Arts and Entertainment

Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates Japanese culture

Fifteen years after Japanese graduates of Bowling Green State University showed their appreciation for the school by planting cherry trees on campus, several are returning. In fall, 2001, eight Japanese alumni came to campus for the planting of the trees. Graduate Masatoshi Emori had spearheaded the effort, inspired by the cherry trees in the nation’s capital. Fittingly then First Lady Hope Taft was on hand for the planting. Her husband’s great-grandfather was president when those trees took root in Washington D.C. as a sign of peace between Japan and the United States. Thanks to the Schedel Garden three of the BGSU trees were cuttings from the originals. The next spring Akiko Jones, an instructor of Japanese, initiated the first Cherry Blossom Festival to celebrate the plantings. Over the last 15 years, more trees have been planted and the Cherry Blossom Festival has grown. Now there are about 80. In Japan, the blossoming of the cherry trees is celebrated by outdoor hikes and picnics. Given the questionable weather in Northwest Ohio, the ceremony has been moved inside since its damp, very windy inaugural event in 2002. Last year with the event staged in the Lenhart Grand Ballroom of the Bowen-Thompson Student Union, more than 800 attended. Jones expects to attract even more celebrants this year when the event is held Saturday, April 16, from 4 to 8 p.m. in the ballroom. Attendance at the event, a celebration of Japanese culture, has increased in every year, outgrowing several venues. Jones credits the involvement of students with keeping the event going. When it started, she said, she never imagined it lasting this long….


Ancient anxieties … students study & exhibit objects from Toledo Museum of Art

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Bowling Green State University Art history students got to rummage around in the Toledo Museum of Art’s attic … figuratively speaking, that is. The 18 students in Sean Leatherbury’s Professional Practices in Art History class had the opportunity to select objects from the museum’s collection that are not on display to present in an exhibit of their own. Leatherbury said that Adam Levine, curator of ancient art, pulled out about 100 objects, most probably never exhibited, for the students to peruse. They each selected one or two, and then as a class narrowed down what would be included in the show. They returned to the museum to study the objects and did research on them. Working with a graphic design class taught by Todd Childers, the students assembled the exhibit “More Than War and Wine: Anxiety and Relief in Antiquity.” The exhibit is on display in the lobby of the Bryan Gallery in the Fine Arts Building through April 15. Leatherbury said that the students wanted to show that there was more to ancient society than the stereotypical images of wine and warriors, though the exhibit does include some of that as well. What they wanted to show, Leatherbury said, was that 2,500 years ago Greeks also suffered from anxiety. The objects were grouped to represent aspects related to that theme. There are objects related to: gender issues; myth as a way to cope with anxiety; and worship and ritual as a way to resolve anxiety. The students, he said, didn’t actually get to handle the objects. Instead Toledo Museum staff brought them to…


Showtime for ideas for a better world at BGSU’s The Hatch

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Surrounded by music, lights, a wise-cracking master of ceremony, video projections of tweets, 11 university students got down to the serious business of pitching ways to make people’s lives better. During Hatch 2016 Thursday night, those students presented eight projects to a five-member panel of Bowling Green State University alumni, who were ready to invest thousands of dollars to help these budding entrepreneurs launch their businesses. Just about all those projects ended up walking away with an initial offer of money in exchange for a stake in the company, and a step closer to solving problems large and small, for people from preschoolers to elders, and everyone who uses water. For Kiersten Castner and Collin Newton, their Trace Case would help people prone to losing their credit cards keep track of them. For Alyssa Batch, her Comfort Covers would employ key words and symbols to foster conversations between people suffering from dementia and their families, friends and caregivers. For Jarrod Cain, his StuPro Match would help college students find the professor who best matches their learning styles. For Baqer Aljabr and Ryan Murphy, their Park Shark would lower costs for airports, universities and others managing massive parking lots with a robot that gives tickets and provides video surveillance. For Meredith Moore and Khory Katz, their Easy-Loft Beds would help college students expand the living space in their dorm rooms. For Sophia Schmitz, her Play-to-Play interactive board game will help music students as young as preschoolers learn their note names and other basics. For Austin Farrington, his Trac Band would allow elders more freedom of…


