Most likely seen with his Carhartt welding jacket walking around the Holman Arts Center, Senior Evan Cook is getting ready for his Bachelor of Fine Arts Senior Showcase. He has gone through knee reconstruction, won the business plan competition on campus and has a job lined up after graduation.
At 5 p. m. on April 9, The Fine Arts Department will host an exhibition of Cook’s work in the Tahoe Gallery on the third floor of the Prim Library.
“Evan Cook is hard to summarize. He is the most energetic and enthusiastic person I look up to and would try to follow as inspiration,” said Freshman Richard Evangelista.
Cook explains his work ethic as going “until you can’t go anymore.” He works mainly with found objects such as building materials and electronics.
“I program these computer boards. This ones working off an infrared motion sensor, so when you move it will pick up sense and light the cloud,” said Cook.
For one of his most recent pieces, Cook says he created a motion sensor that lights up the other part of his piece.
“Cook has many interests and he draws from these interests to create his artwork. His multifaceted work utilizes his interest in history and politics combined with his interest in electronics and his passion for making things,” said Art Professor Rick Parsons. “Evan is a driven artist and student. He locks in on one thing at a time. Last month it was the business plan competition and this month it is his BFA show.”
Cook explained that most of his pieces will be interactive.
“Leaving an open conversation to what it’s truly about and allowing people to sort of realize they are directly impacting the outcome of this piece,” said Cook.
Evan reconstructed his Halloween costume, a blow-up green suit, to inflate while you sit next to it.
“This is kind of where I like my work to live, that half serious, half ‘ha ha’. It allows people to digest and think about their interaction with the piece,” said Cook.
Working closely with his Art Department mentors, Evan explained a universal work ethic shared between him and his teachers.
“The innate need to create something has been ingrained in me; to build something, to take pride in it, to show quality of craft,” said Cook.
Visitors to the Tahoe Gallery will be able to see his interactive, thought provoking and surprising bodies of work.
“Evan’s BFA show will be exciting. The work uses recognizable objects in a nonsensical way. This strategy of construction mimics the redundancies of living in a contemporary society infatuated with the cheap, fast and easy. A place where reason and logic start to be degraded, clouding ones ethics and morals. Look to his material choices as possible metaphors. From light to rusted steel, all his material choices hold another layer of clues,” said Parsons.
“Rêveur is French for dreamer, which is the persona that I want my viewer to become, a dreamer in the world of nightmares,” Claire Bagg, senior Fine Arts student said. “The reason I chose this title is because my work is all based on nightmares and dreams.”
Sierra Nevada College’s fine art department will host Baggs BFA show entitled Rêveur in the Holman Arts and Media Center’s Garage Gallery starting Thursday, March 23, until April 3. A reception held 5-7 pm in room 205 of the HAMC will highlight Senior Bagg’s emphasis in photography.
“Claire is one the most dedicated students to her work,” said Photography Professor Laura Bennet. “It’s a good thing because she always had a lot of work.”
When making a piece, Bagg will go through a process that enables her skills and creativity to culminate.
“Essentially my work starts with sleep, and I typically begin in my sketch book drawing out and coming up with an idea for a pieces,” Bagg said. “After coming up with a concept, I stage a scene or scenario in my house.”
The process in creating her pieces incorporates digital editing software, Photoshop, that enables her to combine components from different photos into one.
“Most of my pieces include 10 or more images,” said Bagg. “Just editing the photos takes up to 6 to 10 hours in front of the computer.”
Modeling in the pictures is Bagg herself. However, Fine Arts Professor Russell Dudley will question “Who is the protagonist: Who is running the show: Is it self-inflicted, or is it happening from the outside?”
The transparent film creates a lurking shadow on the subject of Claire Bagg’s phot.
Bagg said, “Printing images can be as complicated as creating the image herself.”
Behind the large images are light fixtures that draw viewers into the images.
On Jan. 4, 16 students set out on a two-week long trip to visit Japan. While this trip has been regularly offered during May, this was the first time that Sierra Nevada College students got a chance to go during the winter months. Chair of Fine Arts Sheri Leigh O’Connor has been taking art students toJapan for several years to explore and experience Eastern arts and culture. After their recent trip in May 2014, a student approached O’Connor with the idea of going again in the winter for skiing and snowboarding.
Asst. News Editor
Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
This quote came to mind while discussing post graduate plans with Senior Tom Letson, an Art and Environmental Science major. He says he feels that if you care enough about something, it will work its’ way out.
“I may never find my way to success, but the way I see it there are two ways to fail: not trying, and trying to please everyone,” Letson said. “I’ve never made a painting to please anyone, and I’ve never played a song to impress anyone; it’s just what I do, nothing more.”
