Friday, January 29, 2010

2010 Festival Of The Arts Events For Friday, Jan. 29

BIG RAPIDS - Below is a summary of Festival of the Arts events taking place or beginning on Friday, locally, in Big Rapids and around the Ferris State University campus.

There's a little artist in all of us. So, check out some of the great events taking place on Friday and throughout this year's Festival of the Arts.

Kym Nicolas will present her three new books as well as some of her paints, area artists will be featured, there will be displays from students at Big Rapids High School and from the Ferris State University's Honors Program.

Here is the listing:

Kym Nicolas - "Paintings from Three New Books" Exhibit

Date: Jan. 29 through Feb. 27
Time: Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Location: Artworks, 106 N. Michigan Avenue

Kym Nicolas will have on display three newly published books and the paintings she created to illustrate them.

The first book, Portraits of the Holy Molies, contains 38 paintings of extraordinary human beings who possess positive transformative energies; beings from across cultures and throughout history who have assisted in energizing our evolution. The second book, Many Suns, was created primarily as a children’s book, yet it is a simple expression of love to be shared with anyone. It contains 12 paintings that are illustrative companions to a short poem. The third book, The Diary of a Painting, is a visual chronology of the development of a painting and a poem as they emerge and come to completion.

Admission is free of charge.

Ferris State University Student Art Exhibition

Date: Jan. 29 through Feb. 28
Time: Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Closed Sunday and Monday
Location: Artworks, 106 N. Michigan Avenue

Ferris State University faculty members Robert Barnum and Jill Jepsen will be exhibiting their students' work at Artworks. Jepsen teaches Introduction to Art and Art for the Elementary Teacher. Barnum teaches Introduction to Art, Intermediate Art and Three Dimensional Design.

Admission is free of charge.

Big Rapids High School Student Art Exhibition

Date: Jan. 29 through Feb. 27
Time: Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Location: Artworks, 106 N. Michigan Avenue

Big Rapids High School visual art students of David Szot will display their paintings, drawings and ceramics. This year's exhibit will also feature jewelry and metallic art from BRHS visual arts teacher Jim MaloneBeach who is an annual participant in the Federation International Delegation of Metallic Art exhibition and is an internationally acclaimed metallic artist. Two of his metallic students, Carly Tyson and Brian Beaverson, are currently exhibiting their metallic art at the FIDAM in Finland.

"There are participants from 36 countries taking part in the FIDAM exhibition, with only places for 60 metallic artist participants allotted to the United States," says MaloneBeach. "This is quite an accomplishment for Carly and Brian and a credit to the quality of their work."

Admission is free of charge.

Event Sponsor: Mecosta County Medical Center

FSU Honors Art Show and Award Ceremony

Date: Friday, Jan. 29
Time: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Location: Rankin Student Center Art Gallery

This event allows Ferris State University Honors students to gather for an evening of art provided by their peers. Entries come from a wide range of media. Students vote on the "crowd favorite" and a judge awards a "judge's favorite." This year's judge will be Robert Barnum, whose campus murals can be seen in the Arts & Sciences Commons entry and the FLITE library.

Reception and Award Ceremony
6:30 to 7 p.m.Mingle, view works and vote for your favorite
7 to 7:20 p.m.Comments from Maude Bigford and Robert Barnum
7:20 to 7:30 p.m.Announce crowd favorite
7:30 to 8 p.m.Mingle, enjoy music, refreshments and art

Admission is free of charge.

Grand Re-Opening Reception for Artworks

Date: Friday, Jan. 29
Time: 5 to 8 p.m.
Location: Artworks, 106 N. Michigan Avenue

The grand re-opening reception celebrates the newly renovated Artworks building with Festival of the Arts Exhibits in galleries on three floors. Artworks will feature: Area Artists Juried Exhibit, Select Area High School and College Student Exhibits, Miriam Brysk, Albert Young, Mike McConnell, Kym Nicolas and Noel Skiba. The new elevator allows access to all levels of the Artworks building including the gift shop, classrooms, dance studios, kitchenette, offices, art incubator studios and restrooms. Tours by docents will be provided, along with live music and refreshments to enhance your viewing of the various exhibits and new works of art and gift items in the gift shop.

Admission is free of charge.

Event Sponsor: State Farm Insurance - Bill Scheible

Artist Reception for Kym Nicolas - "Paintings from Three New Books" Exhibit

Date: Friday, Jan. 29
Time: 5 to 8 p.m.
Location: Artworks, 106 N. Michigan Avenue

This event is a reception for Kym Nicolas, whose display “Paintings from Three New Books” will be featured in Artworks this month. She will be available to discuss her work with the public.