Toledo Museum marks 10th anniversary of opening of Glass Pavilion with “Hot Spot” exhibit

From TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART TOLEDO – A rare opportunity to see more than 80 modern works of studio glass from private and corporate collections is being offered in a special exhibition this spring and summer at the Toledo Museum of Art Glass Pavilion. Hot Spot: Contemporary Glass from Private Collections, which opens April 15 and continues through Sept. 18 showcases contemporary North American, European, Australian and Asian studio glass. Many of the objects are on public view for the first time. Curated by Jutta-Annette Page, TMA’s senior curator of glass and decorative art, the exhibition celebrates the 10th anniversary of the opening of the SANAA-designed Glass Pavilion as well as shines a light on the impressive and storied glass legacy at TMA. The works of art will be featured in seven thematic groups – the human figure, animals and plants, landscapes, vessel forms, the spirit world, abstract forms and outer space. Among the artists are Joyce Scott, Nicholas Africano, Tom Moore, Kimiake Higuchi, Preston Singletary, Debora Moore and Tobias Møhl. “This exhibition is the perfect way to reflect on current directions in the studio glass movement in the U.S. as well as studio glass from around the world, particularly work by glass artists not currently represented in TMA’s collection,” Page said. “Toledo is the Glass City and the Toledo Museum of Art, as a major player in the history of studio glass as an art form, is committed to nurturing innovative contemporary glass artists through its collections, programs and facilities.” The Hot Spot exhibition is made possible by 2016 Exhibition Program Sponsor ProMedica, by Museum members and by a…


BGSU Lively Arts Calendar, April 7–20

April 7­—“More Than War and Wine: Anxiety and Relief in Antiquity” is an exhibition by BGSU graphic design students of Todd Childers and graduate-level art history students of Dr. Sean Leatherbury in collaboration with the Toledo Museum of Art. The students will present an “Object Talk” about the artifacts, exploring the anxieties that may have influenced the creation of ancient works of art. The talk will begin at 1:30 p.m. in the Dorothy Uber Bryan Gallery lobby in the Fine Arts Center followed by a reception at 4:30 p.m. The exhibition remains on display through April 15. Free April 7—The College of Musical Arts’ Guitar Ensemble will perform at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free April 7—The Visiting Writer Series features prize-winning writer Amy Gustine. Her short fiction has appeared in The Chicago Tribune’s Printers Row Journal, The Kenyon Review and The Wisconsin Review, among others. Gustine’s book, “Pity Us Instead,” was released in February and has appeared on numerous featured lists including Publisher’s Weekly and The Millions. Her reading will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free April 7—The International Film Series concludes with the 2013 Chinese film “Bei Jing yu shang Xi Ya Tu (Finding Mr. Right).” A city girl travels to Seattle to give birth to a child who will help her win a rich, married boyfriend. When she arrives in Seattle, nothing goes right; she’s stuck sharing a small house with two other pregnant women, she has trouble reaching her boyfriend on the phone and eventually, even his credit card stops working. The only person willing to spend…


Showell stepping down as music dean at BGSU (update)

