Endicott Honors Grandmother with Senior Exhibit

Endicott Honors Grandmother with Senior Exhibit

University of the Ozarks senior art major Kirsten Endicott of Rogers, Ark., will present her Senior Exhibit, “Patchwork Through Time,” from Nov. 24 through Dec. 4 in the Stephens Gallery.

There will be a reception to meet the artist from 6-7 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 2. Endicott will also present an artist talk from 2-3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 8, in Baldor Auditorium.

Endicott said “Patchwork Through Time,” is a tribute to her late grandmother, who first introduced her to the world of quilting and art.

“The warm memories that I have of my grandmother before she passed away from cancer are ones that I will keep in my heart for the rest of my life, such as re-painting a garden bench, going around neighborhoods looking at other people’s houses decorated with Christmas lights, and helping her do little things like re-filling the bird feeder outside her dining room window,” Endicott said. “I even remember the time when my sister and I made a few quilts with our grandmother from old denim jeans and cotton fabric. Since gardening and quilting were my grandmother’s favorite hobbies, I wanted to put those two things together in one huge scene, as seen in ‘Bench in Grandmother’s Garden.’ I wanted to challenge myself with a different quilter’s skill in each of these cotton fabric pieces.”

Endicott said she uses numerous quilting skills and tools in manufacturing her quilts.

“For the smaller quilts, I use a needle and thread to hand-sew them together, but for the larger quilts I would apply fabric with my sewing machine,” she said. “I was inspired to give hand-sewing a try and challenge myself to this new way of making these masterpieces. I also incorporate found objects such as dolls' clothes, buttons and different styles of beads onto the quilt in order to give dimension, instead of being flat like other traditional quilts.”

Many of Endicott’s quilts utilize the skill of appliqué, a method of sewing a piece of fabric to another larger piece of fabric.

“Appliqué gives me the option of using organic shapes rather than using geometric shapes throughout the entire quilt,” she said. “Another technique I used to make some of my quilts is to take some old photos I found and print them onto a special fabric paper. In ‘A Birdwatchers’ View,’ I used applique on the birds, feeders, and the tree leaves. After cutting out all the necessary pieces, I then used basting spray in order for the fabric to stay in place while I ran it through the sewing machine. If the applied fabric moved even a little, then it would be very difficult to fix without accidentally tearing the fabric.”

Endicott said some of her larger quilts took several weeks to make.

“The ones that I make by just using a needle and thread sometimes takes me only around five days, so not as long as making one huge quilt,” she said. “The one important thing that I keep in mind, while sewing, is to ask myself, ‘why am I making this quilt? What purpose does it serve or who will it benefit?’ Mostly, I have been making quilts based on memories of important events and the people I love.”

Following graduation, Endicott plans to return to Northwest Arkansas and pursue a career in teaching art.

University of the Ozarks senior art major Willow Stratton of Fayetteville, Ark., will showcase her Senior Art Exhibit, titled, “Flock Life,” from Nov. 18-23 in the Stephens Gallery.

Willow, who is minoring in education and psychology, will present an artist talk at 3 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 15, in Baldor Auditorium. There will be a reception to meet the artist at 5 p.m. on Nov. 23 in the gallery, which is located in the Walton Fine Arts Center.

In her exhibit, “Flock Life,” Stratton honors her life-long attraction to birds.

“Most of my childhood was spent watching the birds and wishing for the ability to fly,” she said. “Now, birds are the main focus of the works due to my natural draw towards them. Each bird that I depict has a meaning, some from Celtic, European and Native American cultures. In each culture, items have different significance, occasionally sharing similar symbols. The cultures and symbols I am inspired by connect to my family lineage, making the works more personal to me.”

Stratton said each bird in her artwork represents a person in her life.

Wilow Stratton artwork“For example, the hummingbird represents my mother,” she said. “A hummingbird symbolizes endless insight and wisdom, and it seeks out the good and beauty in life. My mother, to me, has endless knowledge about the world and she is always the person I reach out to for problems. In addition to the bird totems, the drawings include items that represent each person, whether it is something they like or something in their possession. Each symbol and bird is researched and noted so that the imagery will represent the person before I start the piece.”

Stratton said that in Native American culture, the yellow cactus flower represents motherhood and unconditional love. 

“The Native Americans described the yellow flower as symbolizing patience and endurance,” she said. “My mother forever acts maternal towards me; taking care of me when I am sick or giving me motherly advice. The hummingbird and flower together represents her infinite patience and love for her children, resulting in its name, ‘Infinite Infinity.’ After the imagery is determined, sketches are created to plan a layout that includes their personality through cultural symbols and objects.  Colored pencils are used to form the bird while an array of mixed media are used to create the background.  The bird is drawn separately and then meticulously cut out and attached to the background. Other pieces are cut out and collaged in.”