“2009 turned out to be the ‘year of the book,’” says Nicolas. “I am exhibiting the original paintings from the three books that I published: Portraits of the Holy Molies, Many Suns, and The Diary of a Painting. The creation of these three books has been a delight and a surprise for me. My intention for this past year was to be elbow deep in clay, producing pottery. But sometimes inspiration comes and grabs me by the hand to walk upon an unknown path, and I am happy for the adventure.”

Admission is free of charge.

Event Sponsor: Old Pioneer Store & Emporium

Area Artists Juried Exhibit

Date: Jan. 29 through Feb. 27

Time: Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Location: Artworks, 106 N. Michigan Avenue

The Area Artists Juried Exhibit will be featured at Artworks in the exhibit

area on the upper level. This exhibit is comprised of original art from adult artists living within a 60 mile radius of Big Rapids. The variety of two and three dimensional original works has been created during 2009. The works are for sale and can be purchased during the exhibit dates but must remain until the conclusion of the exhibit.

Admission is free of charge.

Ferris State University Students Are Freezing For A Cause

BIG RAPIDS - Ferris State University has no shortage of students who believe in causes and will go to great lengths to show just how much they believe.

Freezing for a Cause is back at Ferris State University and presented by Alpha Phi Alpha Zeta Beta Chapter and Delta Sigma Theta Zeta Rho Chapter.

The event is designed to get people to think a little more about those who are less fortunate in the hard and cold winter months.

The event is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 3, from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. on the Campus Quad of the Big Rapids campus of Ferris.

If you have any questions or need any assistance to attend, contact Brandon Cole (313) 622-1265 or Ashleye Moncrief at (313) 574-7959 at least 72 hours in advance.

Brandon can also be reached by e-mail at

Artworks President Doug Haneline Welcomes Community To Festival Of The Arts

The third annual staging of the revived Festival of the Arts is a true University and community collaboration. Since last spring, committees have been at work planning events, arranging for speakers, performers and exhibitions, reserving venues and coordinating events. It is the goal of these unseen volunteers-at Ferris, at area schools, in local businesses and at Artworks-to offer this monthlong, multi-venue arts festival spectacular.

Our mission at Artworks is to provide arts and cultural programs to the Big Rapids area. We consider it a great opportunity to work with faculty and others at Ferris so that a real showcase of the arts scene in Big Rapids can be provided. I encourage you to look carefully through the program booklet with your personal calendar at your side. Even if you cannot attend every concert, view every art exhibit or hear every speaker, the sheer multitude of events and length of the Festival of the Arts will allow you, on that open afternoon or evening, to experience the triumph of the human spirit.

Art speaks its own language-the language of humanity. Here in Big Rapids, this February, you have an opportunity to partake of some of the best of that language. On campus, downtown at Artworks or at any Festival of the Arts venue-enjoy the banquet that our artists have prepared for you. And, take some time to visit Artworks. Our remodeled facility re-opened in November, and we want to show off the beautiful results of a lot of hard work.

Doug Haneline, President

Thursday, January 28, 2010

TV 9&10 News Speaks To Ferris State University Students About State Of The Union Address From President Obama

BIG RAPIDS - Students at Ferris State University had a forum to speak their minds and express thoughts about President Barack Obama's first State of the Union speech on Wednesday night, Jan. 27.

TV 9&10 News spoke to Ferris students to get their thoughts as described in a story posted on the organization's Web site:
In President Obama's first State of the Union Address, his named his number one priority as creating jobs for more Americans.

That's exactly what many Ferris State University students wanted to hear.

Improving the economy was one of the main topics students say they wanted the President to discuss, but many students also mentioned the future of education as an important issue.

9&10's Kalee Iacoangeli and photojournalist Jordan Nagel spoke to several college students and have more on the issues that matter most to them.
Here is the Web address again:

Ferris State University Partners With Energy Works

BIG RAPIDS - Ferris State University is working to stay at the forefront in training students for green jobs of the future.