By BG INDEPENDENT NEWS Jeffrey Showell is stepping down as dean of the College of Musical Arts after five years in the position. The announcement was made Tuesday morning in a letter to faculty by Provost Rodney Rogers. Rogers wrote: “In his five years at BGSU, Dr. Showell has led the college in notable accomplishments, including raising the academic profile of its student body and the renovation of facilities. He also facilitated an important new partnership with WGTE-FM, ‘New Music from Bowling Green,’ which has provided a showcase for the college’s talented faculty and students on public broadcasting stations across the country.” The university has appointed William Mathis, professor of trombone and chair of the Department of Music Performance Studies, as interim dean. Rogers said that Mathis, who has been on the faculty since 2000, had “strong support” from the faculty. Rogers wrote that Mathis “has held a variety of leadership roles that have given him administrative and budget experience as well as an intimate understanding both of the college and of the University as a whole.” Rogers told faculty senate Tuesday that the search for a new dean will begin next week. Showell in an email said he will take administrative leave and then return to serve as a special assistant in the provost office working on special projects for a semester. After that semester he will be 65 and will retire. He said he plans to continue to live in Bowling Green, and devote himself to volunteer work. Showell has worked 38 years in academy, including the last 17 as an administrator. From 1982-1990, he also was the…



BGSU student metals and jewelry on display at Wood County library

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Student Metal Arts Council from Bowling Green State University’s School of Art is “Forging Ahead” with an exhibit at the Wood County Public Library. The “Forging Ahead” exhibit features about two dozen works of jewelry and metal art in the library’s display window. The exhibit opened Saturday and continues through April 15.                   The exhibit is part of the effort to teach students in the arts professional skills, said Andrew Kuebeck, the faculty advisor for the council. Those efforts include an entrepreneurship class specifically for visual artists taught by Gene Poor. The exhibit was organized by the council’s treasurer Michaela Monterosso. For her the library was a natural venue for the show. Back in her hometown of Terryville, Connecticut, she would place her work in the local library. “I’d put my piece there and there was so much traffic going in and out of the public library that I got a lot of commissions, so I decided it would be a good opportunity for the Student Metal Arts Council.” The show was open to all who submitted work. “It’s meant to be an encouraging event,” she said. Monterosso wanted to give her fellow students a no-stress chance to display their work. “It’s good for their resumes,” she said, “and good for mine.” The council awarded first prize in the show to Katelyn Turner’s “Mother of Pearl” and second place to Diana Bibler’s “The Hero.” It promotes the council and the work being done on campus by jewelers and metalsmiths. Monterosso was attracted to BGSU by…


All the Wolfe’s a stage during Bravo! BGSU

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The arts programs at Bowling Green State University threw their doors open to give friends and neighbors the chance to peek in. That meant that as Aaron Hynds squeezed chords out of his tuba the strains of gospel-styled Broadway number wafted in from an adjacent theater. This was all part of the aural and visual hubbub of Bravo! BGSU, which was held Saturday night at the Wolfe Center for the Arts on campus. About 150 BGSU students fiddled, danced, sang, painted, posed, drew and otherwise entertained the 275 attendees at the event. Something was going on around every corner and down every hall and byway in the Wolfe Center. Jazz musicians jammed, and a pianist played familiar tunes. Seamstresses were at work, and a crew was busy constructing the rotating set for the Department of Theatre and Film’s next production “Noises Off!” Film was being edited. In its second year, Bravo! BGSU is intended to raise money for arts scholarships. Twice as many tickets were sold this year as last. (On April 6, the university reported the event raised more than $70,000.) President Mary Ellen Mazey said the gala gives those in the community a chance to see just what kind of talent the university attracts. That included 2015 graduate Mariah Burks, a national honoree for her acting, who returned to entertain Saturday. Burks, now studying theater at Case Western Reserve, said she was pleased to be back in her familiar haunts, and playing a role in an effort to help others study here. Steve Hanson, who graduated 40 years earlier than Burks, was…


