbows and buckets. Although very abstract, McLeish successfully captures the strong, emotional feeling of oppression through the "body language" of the figures.

Juxtaposing McLeish's sculptures are Gatlin's bold and colorful wall pieces, constructed from mixed media on wood. In "Young Restless" and "Dutiful Beautiful," the wood is cut and arranged into star-like shapes; for "Southern Sprawl," Gatlin arranged the wood into rows of angled rectangles. Her subject matter of figures and faces are highly stylized and positioned in the center of the composition, surrounded only by a single intense color.

The show ran in the gallery from Oct. 19 to Dec. 5.

A Decade in Review

1. Beyoncé - This Destiny's Child diva has grown with those of us who began listening to her in the '90s. The metamorphosis she has experienced through her decision to go solo in the beginning of the decade has resulted in an unrivaled level of sophistication and hit-making that can only be the product of pure talent.

2. Coldplay - A band that epitomizes an age of technology instrumentally, Coldplay manages to create music that is resounding both to the ear and in its message. The band has existed solely within this decade has very much exploded in the past 10 years, escalating them to be hailed as one of the best live bands of our time. Lead singer Chris Martin further represents music of the 2000s in his political and moral pursuits.

3. Eminem - Selling more records than any other artist of the past 10 years and receiving several awards and honors in the meantime, Eminem made his mark with tight, provocative and fresh albums like The Slim Shady LP and The Marshall Mathers LP. The genre of hip-hop very much ruled music this decade, so though Em's most recent releases have been highly disappointing, his impact in the early 2000s is enough to place him at No. 3.

4. Kanye West - Though Kanye rides the same wave that Eminem did to the top music of the decade, The College Dropout is considered by more than just rap fans to be the greatest album of the past 10 years. Kanye's influence has extended far beyond his ability to write rhymes (Let's be honest: If that was all he had going for him, he probably wouldn't have even been on here) to his talent as a producer and as a vanguard in the music industry.

5. The Killers - Las Vegas natives The Killers have put on quite a show with their creative music videos and elaborate live shows. With universally well-liked and catchy music, the Killers are so very contemporary and who doesn't love/get the chills every time they listen to "Mr. Brightside"?

6. Lil' Wayne

7. Death Cab for Cutie

8. Jay-Z

9. Norah Jones

10. Justin Timberlake

11. Modest Mouse

12. The Arcade Fire

13. Green Day

14. The Shins

15. OutKast

16. Kelly Clarkson

17. The White Stripes

18. Bright Eyes

19. Britney Spears

20. Taylor Swift

21. Black Eyed Peas

22. Alicia Keys

23. 50 Cent

24. Fall Out Boy

25. Pink

While some artists on the list can be undoubtedly justified as "this decade's bests" (take Norah Jones - who has the talent, influence and acclaim statistically), others aren't so easily categorized. While Britney Spears may be one of the biggest single-producers of the decade - and ever - the quality of her music and influence is largely debatable. Similarly, what Death Cab and The Arcade Fire lack in widespread popularity, they make up for in genuine artistry, characterized by lyrical genius and superior musicality, respectively. Also note that some artists who have recently struck platinum (or just plain genius) aren't included because their "staying power" is still unsure, just as artists who may continue to sell quality records but had their heyday in earlier decades are excluded. And of course, this list is unabashedly, unapologetically biased.

Best Baroque Pop (aka little bands with a big sound)1. Sea Wolf - Leaves in the River

2. Bright Eyes - I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning

3. Andrew Bird - Armchair Apocrypha

4. Coldplay - Parachutes

5. Ra Ra Riot - The Rhumb Line

6. The Arcade Fire - Neon Bible

7. Dear and the Headlights - Small Steps, Heavy Hooves

8. Death Cab for Cutie - Plans

9. Manchester Orchestra - Mean Everything to Nothing

10. MGMT - Oracular Spectacular

Best Folk Fusion Artists

1. Conor Oberst

2. Colin Meloy

3. Eisley

4. Iron & Wine

5. Johnny Flynn

6. Bon Iver

7. The Weakerthans

8. The Great Lake Swimmers

"Who Let the Dogs Out?" - Baha Men

"Complicated" - Avril Lavigne

"Collide" - Howie Day

"You're Beautiful" - James Blunt

"What Would You Do?" - City High

"Blue" - Eiffel 65

"Bad Day" - Daniel Powter

"Butterfly" - Crazytown

"Stacy's Mom" - Fountains of Wayne

"Shake It" - Metro Station

The millennium may have started with a scare about a non-existent computer crisis and led us to a very existent economic crisis, but the one good thing we can take out of the last 10 years is great filmmaking.

