Austin Post-Bulletin
December 16, 2010

Riverland goes public with student talent

By Jim Troyer
The Post-Bulletin, Austin MN

It was a time to show off the best work of Riverland Community College students in art, music and theater. And there was much to show off.

The Fall Semester 2010 Fine Arts Showcase opened at 7 p.m. Wednesday with an exhibit that started in the lobby of Frank W. Bridges Theatre and reached into the adjacent hallways. The presence of many of the student artists and their instructors added to the experience.

Instructor Tim Jones said the event "celebrates the finest achievements of our students in the fine arts, music and theater throughout the last semester. It is our way of sharing the good things in our classrooms with the rest of Austin."

Variety of expression was the most obvious element the lobby display. It ranged from a red parasol decorated with yellow symbols by Ivan Mendoza that stood on a table devoted to work of the cultural art class to the bemusing figure of a pink pig in repose by Kabau Heil on the ceramics table.

Student Center President Angie Burt explained that the final projects of the Cultural Art Class students were only begun after detailed research into the people represented in the exhibit.

The ceramics table provided the most fun. A purple bear holding a sign that read "Te Amo" by Paola Vasquez was an eye catcher. A glistening black penguin trailing a white electrical cord by Glen Bechman tugged at the viewer's curiosity.

Student Whitney Heiny had projects in ceramics, drawing and design.

"I just enjoy doing it," she said.

One of her drawings, of a young woman standing in a geometric tunnel, her wrists bound and her arms stretched to the opposing walls, prompted disturbing questions.

Jordan Wiersma's two-dimensional pictures also invite analysis, although in a more cheerful manner. He wants the viewer to enter the picture and look straight up into it. He uses light and shadow to create transparency.

"I've always been intrigued by art; I'm always focused on design," he said.

Matthew Novak uses yet another magic trick of the artist, digital art, using the photo software to frame his poems.

As the showcase opened, Alex Eon Hyung Joo played Johannes S. Bach's "Invention No. 10 in G Major" on the piano; Sarah Porter sang "Sebben Crudele" by Antonio Cadara; and Heidi Runner of the beginning acting class did a monologue from "Balm in Gilead" by Lanforde Wilson.

Then Victoria Torkelson and Emma Langemo of the intermediate acting class loosened things up a bit with a scene from Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest."

Andrew Torkelson accompanied himself on the piano with a brand new rendition of "White Christmas;" Jana Helmbrecht played the alto saxophone; Kaylin Wolf and Kristine Iverson of the intermediate acting class played queens Mary and Elizabeth in a scene from "Mary of Scotland" by Maxwell Anderson; Asuka Suzaki played "Sonatina in C Major" by Muzio Clementi; mezzo soprano Kristine Iverson returned to the stage to sing "Wie Melodien" by Johannes Brahms; and Hannah Porter and Olivia Blake took the audience into the ladies room for a scene from "The Apostle John" by Jeff Goode. Stage students Kristine Iverson, Ashely Possin, McKenzie Anderson, Samantha Johnson, Ashley King, Kaylin Wolf, Victoria Torkelson and Emma Langemo sent everyone home with "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" from the "Spamalot" soundtrack.