Photographer Jan Bell captures images of nature’s soul with light & time

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Jan Bell’s photographs have a timeless quality. One of the most important ingredients in achieving that sense of chronological suspension is time itself. When Bell travels to the Great West or the shores of Lake Superior, he takes his time, stays awhile, acclimates himself to his surroundings. And waits on the light. On a recent two-week trip to the north he spent the better part of two weeks and all he saw were blue skies. He doesn’t like clear day or, rather, he doesn’t like the harsh shadows the sun produces. So he waits. Luckily, he said, he appreciates the solitude. “Ideally I like to be alone so I have a clear mind to think about what I’m doing. … I don’t get bored. I just enjoy being out there away from people enjoying the wonderful coastline.” Bell studies what he sees before him, looking for the right combination of shade and texture and shape that makes for a telling composition. And he waits for that soft overcast light that smooths it all out. When the moment arrives, he shoots long exposures, up to 30 seconds long, tripping his shutter by remote control. “I’m very meticulous as I shoot. I love the process. The world just slows down. The shooting part, that’s the thrill. Then when I get in the darkroom I know what I have to do.” Back in his studio he refines the look and emotional punch using Photoshop. The result are archival pigment prints, printed on museum grade 100 percent cotton, that make the viewer wonder if the trees, the water…


BGSU grad Steve Hanson has stories to tell about the art & business of making “The Prophet”

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When Steve Hanson returns to Bowling Green State University, he will have stories to tell about telling stories. His story as a multimedia entrepreneur starts with his time at BGSU. “Bowling Green taught me how to think, how to tell a story,” the 1975 graduate said in a recent telephone interview. As a photojournalism major that education included late night calls from Professor Jim Gordon. Hanson, then photo editor of the Key, lived with Joe Darwal, then photo editor of The BG News. When Gordon called it wasn’t just to say hello, it was usually to deliver blunt critiques of their most recent work. “It is that kind of mentoring that takes us to a different level,” he said. Hanson will participate in Bravo! BGSU Saturday in the Wolfe Center for the Arts Saturday from 7 to 10 p.m. For tickets, call 419-372-6780. He’ll show excerpts from the film “The Prophet,” which he produced, from 7:30 to 8 in the Donnell Theatre. (See related story: http://bgindependentmedia.org/2016/03/25/bgsu-putting-on-the-glitz-to-raise-money-for-arts-scholarships/) Then on Sunday he’ll kick off the university’s E-Week activities with a screening of “The Prophet” at 8 p.m., also in the Donnell. On Monday, he’ll discuss the making of the film at a Lunch and Learn session from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in The David J. Joseph Company Business Hub on the second floor of the College of Business. The first stirrings of the film began back in his undergraduate days. That’s when he read Lebanese writer Kahlil Gibran’s inspirational book “The Prophet.” It was a time of great turmoil,” Hanson said, and as a photojournalist he…


BGSU Lively Arts calendar through April 13

Through April 3—The BFA Senior Thesis Exhibition continues in the Dorothy Uber Bryan and Willard Wankelman galleries at BGSU’s Fine Arts Center, and will run through April 3. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 6 to 9 p.m. Thursdays, and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays. Free March 30—The Guest Artists series continues with pianists Gulimina Mahamuti and Frank Chiou. The performance begins at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free March 31—The College of Musical Arts presents a Student Composers Forum, beginning at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free March 31—The International Film Series continues with the 2014 Russian film ”Leviafan (Leviathan).” Director Andrei Zviagintsev has defended his film as an eternal story against those who saw in it pointed criticism of Russian society. The film follows a family living in a small coastal town in the Murmansk region who confront the mayor, who is trying to take their land and small business. The screening begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Gish Film Theater located in Hanna Hall. Free April 2—Bravo! BGSU, a black-tie optional gala, showcases the best of BGSU arts students and faculty. Performances, exhibits, readings and other activities take place throughout the Wolfe Center for the Arts from 7- 10 p.m. Sponsored by PNC, the even raises funds for arts student scholarships. Tickets are $100 per person and are available by contacting the Office of the President at 419-372-6780 or by emailing lmattia@bgsu.edu. For more information, visit bgsu.edu/bravo. April 3—The Sunday Matinee Series continues with “Soundies, Snaders, and Scopitones…


