Not even all the ruckus of military aircraft exercises disrupted the inaugural Art Garden Performances.
Organized by Fine Arts Professor and Division Chair Brad Pease, the outdoor event made a very successful debut on a pleasant April afternoon in the shade of the fichus trees between the CTE building and the Student Success Center.
The Performances are planned as a regular event at which students are invited to speak their mind. With the open mic format, anyone can come out and perform theatre skits, play guitar or read poems.
“The purpose of the Art Garden Performances is to make art, performance art, or just any form of art more visible and more part of the community, and not the separate thing we have to go somewhere to view,” said Professor Pease. “People walking by can stand and watch or even participate.”
Currently, students are creating bricks from reclaimed material to help decorate the garden in order to give it a more vibrant and warm atmosphere.
The variety of performances began with classic poetry, including Spanish verses. English Professor Eric Lee and Spanish Professor Martha Martinez invited their students to read their own poems, or poetry written by their favorite poets.
“The Art Garden Performance event was very graceful and peaceful,” said former AWC student Gloria Aldana, who attended the event. “I loved the fact that it was outdoors because it made us connect with nature. I enjoyed the poetry readings, and I liked the fact that they included poems in Spanish because it connected with my culture. I look forward to more of these events in the future.”
As students read their poetry, some of their voices cracked with grief while others expressed joy and humor. Long lines formed as students waited to deliver their verses, and receive their share of the enthusiastic applause. New participants continued to arrive halfway throughout the noontime class period. Other students stopped to listen as they strolled by.
Professor Pease encourages students to attend Fine Arts events to demonstrate that the fine arts do matter, and that events like the Art Garden performances are desired by college attendees, including staff.
“Please come and share what we’re doing,” Pease said. “This is nice and casual. Just stop by and see what’s going on. Come and perform.
Photos courtesy of AWC Photo Services