Stratton said that not all of her artworks in “Flock Life” represent a positive relationship.

“One of the pieces, ‘You Ran Over Me,’ presents a dead owl, symbolizing the destruction this person caused on my life and self-esteem,” she said. “The background embodies the feeling of slowly being consumed by the feeling of dread and hopelessness, which ended up being a healing experience. The pieces will represent the positive and negative relationships in my life, some past and some present.”

The University of the Ozarks Theatre will host the Arkansas Festival of the 2019 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) Region 6 on Nov. 14-16.

University Theatre will present its production of “Love’s Labour’s Lost” at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 14, in the Walton Fine Arts Center’s Seay Theatre.  

In addition, the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith (UAFS) theatre program will present “Ghost Sonata” at 2 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 15, and “Side Man” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15, in the Seay Theatre.

The Arkansas Festival will also include forums, workshops and an awards ceremony on Saturday.

The University of the Ozarks Theatre is vying to get its production of “Love’s Labour’s Lost,” selected for the Region 6 2020 Regional Festival, scheduled for Abilene, Texas, in February. A total of five productions will be selected for the regionals from the five-state region, which includes collegiate programs in Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and New Mexico.

The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) is a national organization that exists to celebrate the educational and creative process of university and college theatre. KCACTF promotes professional standards and provides students and faculty with opportunities to bridge the academic and professional worlds.

University of the Ozarks will welcome a record 40 businesses, organizations and graduate schools to campus on Thursday, Nov. 14, for the University’s annual Career Fair.

The Career Fair, which will run from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Rogers Conference Center, is an opportunity for University students to connect with local, state and international businesses and organizations as well as graduate and professional schools.

Ruth Walton, director of career services, said she estimates that more than 250 students will attend the event.

“I am excited that we reached our goal of 40 organizations and businesses to attend our annual Career Fair,” Walton said. “It is refreshing to experience so many companies understanding how important it is to have a presence at a university career fair.  Not only is it a cost effective way to recruit; it is building and fostering a collaborative partnership. We are a small, yet, mighty school.  As our University grows its enrollment, companies and graduate schools can depend on University of the Ozarks to provide them with top candidates for their programs.”

U of O students are encouraged to dress in interview attire and bring their resumes to the event.

The University of the Ozarks will present a pair of family-friendly events for the local community during the week of Halloween.

The music department will present the 19th annual All Hallows’ Eve Concert on Monday, Oct. 28, in Munger-Wilson Memorial Chapel. In addition, the Office of Student Affairs will sponsor a Trunk-or-Treat event from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 31.

The concert begins at 7 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Audience members are encouraged to come in costume.

The All Hallows’ Eve Concert is traditionally one of the University’s most popular musical events of the year and will feature music by the U of O music ensembles, under the leadership of choral director Dr. Jonathan Ledger, as well as by Walton Professor of Music and University organist Dr. Sharon Gorman. Bethany Walker will serve as collaborative pianist and Dr. David Strain, professor of English and classics, will be the event’s narrator.

Gorman will present organ music that will include the traditional Toccata in D minor of J. S. Bach, as well as selections from Harry Potter, Hocus Pocus, The Phantom of the Opera, Jurassic Park and other popular movies.

Presented by the University’s Eagle Productions and Residential Life, Trunk-or-Treat will be held in the parking lot of the Walton Fine Arts Center. Children are encouraged to dress in costume and candy will be handed out by U of O students and employees.

For more information on these events, please contact the Office of Public Relations at 979-1433.

Clarksville Mayor David Rieder and Johnson County Judge Herman Houston joined University President Richard Dunsworth and alumna Lisa Gruben-Inness in a proclamation signing event declaring October 14-20 as University of the Ozarks 2019 Homecoming Week throughout the city and county.

The proclamation signing took place on Oct. 14 in front of the Johnson County Courthouse and was part of a pep rally that included more than 100 students from the University. Following the pep rally, many of the students decorated downtown businesses with University signs and decals in a Paint the Town Purple event.

Houston is a 1973 graduate of U of O and Gruben-Inness is a 1993 graduate of the University.

Homecoming 2019 will include a variety of events and reunions. For a complete schedule, please visit www.ozarks.edu/homecoming.

By Jake Sawyer

Fourteen years ago, University of the Ozarks English Professor David Strain had an idea only a mad poetry scientist could cook up. Strain and his fellow English professors were looking for a way to boost submissions to the department’s annual Falstaff literary magazine when inspiration struck from an unlikely source: the reality TV show Project Runway. That epiphany would eventually become the annual Project Poet competition, which is currently enjoying its 14th season as a cornerstone of Ozarks campus life.