Native people survive in the face of removal, violence

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Faced with recounting the tragic tale of native peoples being expelled from their homelands, historian Stephen Warren decided to begin on a hopeful note. Warren spoke Saturday afternoon at the Toledo Museum of Art on “Indian Removal Then and Now: Legacies of the American Experiment with Ethnic Cleansing.” As he entered, the University of Iowa historian said he overheard someone wondering why they were there on a sunny afternoon to hear about such a “depressing” subject. Warren, who teaches history at the University of Iowa, had anticipated such a response, so first he spoke about how the descendants of those displaced tribes pushed are doing now. “One of the things that is important to me as an educator is to remind audiences that Native Americans are still here,” he said. “There are 567 federally recognized tribes in the United States. Their population is actually growing, not declining. Their traditions are being recovered by a lot of forward thinking, innovative people in those communities. While it’s important to acknowledge the very real hardships facing native people today and the ongoing challenges of colonialism, we also need to celebrate the very real work that native people are doing in Indian Country to continue their traditions into the 21st Century.” The Eastern Shawnee, under the chairmanship of Glenna Wallace, now have assets worth $153 million, own the controlling interest in Peoples Bank of Seneca and have 1,700 acres in property in northeastern Oklahoma. This is a turnaround since 1970 when the tribe was broke and almost landless. Later in the talk, he credited the development of Native…


BGSU Lively Arts Calendar, through April 6

Through April 3—The BFA Senior Thesis Exhibition continues in the Dorothy Uber Bryan and Willard Wankelman galleries at BGSU’s Fine Arts Center, and will run through April 3. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 6 to 9 p.m. Thursdays, and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays. Free March 29—Viola students of Matthew Daline will perform at the Manor House located at Wildwood Metropark, 5100 W. Central Ave., Toledo. The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. Free March 29 —Tuesdays at the Gish series ends this semester with “Girl, Interrupted” (1999). Director James Mangold’s film follows young Susanna, who gets checked into a psychiatric hospital, where she begins to find herself among new friends and enemies. The screening begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Gish Film Theater located in Hanna Hall. Free March 29—College of Musical Arts students of tuba and euphonium will perform under the direction of David Saltzmann. The recital begins at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free March 30—The Guest Artists series continues with pianists Gulimina Mahamuti and Frank Chiou. The performance begins at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free March 31—The College of Musical Arts presents a Student Composers Forum, beginning at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free March 31—The International Film Series continues with the 2014 Russian film ”Leviafan (Leviathan).” Director Andrei Zviagintsev has defended his film as an eternal story against those who saw in it pointed criticism of Russian society. The film follows a family living in a small coastal…


Common Good benefit celebrates diversity within community

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Common Good of the UCF is what those it serves make of it. The house at 113 Crim St. is the vortex of activities aimed at bettering the lives of people, and the community they live in. That can involve picking up the exterior spaces with neighborhood cleanups, or it can mean the clearing of interior spaces through meditation. That can mean growing sustenance for the body at two community gardens and a food pantry, or providing sustenance for the mind through discussions about spirituality and current event. And at dinner dialogues those two missions meet. The Common Good of the UCF embraces this broad mission because that’s what people have told them their needs are. The organization’s own needs are simple, but real. On Thursday, April 7, at 6:30 p.m. the Common Good will present “Expressions of Arthenticity,” at the Clazel, 127 N. Main St., Bowling Green. Tickets are $25 and $15 with a student identification. One beverage and a dessert bar come with admission. The show includes a fashion show, live jazz and an auction. Tickets are available at Common Good and Grounds for Thought, 174 S. Main St., or by calling 513-314-4489. Caroline Dawson, the financial developer for Common Good, said that the fashion show, which will start at 7:30p.m., will feature clothing from local boutiques and hair and makeup by local salons. The models will be of all ages, body types and ethnicities. That reflects the philosophy of the Common Good, she said. “We offer diversity here and embrace diversity.” Those who participate range in age from kids in…