Here is an excerpt from Vision Mid Michigan:
Energy Works has partnered with the following Michigan institutions that offer green jobs training: Ferris State University, Michigan Technological University, Montcalm Community College, M-TEC at Bay College, Muskegon Community College, and Northwestern Michigan College. Energy Works will award grant funds totaling $60,000 to the institutions for program development, including the purchase of equipment for training, to fund current projects, and other program improvements.
For the full version of the story:

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

9&10 News Morning Show Shoots Live From Ferris State University To Recognize Rube Goldberg Team Thursday Morning

BIG RAPIDS - Tune in Thursday morning to the 9&10 News Morning Show as Ferris State University’s own Rube Goldberg team participates in a live broadcast from the Interdisciplinary Resource Center Connector. Ferris professor and Rube Goldberg team advisor Thomas Hollen, along with students Mike Dunakin of Grand Rapids, Kyle Hebner of Oscoda and Bryan Williams of Lupton will discuss their recent trip to Tokyo, Japan, and give viewers an inside look at what really goes on inside one of their machines.

Segments will air at 15 and 45 minutes past the hour beginning at 6:15 a.m. with the last segment airing at 8:45 a.m.

Or, if you’re stopping by the IRC Connector for your morning cup of joe from Starbucks, hang around and see a live broadcast in action.

The team recently spent two weeks in Tokyo trying to break their own world record of completing a task in the most steps possible through a Rube Goldberg machine. They set the Guinness World Record in 2007 with their “Toy Factory” creation, in which the students built a contraption that squeezed the juice of an orange in 229 steps. That same year, the students also walked away national champions in the annual Rube Goldberg Machine Competition.

The competition is named after Reuben Garret L. Goldberg, co-founder and president of the American National Cartoonist Society. One of the most famous cartoonists in history, Goldberg earned lasting fame for his Rube Goldberg machines – machines that perform simple tasks in exceedingly complex ways.

In Japan, Ferris’ Rube Goldberg team was put to the test: create a bigger and better “Toy Factory” that can squeeze the juice of an orange in even more steps. The feat will be showcased on the Japanese television show Spring in Trivia Feb. 27, 2010.

Read more at http:

Ferris In The News

Festival of the Arts Kicks Off Thursday

A month-long celebration of the arts begins at 6 p.m. Thursday (Jan. 28) with an opening reception at Big Rapids City Hall. The reception kicks off a series of 77 events that will take place throughout February, including such activities as artist displays, foreign films, photography exhibits, musical performances and more, the Big Rapids Pioneer reports. The opening reception will feature Oliver Evans, vice chancellor of Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University. Evans is excited to help kick-start the third annual arts celebration, he said, adding festival organizers have done a great job exposing the community to a variety of art mediums. “I like the idea that the festival extends into different areas of art such as literature and music,” Evans said. “This is a great asset to the Big Rapids community.” Also highlighted during the opening reception is “Big Wave” Dave Downs, who is building a sand castle, something Chair Bruce Dilg thinks children will enjoy. “Festival of the Arts offers activities for people of all ages,” Dilg said. For a complete list of activities and events, visit

Ferris’ Hinkley Becomes COVD Fellow

The College of Optometrists in Vision Development has certified Dr. Sarah Hinkley of Ferris State University’s Michigan College of Optometry as a COVD fellow, the Big Rapids Pioneer reports. Hinkley was one of 26 optometrists awarded fellow status. The certification process serves to identify doctors of optometry who are prepared to offer state-of-the-art clinical services in behavioral and developmental vision care, optometric vision therapy and vision rehabilitation. The COVD is a professional association of optometrists, optometric vision therapists, optometry residents, optometry students and other eye care professionals.

Progress Continues For Ferris State University Renovation of Old Grand Rapids Federal Building

GRAND RAPIDS - Here is an article posted on the WOOD TV8 Web site about the work of the city of Grand Rapids, Ferris State University and Kendall College of Art & Design to bring life back to the old Federal Building in downtown Grand Rapids.

Here is an excerpt from a story written by Joe LaFurgey:

It served the federal government for decades.

And now the former Federal Building in downtown Grand Rapids, known to many as the old post office, is about to get federal funds for it's next life.

The building, which last housed the Grand Rapids Art Museum, was turned over to the city when the new art museum was built.

Ferris State University, as part of their partnership with Kendall (College) of Art and Design, has since moved in, making it part of their combined downtown campus.

For the full story, check out the WOOD TV8 Web site:

Welcome To Another Year Of The Festival Of The Arts

BIG RAPIDS - Welcome to the 2010 edition of the Festival of the Arts. This is our third year of the reincarnation of this idea originally started by Dr. Dacho Dachoff to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Ferris State University.

