ArtsFest Overflows with Promise
Oberlin dives through the looking glass this weekend, promising to be a wonderland of creative displays as the SPACE committee kicked of its first annual ArtsFest last night. The event spans all artistic genres, including activities in theatre, dance, visual art, film and music. Most events are free and open to the public; representatives say the festival seeks to “celebrate and showcase student art” in a way that makes it accessible to everyone.
The coordinators, seniors Josh Luxenburg and Taylor Bibat, have packed four days with a variety of performances and other artistic endeavors with the hope that ArtsFest will make the need for a new performing arts center more tangible.
“The idea behind ArtsFest is to give students the opportunity to show their work and to encourage the kind of collaboration and cross-pollination that takes place when there is an immense amount of creative output occurring in a concentrated area. When the arts center is finished, the sheer proximity of students working in different artistic disciplines will present daily these kinds of opportunities for collaboration,” said Luxenberg.
So do not stay in this weekend — get ready to go out and benefit doubly from both the spring-like weather and the arts mania. Follow that white rabbit to the much anticipated return of the 24-Hour Theater Competition, during which the contestants will write, rehearse and perform six completely original plays in the course of one day. College President Nancy Dye will be among the judges.
Another highlight and stop on your journey is a display put on by the Envelope Collective, a “mail art project that asks people to mail in decorated submissions.” As of this date, nearly 300 pieces of art have been sent to the collective from 15 different countries. Their display, “Art Gone Postal,” can be found on continuous display in the Science Center.
For all former elementary school finger-painters and margin doodlers, there will be several hands-on activities. On Friday at TGIF, there will be an opportunity to express yourself via a giant communal mural.
“It’s kind of like those pieces of paper on the walls of the A-Level bathrooms, but much, much bigger and with paint,” said Luxenberg.
On Saturday, there will be a chalking contest outside the Science Center commons. Chalk as well as music to work by will be provided, so just show up!In addition, disposable cameras and sketchbooks have been placed around campus in the hopes that people will come across them and use them to create spontaneous art as a community.
If visual art is not your forte, then there will be numerous other workshops to experience as well. They include 16mm Filmmaking, Intro to Photoshop, Swing Dance, Collage and a Burlesque workshop with Rose Wood, a guest artist from New York City.
ArtsFest’s diverse spread of activities was put together through an application process that lasted only one week. Enthusiastic responses to the SPACE committee’s call for submissions poured in.
“We also planned the festival in part to demonstrate the kind of activities that could be happening all the time if the center were already built. The interest is there—and the ArtsFest proves it. For a first-time event, it’s already huge,” said Luxenberg.
The weekend’s festivities will close Sunday with food and live music in
the Science Center commons at 8 p.m. Acting as the culmination of a busy
weekend, the reception will feature the winning play from the 24-Hour Theater
Competition, present selected film and dance presentations and display the
collaborative mural from Wilder Bowl.