No one has seen the impact of Project Poet more than English Professor Brian Hardman, who served as the host for nine seasons of the event, more than any other host.

“I was interested from the start because of how unique the event was, and I loved the idea of giving students across campus a creative space to push themselves and to share their voices,” Hardman remembers.

Project Poet’s run at Ozarks has seen a number of transformations on campus and has changed itself along the way.

“The event has moved locations several times, which has allowed it to grow and evolve. The show is also more sophisticated in its use of atmosphere and production quality, and the talent has increased year after year,” Hardman says. “I hope it continues to grow and evolve, and I hope that it continues as a powerful venue for students to express their talents, voices, and experiences.”

Though the venue and atmosphere may have changed over the years, the competition itself is essentially the same. Each fall semester, one member of the English department sends out a poetry challenge to the campus community, and the students who enter must submit an original poem that meets the challenge, which may vary from a poetic self-portrait to a sonnet or haiku. There are five separate challenges over the five-week competition, and the poets must write a new poem for each challenge.

The poets themselves come to Project Poet from all walks of campus life and for all sorts of reasons. Some, such as Jarret Bain, a junior psychology major from Nassau, Bahamas, enter Project Poet as a way to get out of their comfort zone. “I didn’t expect to get very far, but whether or not I made it far, I was in it for the experience,” Bain explains.

For Bekah Moore, a senior biology major from Alma, AR, what was initially an extra credit opportunity quickly became a new passion. Though Moore’s high school had largely treated poetry as “a necessity that students and teachers alike were more than willing to cross off of their to-do list,” she was blown away by the inclusive artistic community she found at Ozarks through Project Poet. “The reverence this campus has for the arts, and its various forms, will always amaze me,” Moore says.

Both Bain and Moore placed among last year’s five finalists, and their diverse backgrounds and motivations are not unusual in the competition.

“Project Poet draws students from across campus and from all disciplines,” Hardman says. “It really says something that, as often as not, English majors aren't the ones who always win the crown of Poet Laureate of the Spadra Valley.”

Entering a poem for the challenge is only the beginning though. After writing their original poem, the poets must perform it before an audience of their peers and a panel of three faculty judges, all of whom vote for their favorite poems. For most contestants, this performance is the most stressful component of the competition. On the night of Project Poet, many of the poets arrive early to Munger-Wilson Chapel, pacing the flagstones of the chapel plaza or rehearsing their poem one last time. Then there is nothing to do but watch the trickle into the room until the host pulls a name from a faded tweed cap: “Next up, welcome to the mic”— and the applause roars.

The stress is real too. As the Project Poet motto goes, “In poetry, one day you’re a bestseller, and the next you’re out of print.” Each week’s challenge ratchets up the difficulty to a new level, and each week a few of the poets “go out of print.”

This season’s contestant pool has narrowed to the five poets who survived the semifinal round, or “Winter Formal,” which is arguably the most difficult round, as it requires the poets to compose in strict poet forms such as a sonnet or villanelle. The five who “stayed in print” qualified for the Project Poet Finale during Homecoming Weekend. There they will vie for the title of Poet Laureate of the Spadra Valley, as well as the $1,000 cash prize that comes with it.

Despite the high stakes involved, for most contestants Project Poet is as much about collaboration and personal expression with other poets as it is about competition.

“Every time I come into this project, it’s with the mindset that I am able to share parts of my unique human experience through a healthy platform that encourages creative thinking and honest expression. The fact that I get to participate for one week, or three, or five makes no difference,” Moore explains. “I consider myself extremely lucky to have stood beside such a unique and admirable set of poets.”

Bain seconds her opinion. “I’m honestly not a huge fan of competition,” he says, “but being able to go up against other talented poets has been an enlightening experience.”

For Bain, the moments before he steps to the mic are often ones of humility. “I usually think about how great everyone else is, and that if I lost then I deserved it because everyone else has worked hard to earn their spot.”

If the past years of Project Poet have proven nothing else, it is that no one can predict who will end up with the Poet Laureate crown, and if asked, the current poets will agree. One thing is certain though: they will be at the final round on October 19th, either to perform their own work or to support their friends. As Moore sums up, “One thing Project Poet never fails to do is surprise me. Participating or not, I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

(Editor’s Note: The Project Poet Finale will take place in the Robson Library rotunda at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 19, during Homecoming Weekend and is open to all students, faculty, staff, parents and alumni. The five finalists are, Jarret Bain, Lily Marlow, Bekah Moore, Chava Roberts and Maddy Windel.)

The University of the Ozarks Theatre will open the 2019-20 season with three performances of William Shakespeare’s early comedy, Love’s Labour’s Lost, on Oct. 18-20.

The performances will be at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 18, and Saturday, Oct. 19, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 20 in the Seay Theatre. Tickets are $8 each and can be purchased at the box office prior to the performance.

