The Photographic Society’s interactive installation projection at Outdoor Vision Fest 2014 allowed attendees involvement and access to not only the creative process, but also the final product of the projection itself.
For the past three months, 15 senior graphic design students (including this one) have been working non-stop on their thesis projects. After months of tears and sweat, the graphic design seniors are proud to exhibit their work on a show that will take place this May 9 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Thaw building on SFUAD.
Yes, it’s Nicolas Cage. No, it’s not entertainment. It’s a cinematic story adopted from Larry Brown’s 1991 novel, told in a spirit of blunt realism and within a not-so-fictional atmosphere of the gritty South. Involving gusty performances by actors like Ronnie Gene Blevins, the independent feature Joe, starring Nicolas Cage and directed by David Gordon Green, takes bold moves in character development and throws audience expectation out the window. As a student filmmaker and two-year-projectionist for The Screen, I honestly believe that features like Joe are what the cinematic experience is all about. So you think, Nicolas Cage plus David Gordon Green (known for Elf and Pineapple Express) must equal a high budgeted comedy, right? At least that’s what actor Blevins thought when he was offered the role as Willy Russell, the villain. To a small but intrigued audience at The Screen May 2, Blevins shared that it was his assumption of a big budget comedy that led him to sending “a larger than life” audition tape to director Green. Perhaps his performance was “against the type of the film,” but Blevins heard back from Green all the same, who said that a larger than life villain wasn’t so far from what he had in mind. “My brain was kind of scrambled,” Blevins says, explaining how director Green had requested an audition tape while Blevins was working “these long day in the middle of Appalachia.” Green, who had seen Blevins’ short role in The Dark Knight Rises as a bad guy truck driver, was interested in casting Blevins in the character of a Texas lowlife, but it was only after reading the script that the reality of Blevins’ dark and sadistic role in Joe sunk in. “My resumé includes a lot of bad guys, a lot of evil dudes and episodic [roles],” Blevins says. “This guy straight from the page, there’s just no humanity. So that’s kind of tough.” The challenge, the actor says, then becomes how not to pre-judge Willie and make him one-dimensional but to “find ways, when possible, to put some humor into him…humanity when possible.” It helps, Blevins says, that he’s actually from Texas, where the film was shot and takes place. Though Blevins’ resumé is already filled with impressive credits (including a successful writing career with productions American Cowslip and Eiderdown Goose), he says that working with Nicolas Cage and David Gordon Green has been a highlight of his career. The actor especially liked the role of Willie Russell because it was a role Green allowed him to develop on his own. “Green has a way of inspiring performances which is really quite beautiful and poetic,” Blevins says, “and he’s more inclined to shy away from the technical. He lets us do our thing and sees where it lands.” That atmosphere of improv, Blevins explains, was what kept the mood on set so “light and playful,” despite the darkness of the story. And even if the physical toll was high, like getting whiplash after Joe (Nicolas Cage) beats Willie Russell repeatedly, it was still all about allowing the actors to try anything and everything. Blevins says “there was nothing we could bring up that would be considered wrong.” And if a bar fight sounds too clichéd for a story about the South, it will make sense when the overload of guns, beer, pit bulls, junk yards, and police cars all pause for those moments of true humanity between Joe and Gary, the boy the character Joe takes under his wing. Perhaps more intriguing and certainly saddening, when casting the character of Gary’s abusive father, Green hired a homeless man named Gary Poulter, whose one-time acting role is characterized as “one of the great one-shot performances in the history of cinema,” by Rogerebert.com critic Peter Sobczynski. The term one-shot performance was used, Blevins explains, because two months after the film’s wrap, Poulter was found dead, face down in a river, the same...
After four years of studying the art of photography, four graduating seniors had the opportunity to show off the artwork that they’ve been working on for a year at a BFA senior thesis show. The Marion Center of Photography hosts work by Grace Taylor, C. Alex Clark, Andreas Maestas and Shayla Blatchford through May 18.
Every year, Contemporary Music Program students participate in classes that teach music from all over the world. These ensembles vary from African Drum to Balkan/Middle East to Rock and Funk and so many more. These classes offer students the chance to learn music from around the world and the opportunity to play with other musicians. At the end of each semester, the CMP hold concerts as a way for the students in these ensembles to show what they’ve learned over the course of the semester. “Being in ensembles is training for being a working musician later,” says Leticia Gonzales. “Musicians have to learn to work with other musicians in a way that reflects the work of career musicians. Being in ensembles with our peers helps us learn to navigate that.” The end-of-the-year concert series kicked off May 7 with performances from students in Tom Adler’s Acoustic Americana Ensemble and Fred Simpson’s African Drum Ensemble, followed by a performance by Steve Paxton’s University Chorus in the O’Shaughnessy Performance Space in Benildus Hall. “I chose Acoustic Americana because I play banjo and it just feels right. The most important thing I have learned is just the importance of being humble when it is needed and a lot about playing with others,” says Sam Armstrong-Zickefoose about his experience with the ensemble. The CMP ensemble concert series continues through May 12 with the next performance by the Balkan/Middle East Ensemble on May 10 at 8 p.m. in the O’Shaughnessy Performance Space in Benildus Hall. The other concerts are: Sunday, May 11 5 p.m. Gamelan Ensemble The Bandshell on the quad 8 p.m. Jazz & Afro-Cuban Ensembles & University Chorus O’Shaughnessy Performance Space Benildus Hall Monday, May 12 8 p.m. Rock & Funk/ R&B Ensembles O’Shaughnessy Performance...
On May 2, Santa Fe University of Art and Design held its fourth annual Outdoor Vision Fest outside of the Visual Arts Center, a collaboration of student graphic designers, animators, filmmakers, photographers and interactive multimedia artists.
SFUAD recently revised its Mission Statement to reflect the change and growth of the school. Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Allen Butt explains the process; students react to the various aspects of the statement itself.
Jackalope Magazine is the student magazine of Santa Fe University of Art and Design. Building on the interdisciplinary nature of our education, we aim to showcase the talent of our university and character of our city.