Toward the start of the decade, Peter Jackson delivered movie-goers absolute brilliance three years in a row. The best of the decade goes to three movies in one; an epic journey of almost 12 hours of inspired filmmaking and storytelling, the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Pixar also hasn't failed to make a fantastic animated movie yet in the 2000s - some of their best include Monsters, Inc. (2001), Finding Nemo (2003), Ratatouille (2007), Wall-E (2008), and Up (2009). Along with these great films, here's a list of some other favorites throughout the last 10 years:

2000

Almost Famous

Gladiator

2001

A Beautiful Mind

Moulin Rouge

2002

Catch Me If You Can

Chicago

Gangs of New York

The Pianist

A capella holiday concert a festive undertaking

This past Saturday, the Holiday a Cappella concert, hosted by the sisters of Alpha Kappa Phi (AGO) with proceeds going to the Livingston CARES, filled concertgoers' ears with festive cheer and joy in Wadsworth Auditorium.

Senior Clarisse Baluyot and sophomore Jeffrey Zeitler, dressed as Buddy the Elf from Elf, took the stage to introduce the concert. An unexpected appearance from Santa, debuted by senior Joey Sinchak, got the crowd chuckling as Zeitler exclaimed that Santa smelled like "beef and cheese."

Between the Lines opened the concert, and although it was their first big performance with other a capella groups, they provided a nice lead-in. Muse's "Starlight" opened the show with senior Vanessa Kahen's talented but slightly overpowering solo.

The group, however, found a way to balance their gifted voices with their next selection: "Barbara Ann" with sophomore Joshua Carney soloing. With his impressive high notes and lively performance, and the equally energetic group behind him, their performance was definitely well-received by the crowd. The group closed with the Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Snow."

Southside Boys took the stage next, opening with their comical rendition of "Stacy's Mom" which riled the crowd when junior Forrest Smith whispered into the microphone that the soloist's private parts were "really, really long." A well-put-together rendition of the Eagles' "No More Walks in the Woods" was sung by all.

Exit 8 was the next group to rock the stage, opening with Chumbawamba's

"I Get Knocked Down" featuring the comic solos of senior Paul Kaleka and sophomore Kristen Eckert. Fiona Apple's "Criminal" followed, with Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" to cap it off - sung by seniors Michael Radi and Chantel Helbig, who collaborated nicely.

Hips n' Harmony opened their set with sophomore Kerry Heffernan soloing Carole King's "Where You Lead." Next, the group incorporated a little Christmas cheer into the auditorium as seniors Brooke Meckler and Shannon McDermott sang in "Santa Claus is Coming to Town."

John Finn, everybody's favorite beat-boxer and Southside Boys alumnus, assisted the group after being summoned on stage to an engaging rendition of Cher's "Believe," which was received with a standing ovation from Southside Boys.

Following intermission, Hips n' Harmony took the stage anew, opening with "Can't Hurry Love," followed by a gripping performance of Amy Winehouse's "Back to Black" sung by sophomore Skylar Jameson. Junior Minji Lee's natural talent displayed in her solo of "Thinking of You."

As Hips n' Harmony descended from stage, junior Sara Barton thanked Finn but was interrupted by Exit 8's sunglasses-clad Kaleka who said, "Listen Sara, Imma let you finish but … Exit 8 is the best of all time," which led into "Knock You Down." With several talented voices, the song was definitely a success for Exit 8. The group also performed a heartwarming rendition of "Baby It's Cold Outside."

Finn was summoned back on stage for the second time that evening by Southside Boys, informing the audience that the song they were about to sing was "named after the emotion we all get" when they see Finn. They performed Guster's "Happier," which was definitely a crowd-pleaser on all levels.

Closing with a comic rendition of "The 12 Days of Christmas," the members battled it out with interludes of festive songs like "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," "Deck the Halls" and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" with junior Daniel Hart interjecting lyrics from "The Dreidel Song" throughout.

Handel's "Messiah" inspired Chamber Singers

On Sunday, the Geneseo Chamber singers joined four renowned soloists and members of the Geneseo Symphony Orchestra for a special-event performance of parts one and two of George Handel's "Messiah."

Professor Gerard Floriano, director of the concert and of the Chamber Singers, said the idea for such an event was born out of the 50th reunion for the group, at which Chamber Singers alumnus Dave Turner kicked off a Chamber Singers Endowment Fund that was further grown through a series of generous donations from other alumni. Floriano said that he and Turner discussed potential application of the funds toward not only regional and international tours, but also toward bringing major soloists to Geneseo for Chamber Singers concerts.

Floriano had originally considered holding the "Messiah" concert last fall, but was unable to book Wadsworth Auditorium on such short notice. He noted that while "Messiah" is a very popular piece that is routinely performed in venues around the world, it is not typically performed in the Livingston County area.