Believed to have been written in the mid-1590s for a performance at the Inns of Court before Queen Elizabeth I, Love’s Labour’s Lost follows the King of Navarre and his three companions, Berowne, Longaville and Dumaine, as they attempt to swear off the company of women for three years in order to focus on study and fasting. They are confounded, on signing the vow, when Berowne remembers that the Princess of France and her three ladies, Rosaline, Maria, and Katharine, attended by Boyet, are on an embassy to Navarre’s court. Fun and hilarity ensue.

The cast includes, Petron Brown as King of Navarre, Mason Clough as Berowne, Gracie Bormann as Dumaine, Jimmy Reinier as Longaville, Tiffany Quinton as Princess, Sydney Ward as Rosaline, Jesse Cave as Maria, Nichole Finch as Katherine/Jacquetta, Klara McElroy as Boyet, Haley Wheeler as Holfernes, Lacye Day as Don Armado, Ethan Lubera as Mote, McKenzie Lewis as Costard, Ben Howard as Nathaniel and Ariel McKinney as Forester/Monsieur/Dull.

Rebecca Bailey, assistant professor of theatre, is the director and Lucas Hoiland, theatre technical director and media production assistant, will serve as the play’s technical director, lightning designer and scenic designer.

The student crew includes, Geoshan Lee as sound designer, sound board operator and set carpenter; Fion Chen as graphic designer, props designer and set carpenter; Melissa Rooney as costume designer; Kevin Nawa as light board operator, electrician and set carpenter; Haley Grace Clark as stage manager, set carpenter and scenic artist; Mason Clough as master electrician; Nichole Finch as electrician and set carpenter; Ben Howard as electrician and set carpenter; Paula Jurado Gurdian as follow spot operator; Jake Holland as fly crew; Lacye Day as scenic charge artist and set carpenter; Lillian Olmstead as follow spot operator and set carpenter; Tiffany Quinton as costume crew, set carpenter and scenic artist; Klara McElroy as costume crew and set carpenter; Kenzie Lewis as scenic artist and set carpenter; Jimmy Reinier as set carpenter; Haley Wheeler as set carpenter; Gracie Bormann as set carpenter; Petron Brown as set carpenter; Karie Miller as set carpenter; Ethan Lubera as set carpenter and Sydney Ward as scenic artist and set carpenter.

The Institute of Jugglology, featuring a former world champion juggler, will perform at University of the Ozarks on Thursday, Oct. 17, as part of the University’s 2019-20 Walton Arts & Ideas Series. The event begins at 7 p.m. in the Rowntree Recital Hall, located in the Walton Fine Arts Center. There is no cost for admission and the public is invited to this family-friendly event. Based in Northwest Arkansas, the Institute of Jugglology’s performances create giant sand paintings using innovative juggling props filled with sand. The sand slowly spills out, creating an ethereal environment where every throw becomes a line, and every catch is a splash of color. Performance StageThe performance will feature Galen Harp, co-founder of the institute and a former international juggling champion. Harp grew up in a small town in Northwest Arkansas. After graduating from high school, he moved to Fayetteville, AR, to attend college at the University of Arkansas where he learned how to juggle. He has spent the last 15 years creating new ways for juggling to be perceived and has won multiple international awards, including the world championship of juggling awarded by the International Jugglers Association in 2014. The Institute of Jugglology has been creating unbelievable juggling tricks and amazing audiences all over the United States for over a decade. Using their innovative juggling props, the throws and catches of the juggling patterns trace vibrant lines through the air. Slowly, a fragile work of art appears on the ground constantly in danger of being destroyed by the very juggling props that create it. The institute’s jugglers have appeared all over North America in many venues, including Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, El Paso Museum of Art and the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute. They have opened for Cake, Peter Frampton and Blues Traveler. The institute has been awarded the Northwest Arkansas Entertainer of the Year award for three years in a row.

The Johnson County trio band Shiner's Dream will perform at First Friday on Friday, Oct. 4, in downtown Clarksville. The event begins at 5 p.m. with the music starting at 5:30 p.m.

Presented by University of the Ozarks and the Clarksville-Johnson County Chamber of Commerce, First Friday is an outdoor community event on the green space that is located at the corner of Main Street and the Spadra Trail. Held every month the University is in session, the family-friendly event features live music, a variety of food trucks and vendors as well as lawn games.

There is no charge for admission and the public is invited to attend and encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets. This month’s music is sponsored by Mid-South Roller Company.

Shiner's Dream features Nathan Harderson, Lane Davis and Bronson Rofkahr. Their music derives from and is inspired by such artists as Merle Haggard, Tony Rice, Johnny Cash and Tyler Childers,