Since the release of the Bell Tower that started it to all of the events leading up to now, TJC is hosting their third annual Arts Festival.
The Arts Festival started out as a nine-day event that would coincide with the release of The Bell Tower Arts Journal each spring, but now has turned into a month-long collaboration of the entire art department with the journal’s release now on April 17.
“This is the third year for the TJC Arts Festival, and it just keeps getting better—thanks to our talented students and faculty,” said Dean of Humanities, Communications, and Fine Arts Linda Gary. “This year, we have more than 30 events—concerts, exhibits, performances, guest speakers and more.“
TJC isn’t running this alone, though. The school has partnered with the Tyler Museum of Art which hosts several of the events that will take place. Every Wednesday in April, they will host the Coffee House events where anyone can go sip coffee, eat pastries and enjoy a concert for free.
The Tyler Museum of Art will be showing the Robert Langham Photography Exhibit, High School Art Exhibit and the East Meets West Exhibit throughout the entire month.
The Arts Festival kicks off with the 14th annual silent auction sponsored by and benefitting the Art Club.
Other events going on are ‘Be a News Anchor’ on April 11 from 2-4 p.m. in Potter 203 and ‘Rock the Garden’ at 10 a.m. between Potter and Gencov.
Notable events such as the Thunderdome are more anticipated than ever. The Thunderdome is an art competition that will be held on April 26 at noon in the Jenkins Courtyard.
The Thunderdome is not an everyday art competition. Students decide what art will be the winning piece by multiple elimination rounds, and those pieces that don’t make it out of the round get demolished, literally.
“Bring your own tears,” said Art Department Chair Derrick White. “This idea was to bring an adrenaline rush into the visual arts and thus the annual art club Thunderdome competition was born. An art contest with only one winner, all the other contending art pieces are lavishly destroyed by the annihilators. It is a glorious event bringing groans, moans, cheers and tears.”
With extending the festival through the entire month, it coincides with International Day on April 18. To celebrate, Jolanda van den Berg will be speaking in the Wise Auditorium about her work with the Niños Foundation in Peru, a foundation she established in 1995. The foundation helps with the needs of children on the streets in Cusco.
Gary states that she loves every event that is held during the festival.
“I’ve never been to a TJC concert, exhibit or performance that wasn’t professionally produced, top-notch and remarkable,” said Gary. “We may not be the only ticket in town anymore, but we’re still the best ticket in town.”
White feels that it is a honor to collaborate as a whole for the festival.
“I love the sense of collaboration among the different departments,” said White. “We were all doing these things already, April is just the month chosen to showcase them all together. It gives me and my art students a more conscious opportunity to participate and experience what other departments are doing. I have great respect for all the departments involved in the Arts Festival and it is an honor to partner together and give such a huge cultural occasion to our community.”
For more information about the TJC Art Festival and the events being held, visit