In arranging the concert, Floriano said he hoped to provide "a great piece for the students here to learn," as well as a special show for local residents who would ordinarily have to travel to Rochester to hear such a composition.

Although "Messiah" has been performed by choral and orchestral groups with hundreds of members, Floriano said that such bombastic productions can sometimes "obliterate the fine detail of the piece," and that his intention was to "come through with much more clarity with smaller forces" while preserving the musicality and intimacy of the piece so audience members would be able to appreciate the story of Jesus Christ that accompanies the composition. Sunday's performance included a chorus of 42 and an orchestra of 25.

Members of the Geneseo Symphony Orchestra were recruited to accompany the soloists and Chamber Singers for the 43 movements of the work. Floriano had initially intended to hire professional players from Rochester, but GSO conductor James Walker wanted to involve orchestra students in the production. Floriano said the concert was "a fantastic experience for everyone involved" and a great learning opportunity for students.

Soloists were soprano Laura Heimes, class of '90, mezzo-soprano Jami Tyzik, tenor Gregory Kunde and baritone Derrick Smith who sang bass for this performance. Each boasts an impressive repertoire with performances around the nation and world.

Students in Geneseo Chamber Singers said they were enthused to be working with such renowned soloists.

"I'm really excited to work with such great vocalists and sing on the same stage as them … musical talent like this doesn't usually come to Geneseo," said senior Kim Blenkert.

"[Kunde] has worked all around the world; [singing with] someone who's successful is inspiring … it's a great work," said freshman David Keyes.

"This is my third time with this group, I'm really happy to be back," said Tyzik. "This is just one of those pieces that has such spirit and excitement; it doesn't matter who performs this pieces, it still excites the audience." She said Floriano brought "a lot of really vibrant energy … he is breathing new life into the piece."

The performance lasted about two hours, including an intermission, and concluded with the rousing "Hallelujah Chorus," the most famous movement from the three-part work.

"It was absolutely wonderful, it was just a treat to be here," said audience member Mary Jo Terrell of Rochester.

"It was a wonderful undertaking for these groups," said Ellen Best, who drove from Ithaca to see her niece Heimes perform.

Net proceeds from the concert will contribute to the Geneseo Chamber Singers endowment fund.

Diaries through the decades: Betty Stoltman counts her blessings

Ms. Doolittle, Ms. Mooney, Jerry Zarno, Father Muckle and Dr. Chapin - these are names Betty Stoltman will never forget.

The names are representative of different stages in her life, stages she made extraordinary by her capacity to learn. These names, and the clarity in which she remembers them, represent a mind that has not been blunted throughout her 84 years, but sharpened.

When Stoltman was too young to go to school, she said she felt it unfair that her siblings could go without her. She pleaded with her mother and, after much effort, was enrolled in first grade at age four. Stoltman began her education early and has not looked back since. "I zipped right along," she said. "I loved learning and I could learn anything."

In seventh grade, her teacher wrote a letter to a local high school - 15 minutes from Geneseo - stating that Stoltman had already learned everything it was possible to teach, and that she should be put in an older age bracket. The principal of the high school interviewed her, asking if she felt she would be able to pass the New York State Regents Exams without taking any of the classes. Smiling, Stoltman recalled her answer: "I said, 'who knows? You should try anything once!'"

Stoltman passed all her exams and went through high school without difficulty, despite being much younger than her peers, and graduated in 1942. Though she could not afford to attend college immediately, Stoltman eventually went to Rochester Business Institute. She excelled, and was given a job at Kodak before she even graduated. 

For 38 years, Stoltman worked as a secretary for some of the highest names in the corporation and, recognizing her potential, they sent her to continue her education at Rochester Institute of Technology and the University of Rochester.

"As I look back on it, I wonder, you know … I don't know why I had to go so far ahead all the time," she said. The answer may lie in the fact that throughout her life, people could not ignore Stoltman's great capacity for learning. She impressed them, however, in more than just a professional sense. 

In 1949, Stoltman was in a car accident that left her with a fractured skull and cerebral hemorrhage. Her doctors were sure she would not survive. But as she showed improvement, Kodak called to England for a renowned brain specialist. He came to her aid and eventually she recovered. Stoltman also made an impression on the specialist - when he died, he willed $100,000 to her church.

People still recognize Stoltman as being extraordinary. On the outside, she seems very much like any other woman. She reads about history, she plays bridge (with expert finesse) and is looking forward to the coming Christmas holiday. When people begin to see her mind, however, they know she is special. People regularly ask Stoltman to pray for them because they see something extra that cannot be explained. 

As for Stoltman, she simply learns by watching the world around her, just like she always has. "Observation is a lot, you know … I don't think people pay that much attention to it, but it is."