This year we are pleased to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Ferris State University with this Festival. The Festival has grown from a Ferris event to a true community event as we continue to build bridges between both ends of Michigan Avenue with the wonderful participation of the City of Big Rapids, the Downtown Development Association, the Downtown Business Association, Artworks and numerous businesses and individuals throughout the community.

Local artists have blessed us with their participation. Local businesses and churches have opened their facilities to host various events of all kinds to help enrich the lives of people through the arts. Combined with the talent that we have been able to attract to come to Big Rapids to complement our local talent, we are truly blessed to see what wonderful things the arts can do for a person’s life.

The Festival committee has been fortunate to have the continued involvement and untold hours of work from Scott Cohen, Bill Donahue, Mark Gifford and Ed Mallett in planning this event. This year we have been fortunate to have Carrie Weis join us, and I think you will find her contributions to be very enjoyable and enriching.

Whether you enjoy the arts in the form of music, drama, architecture, painting, welding, glass blowing, stained glass, dance, theatre, writing, oratory, photography or any of the other many forms the next 32 days of events will provide you, we trust that the choices you have will help the gray days of February fly by and leave you asking for even more involvement of the arts in your lives.

We hope you will enjoy this year’s Festival and look forward to your attendance. If you have events that you would like us to consider including in the 2011 edition of the Festival please forward those ideas to any member of the Festival of the Arts committee.

Bruce Dilg

N*W*C* Race Show Challenged Racial Stereotypes At Ferris State University

More than a few people were uncomfortable with a good chunk of the language used during the N*W*C* Race Show (Jan. 20), in G. Mennen Williams Auditorium on the Ferris State University campus, as part of the 2010 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration: The Jim Crow Era: Then & Now.

N*gger, Wetb*ck, Ch*nk is a controversial (not to mention thought provoking and enlightening) play that co-written and originally performed by Rafael Agustin, Miles Gregley and Allan Axibal. As a member of the 2010 MLK Celebration Planning Committee, I had a special opportunity to meet with the group prior to its performance on Jan. 20 in Big Rapids. Members of the committee had lunch with the N*W*C* crew in the Rock Cafe on the Ferris campus the day of the show. Some committee members met with the group at lunch and later at the conclusion of the show in the Williams Auditorium lobby.

The show itself was an eye-opening experience for those from the Ferris State University community that attended. Prior to the show, more than a few people quietly wondered if Ferris was ready for such a show in Big Rapids. It's fairly clear that some people likely were not quite ready (from a comfort standpoint considering the subject matter), but for most of the people who were ready, it was quite a unique experience (one that hopefully opened lanes of communication about race-related issues).

Sure, there were awkward moments as you hear powerful racial slurs often being used in a variety of ways (mostly humorous) to amplify the stereotyping in our society and provoke thought. Throughout Williams Auditorium, it was clear that some people wondered whether it was appropriate to laugh at the language or jokes tied to racial stereotypes.

If the N*W*C* Race Show didn't break down barriers it's likely that it put cracks in some of those barriers that continue to divide us.

The N*W*C* Race Show was supposed to strike a nerve with people.

The N*W*C* Race Show was supposed to make us at least somewhat uneasy.

The N*W*C* Race Show was supposed to make us think deeply about important issues.

The N*W*C* Race Show was supposed to make us talk and engage each other in a meaningful fashion.

It was impossible not to watch the N*W*C* Race Show and not feel the emotion and energy of the play. The language, by design, is raw (so much so that even some civil rights groups have protested the show over its use of racial slurs). At Ferris, the show's title probably scared some people off. But those who witnessed the free show surely hopefully learned valuable lessons about being willing to openly discuss race-related issues.

This play was not, however, all laughs and jokes. The play had powerful moments that illustrated the pain that stereotypes and hate can cause real people.

Some people may have been scared off by the title. Hopefully the next time an opportunity like this presents itself, our campus community will feel a little more comfortable and open-minded to see that we are more alike than we are different and that race should bring us together more than it should divide us.

I dare say most of the people who attended the event enjoyed it. The entertainment value of the show was top notch. So, while it had a powerful message, it was not some boring after-school-special many people dreaded in their youth.

This was a show that had both a powerful and in-your-face-message that was presented in an entertainment format by some talented guys who brought their "A" game to Ferris State University on Jan. 20.

Yes, the show was that good.

For those of you who saw it - appreciate it.