A Massachusetts native, Letson’s creative efforts and passion for his studies have led him to stand out to faculty and students at Sierra Nevada College, such as Associate Professor Rick Parsons and Senior Peter Rispoli.
According to Parsons, Letson is a prolific painter with an innate need to create.
“His paintings are not only layered with paint, but are layered with rich layers of personal meaning and history,” Parsons said.
Parsons said Letson is known to reference paintings from the Italian Renaissance while critiquing modern American culture and its root in Manifest Destiny.
Rispoli, a good friend and colleague of Letson, describes him as humble and extremely talented.
“I’ve known Tom for two years now. On top of studying fine arts and environmental
science, he rips on the snow, shreds the guitar, banjo and mandolin, just to name a few,” Rispoli said. “He is a true wildcard.”
BY Jamie Wanzek
Professor Steve Ellsworth can be found teaching Math and Science courses at Sierra Nevada College. With camera in hand Ellsworth also demonstrates an eye for photography, outside the classroom. This fall, Ellsworth experienced viral fame when his photograph of the King Fire earned National recognition. With the long-time hobby of photography, Ellsworth enjoys combining his professional and personal interests.
“I’ve always had an interest in science and math, and photography is something that all comes together here at the lake. I’ve also always been interested in Fire-Ecology and taught Environmental Science here at SNC,” Ellsworth said.
While the King Fire was beginning to expand rapidly, Ellsworth was contacted by a friend who works as a firefighter explaining, “Steve you’ve got to get down to the lake for photos! There are these amazing pyrocumulius clouds(a dense cloud associated with fire beginning to form).”
With a background in Environmental Science and Fire Ecology, Ellsworth knew the pyrocumulius clouds would create a breathtaking sunset over Tahoe.
After class on a Wednesday, Steve went to Incline Beach with his camera.
“After watching the clouds, I knew the sunset would be absolutely spectacular. So I sat there and watched, planning photos. As soon as the sun went behind the pyrocumulius clouds, these brilliant colors came out.”
That evening, he posted the photos on his personal Facebook. Little did he know that internet stardom awaited him.
Later that evening, another firefighter friend reposted one of his photos to a Facebook site for firefighters. This site allows friends and family in the community to touch base with loved ones. After the image was shared to the site, it went viral.
“I am a scientist, and I think we need to allocate more funding for the fighting of these fires and the prevention,” said Ellsworth. “We as a society are not spending enough financial resources, social resource or any resource at all, and I think that resonated with people.”
Ellsworth saw an opportunity to bring attention toward the funding and fighting of these fires through his photography.
“The image got re-tweeted and re-shared thousands of times that one night. I think what resonated with people was that it was a beautiful image, but also the connection with Tahoe. People thought what we could lose with this fire,” Ellsworth said.
According to Ellsworth that evening and following morning, his Facebook site and email exploded. He went through media outlets in Boise, Seattle, Los Angeles and large media networks NBC, CBS Nightly News and the Associated Press.
“I had always heard about videos and images going viral but I didn’t realize what people go through,” said Ellsworth.
The entire week, Ellsworth spent all his time responding to emails and Facebook messages regarding his photography and media credits.
By the end of the week, Ellsworth was contacted by Channel 3 KRCA. This time he was asked to call them at 7 a.m. Half-asleep before a cup of coffee, Ellsworth contacted the news anchor. They said, “Oh Steve! Thanks for calling us, we’d like to interview you at 7:10 a.m. for a live interview.”
“While still in my pajamas, I collected my thoughts. I was told someone would call back in a few minutes at 7:08, and then at 7:10 you will hear the news anchor talking about your image,” Ellsworth said.
Channel 3 KRCA was able to find Ellsworth’s Flicker account where the entire series of photos taken of the fire were shared. They shared his images on television while they interviewed him about the photos and where one would reach him, if they wanted the images.
“Thats when I realized I could plug the college and put SNC’s name out there. I explained that people can contact me through SNC if they wanted the images. I sure enough got emails through my school email,” said Ellsworth.
Throughout the hectic week, Ellsworth explained what he learned about media and how it is shared rapidly.
“I learned the challenges of journalists today and the power of social media, I think amateurs have really closed that gap between professionals with digital photography. I think going into journalism and photography would be a huge challenge,” Ellsworth said.
While photography remains a hobby, Ellsworth concludes the experience was once in lifetime.
“I don’t know what I could ever do again that would be on the same scale,” Ellsworth said.
By Danny Kern
At 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 8, the Tahoe Art Haus and Cinema theater showed a handful of different movies that were all “connected in someway,” according to Sierra Nevada College Sophomore Lucas ‘Maddog’ Angier.
