By Sakhile Vanqa
Campus has been a very exciting place over the past few weekends. CCAD’s annual Alumni and Family Weekend kicked off the month of October and was followed by the SculptureX Symposium. In between there were multiple exhibition openings and visiting artists. I captured a few highlights to share.
This was the first family weekend I attended, avoiding it last year because I had a rough time being around families, having not seen mine in two years. Since I had never recorded an event like family weekend, I figured I would exercise that muscle and distract myself by capturing the event on video.
There was an awful lot of things to do, and people to talk to. Walking through the quad, student organizations and games surrounded you. It felt like walking on the streets of Manhattan during a festival—‘rubbing shoulders’ becomes literal.
For some strange and obscure reason, my fear of heights fell away every time I headed back to record the zipline set up on Gay Street. I feel the supervisors and I, by the end of it, should have been on a first name basis and come up with a secret handshake. That’s right: handshake.
At some point during the day Columbus did as Columbus does, and showered for a little bit. It didn’t seem to hinder the energy of the day, and a sea of heads was replaced by a sea of umbrellas. We’re on to you, Columbus!
Once the sky turned blue and the all-clear was sound, the industrial design students began to mobilize. They set up their demonstration on a side street near the dorm. On one end were the trebuchets they designed and built, and on the other end stood a target.
Seeing the trebuchets in action excited me a great deal because since my days of playing Age of Empires, I have always been curious to know how they would function. Watch a melon going airborne in the video!
The following weekend was the Sculpture X Symposium and again, I had my camera ready. Lilian Beidler, Swiss musician and performer, performed her piece called Running. It was really captivating and the anticipation she created during her piece was great! Despite having taken drama during high school, my experience with movement and interactive pieces is very shallow, but I did enjoy being in that space during the performance. There was something very profound about it, and after watching the video online and having been there firsthand, I must say it evokes a different feeling.
In Design Studios on Broad’s atrium, as part of the symposium, there was a traveling exhibition Let’s Talk About Love. It looked like a regular library of books until a friend showed me what it was all about. Artists had been given carte blanche to create social commentary through manipulating the contents of the books.
Also going on that weekend, the Illustration Student Collective (ISC), in cahoots with 39 Below, held an exhibition/competition called Fear: Monsters & Madness Gallery Show. 39 Below is a quaint frozen yoghurt spot on Gay Street with good vibes, and an established relationship through students Rico Jackson and Colleen Clark, both involved with the ISC. The turnout was great, and so was the fro-yo. To my surprise, I received a free cup for covering the event—thank you Rico!
Apparently it became quite the feat to narrow down what got put on display. At the end of the night Erlson Neba won first place for his piece. I must say I was very proud of my resident and fellow African.
Also going on in that two-week span were visiting artists, including current U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey, and comedian and filmmaker Mike Birbiglia. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend both events, but heard that they were received in the typical CCAD fashion where we all go nuts and fool ourselves into believing there are more spaces in the auditorium than there are. And, coinciding with the symposium and its exhibitions, there were two other exhibitions openings, My Crippled Friend, in the Canzani Center Gallery, and Laura Bidwa: For Instance Me in the gallery’s Room space.
It has been a very productive “month of the pumpkins,” but we’re not done yet!
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