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.”
The walls within the new Garage Door Gallery at the Holman Arts & Media Center have welcomed new featured artist, Lawrence LaBianca. LaBianca shares his Sea to Float exhibition with Sierra Nevada College for the next 6 weeks. LaBianca’s work accommodates his connection with nature while integrating research, sculpture and experimentation to create his artwork.
“I am trying to explore and look for what I believe is the divine source for all information- nature,” said artist Lawrence LaBianca.
Sea to Float is an interactive sculpture that uses the environment to record and harness energy from natural phenomenons such as wind, swells and tides. In order to capture these rhythms, LaBianca has created a buoy lined with a soft copper plate, accompanied by a steel ball. The copper plate is a polished, blank plate that registers minute scratches and dents. The intention of these two instruments is to successfully record the movements of the water while the buoy is anchored in the water. LaBianca then takes the copper plate and transfers the etches from the copper plate into a print, demonstrating the record he captured.
“The Sea to Float project is very process laden, I am creating a buoy that is a drawing machine. I believe layering and capturing of time sets a recording of time. This is something a wrist watch cannot do. These marks become a reference in time,” said LaBianca.
On Oct. 2, the gallery reception opening welcomed LaBianca’s work. The opening was filled with students and staff sharing their interest in the new exhibition.
“I truly enjoyed this gallery. I find it interesting how LaBianca is able to capture nature and transform it into art. I find his connection with nature fascinating,” said Sophomore Jada Garcia.
From the blue row boat that he uses, to the buoys and actual sketches of his work, the gallery is filled with all the different processes included within his work. Lawrence’s exhibition presents the different creative elements he uses and hopes to share through his work. His work presents a clear message in sync with SNC’s key elements.
“I think the show is really beautiful. It’s a great mixture of sculpture and print-making and art that activates the environment,” said Professor Russell Dudley.
The new and vibrant Holman Arts & Media Center building is a representation of an expanding art department filled with ambition. With only two semesters of academia the Holman Arts & Media Center encourages a new era of creative, intellectual thinking with grand long term intentions of inspiring interdisciplinary programs and large communal goals. While the former David Hall building could not support the expanding art department and demand, the Holman building was set in place to achieve this growing need.
“We were basically at capacity with what we could do with the other building, the oldest building on campus. It had a lot of limitations with it. Getting this building and really maximizing the way we flow from one discipline to the other has enabled us to take the next step, which is to develop an MFA (Master of Fine Arts),” Professor Russell Dudley said.
The building was made possible by a generous gift from Robin and Robert Holman, and opened its doors to students in the spring semester of 2014.
“We envision that this center will be the new artistic and intellectual hub not just for Sierra Nevada College but for Incline Village and the Lake Tahoe basin. We looked around and saw the exciting things that are happening at Sierra Nevada College and we knew we wanted to partner with SNC to make change happen,” SNC Board of Trustees member and donor Robin Holman said.
The central ideas inspiring the design of the building were to create an academic flow within the space that also invites the public and the community into the academic practices, according to Dudley.
When entering the the Holman Arts & Media Center building, one can observe students working cohesively in all ranges of art. Students have the space to work on computers, photography, create sculptures and drawings. Art history lectures echo around the building. The new art building allows artists of all genres to share an inviting, inventive space.
“It’s nice to have an art building that is surrounded by all art students and the same creative process,” Senior Claire Bagg said.
The faculty and administration worked tirelessly for two years toward their unified vision of the Holman Arts building, according to Rick Parsons, associate professor of art.
I’d like to address my concerns regarding the building of a presidential residence on campus. I, along with many other students whom I’ve spoken to on this subject, have grave concerns regarding the impact of this project. These include the environmental impact on the proposed building site, the image of our college that such an endeavor will alter, the economic concerns regarding the use of donor funds, and the hypocritical nature of such a project as it goes against the core values of this school.
The project’s “focus on marketing and branding” [sic] has the potential to be a detriment to the students. This focus detracts from providing a better environment for the students, faculty, and staff to live, work, learn, and play. Rather than presenting an image of affluence and prestige, the energies spent on “marketing and branding” should involve creating actual affluence and prestige. There are several ways in which this generous donation can be used that do not involve a fancier place for faculty and Lakeshore Blvd. residents to party – “a president’s house on campus would be a place to easily host potential and current students, faculty, donors and visitors.”
A couple examples for better use of donor funds may include:
– Increasing budgets across all departments would help to provide for a better education for the students that are already here. This could take the form of better equipment and infrastructure, and/or more campus events (i.e. film festivals, Writers in the Woods candidates, etc).
– Increasing faculty salaries and creating more full time/tenured faculty positions. This would increase the level of educational expertise this school can provide, which in turn would improve this school’s image in the academic community.
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To begin the “Girl Rising” presentation, Senior Kelly Benson, president of the Justice Club warned the audience that she had only seen a clip of the film and she felt that she received a kick to the stomach in the best possible way.
Opening an outdoor sporting goods shop in what was once a Porters is a big gamble when it comes to a new business venture. Redemption Sports is a premium sporting good store located next to Incline Liquor on Tahoe Boulevard.