“It was a perfect co-lab, to be able to mix skiers and snowboarders that are both out there just for the same love, doing the same thing, was really inspiring,” Angier said.
The movies shown were “Keynote Skier”, showcasing Phil ‘B-Dog’, Casabon and friends, “Road to Zion”, featuring Henrik Harlaut, Tanner Hall and friends and last but not least the Green Bandit Productions(GBP) full length movie “Gratitude”, featuring all of the Gremlins crew.
The Tahoe Art Haus and Cinema will continue showing ski and snowboard films along with the World Series and other movies.
Each movie was unique in its own way. “Keynote Skier” focused on only one athlete, Casabon, and showcased street riding along with backcountry lines and butters. “Road to Zion” was a compilation of doubles and triples performed by Harlaut and Hall in the backcountry and off of massive park features. The GBP movie “Gratitude”, was one of a kind. It showcased the travels of the one and only bio-diesel run Gremlin’s bus in a creative documentary format.
“The movie is different every year because Zach edits it different every year which is cool,” Senior Jeremy Landi said.
Zach Leftner, also known as ‘The Kid’, is the producer of all GBP productions.
“We wouldn’t have “Gratitude” or any of the Gremlins videos with out ‘The Kid’, much respect goes out to that guy, he’s like my older brother,” Angier said.
This premier was unique for a few reasons. There was a balanced mixture of snowboarding and skiing shown as entertainment, and all of the movies were mainly accompanied with Rastafarian reggae tunes, giving them a very “laid-back, inspiring, feel-good vibe,” said SNC alumni Keenan Cawley.
“It was a success, a lot of people came out. I was pretty hyped to see the other two movies that I hadn’t seen before and for everyone to be able to see “Gratitude” on a big screen in a movie theater, which was just amazing,” Angier said.
This was the first premiere of “Gratitude”, but the 17th premiere stop of “Keynote Skier” and “Road to Zion.”
“The turnout to the first premier was really good. We didn’t get to hype it up as much as a ‘just Gremlins premier’, but it was cool ‘cause Tanner Hall is going to do a lot for the movie next year and Inspired Media is going to help us go to Canada,” Landi said.
BY RICK CONWAY
Sierra Nevada College was honored to host renowned musician, Terry Allen on campus Friday. Oct. 17th. Allen, an accomplished, musician, artist, sculptor, and writer, treated students to his own brand of alternative country, or “outlaw country” music, a genre, which he arguably played a role in creating. The event was a special treat for students and members of the community, who filled the room to the back doors.
“It’s ironic they call this Writers In The Woods,” said the Lubbock, Texas native, as he arranged himself in front of the piano. “Where I grew up there was only one tree…and it had a sign on it that said “tree”…People would come from all around to look at it.”
“I’m going to start with a song called Advice to Children,” Allen said. He tapped his foot and sang loudly. “It’s better to be mediocre…Don’t do the best you can, they’ll just screw you over.”
Allen played and read passages from his book, “Dugout.” Allens songwriting often draws from events in in his past. “His songs tell stories,” said, SNC Senior Bryan Wilkins, who summarized the lyrics as being very “relatable.” The performance was peppered with jokes and stories that inspired his songs.
“I’m from Texas,” Allen said. “where sex is hideous, disgusting and evil…so you save it for the one you love.” Allen, who now resides in New Mexico, set off for California at the tender age of 17 to study art and music, earning a bachelor’s in fine arts from the Chouinard Art Institute, in Los Angeles.
Throughout June and July of 2014, 24 Sierra Nevada College students participated in an annual service-learning trip to South Africa for four weeks. The excursion, organized by Mary Lewellen and Ted Morse, explored different areas of learning such as developmental politics and economics, community gardens, feeding programs, and assisting in tutoring of South African Students- all while helping install electricity to families.
Senior Sierra Granados gained much more from her South African trip than just education and community-based learning.
“I met a talented friend, Smanga, he is a hardworking artist who deserves the chance to further his art and English studies,” said Granados. “He speaks great English, is dedicated and a great artist.”
Smanga Stigmata Mdadane lives in the city of Durban, SA, a city that helped influence and cultivate his artistic talents throughout the years. The city of Durban even granted Mdadane a permit to graffiti in public locations.
“Being from a poor background, Smanga can’t afford to travel and is limited to further his education,” said Granados.
Although he is talented, Mdadane doesn’t have the opportunity to expand his talent.
“Another thing here in SA, there’s a stereotype that dark skinned people are nothing,” said Mdadane. “From an early age I was told that I’ll be nothing, no matter how much I’ll try all will fail to put my neighborhood on the radar as I tell and wish.”