Arts Festival offers events throughout April

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Tyler Junior College’s fourth annual Arts Festival is officially underway. Throughout the month of April, students, faculty, and the public can look forward to plenty of artistic events.

According to Derrick White, TJC art professor and Art Department Chair, the festival was created to be a celebration of arts and culture. “It was an idea from Dr. Linda Gary, who’s Dean of Humanities, Communications, and Fine Arts,” explained White. “We highlight things that we’re doing here in the Art Department, things that are happening in the Dance Department, Speech and Theatre, Music, things that are going on at the Tyler Museum of Art – all the things that we’re kind of already doing. We coordinate our calendars so that we can turn it into an Arts Festival.”

The festival includes over 30 events throughout the month, including exhibits, competitions, and performances.

An exhibit by The Amazing Hancock Brothers currently running in the Wise Auditorium Art Gallery. “They’re a couple of great Texas printmakers and contemporary artists,” said White. The exhibition will run through April 20.

The Faculty and Staff Art Show is April 14. Art by faculty members – not just from the Art Department – will be on display in Vaughn Library.

A new edition of TJC’s arts journal, The Bell Tower, will be released during the festival. The Bell Tower is a student-driven publication. “During the Fall Semester, we have people submit their poetry, short stories, photographs, art pieces,” said White. “Then, the Visual Communications Department students do the layout and design.” At 2 p.m. on April 16, there will be a launch party for the latest edition of The Bell Tower in the Jenkins Art Lobby.

Several events are scheduled for April 25, including the annual Thunderdome Art Competition. “That’s an art competition with only one winner,” explained White. All art students are encouraged to submit an original piece for the competition, which will take place at noon in the Jenkins courtyard. “It goes up against another piece, where we have a random jury select it out of the audience,” told White. “It either advances to the next round, or it’s lavishly destroyed by The Annihilator, which is typically a student in a Mexican wrestling mask.”

The Amazing Hancock Brothers will attend the competition as special guests. Then, at 1 p.m. in the Jenkins Art Lobby, they will give a printmaking demonstration. “They will show how they can make woodblock print T-shirts, and also do screen printing on various surfaces – on paper, and wood, and all kinds of stuff,” listed White.

These are only a few of the many festival events scheduled. A full list can be found at tjc.edu/artsfest. White emphasized that most of these events are free to attend.

“You can find the things that you’re interested in,” said White. “There’s always something for everyone, and, like Dr. Linda Gary says, ‘It’s the best ticket in town.’ And it’s right here.”

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