The show started with three guys coming on stage dressed in somewhat stereotypical attire for their races. Through the play, the three went through the racial filter and ended the show all dressed in the same color - symbolizing they were and are more alike than different.

For those of you who missed it - don't be afraid to learn more about the N*W*C* Race Show. There may not be a next time for the show at Ferris State University, but there can be a first step for you to take a shot at breaking down the barriers that divide us.
Learn more about the N*W*C* Race Show by checking out its Wikipedia site, here, or by visiting the group's official Web site, here.

You can check out some of their videos on YouTube, here.

Ferris State University President Dave Eisler On The Festival Of The Arts

This third year of the Festival for the Arts coincides with the 125th anniversary of Ferris State University. The Festival embodies many of the values that for a century and a quarter have guided the University, forged our mission and shaped our vision for the future. Among those values are opportunity, access and transformation.

During this monthlong celebration, opportunity takes the form of the extraordinarily diverse artistic offerings that Festival organizers put together. It would be hard to find anywhere a more eclectic mix of music, theater, literature, visual art and much, much more. Styles, too, vary from the traditional to the more avant garde. The only reason not to become excited is not to attend.

Many of these events are free and others have very modest ticket prices which provide access to events for hundreds, and perhaps thousands of people who otherwise would not be exposed to the excitement of live performance and artistic creation.

And of course the very nature of art is transformation – first of all the transformation of raw material into finished product, but more importantly the transformation of human emotion and perception. We see this every day in classrooms at Ferris, and helping to extend that experience into the wider community is one of the most satisfying ways the University lives its values.

Again this year I want to thank Ferris Architectural Technology Professor Bruce Dilg for his work in making this Festival possible. And also as in previous years, Pioneer Group Chairman Jack Batdorff has shown his deep commitment to promoting the arts in Big Rapids. Many others have played key roles. As you attend the various events, please thank the organizers, volunteers and course, the performers and artists.

Mr. Ferris was a strong believer in the arts, and music was a regular part of morning exercises at the Institute. The Festival of the Arts is a testament to the power of the arts, as well as to the dynamic, long-standing and continuing relationship between Ferris and Big Rapids. Take advantage fully of the opportunities this monthlong festival offers – I’m certain you won’t be disappointed. I look forward to seeing you at the Festival.

David L. Eisler, President
Ferris State University

Sunday, January 24, 2010

5-Star Event: Jeff Havens: How to get Fired

BIG RAPIDS - Ferris State University is hosting a 5-star event that you're not going to want to miss.

Thursday, at 7 p.m. in Williams Auditorium on the Ferris campus, Entertainment Unlimited is sponsoring Jeff Havens' "How to get Fired."

This event is FREE courtesy of student activity fees as allocated by the Finance Division of Ferris State University's Student Government.

Anyone with a disability who needs special accommodations to attend this event should contact (231) 591-2610 at least 72 hours in advance.

For more information, contact Entertainment Unlimited via e-mail: or by telephone (231) 591-2610.

Increase In Enrollment Reported At Ferris State University

BIG RAPIDS – Spring semester classes are underway and campus is bustling at Ferris State University, where officials are reporting enrollment figures remain healthy.

The fastest-growing public university in Michigan, Ferris officials report there are 13,151 students enrolled systemwide. With 464 more students attending classes in spring 2010 over 2009, this translates into a 3.5 percent enrollment increase systemwide.

In particular, the university’s College of Allied Health Sciences has seen enrollment growth of nearly 12 percent over this time last year, said Dean of Enrollment Services Kristen Salomonson. The university also continues to see steady growth in online learning. There are 432 students enrolled in online coursework with student credit hours totaling 10,926, a nearly 19 percent increase in online student credit hours over 2009 figures. Online learning for students in CAHS accounts for 66 percent of student credit hour growth online.

“Strong growth in the College of Allied Health Sciences illustrates Ferris’ ability to remain nimble and offer degree programs students want and career opportunities with a positive occupational outlook,” Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Fritz Erickson added.

Besides CAHS, other such college programs offering career opportunities for students is the new Bachelor of Science in Architecture and Sustainability. Another new degree, the Educational Doctorate in Community College Leadership, is helping prepare the next generation of community college leaders tackle an increasingly complex set of educational challenges.

Available beginning in fall 2010 and offered through Ferris State University’s College of Engineering Technology, the Architecture and Sustainability degree will include a blend of programming with an emphasis on sustainable design and practice. The Bachelor of Science in Architecture and Sustainability will include nine new courses in addition to utilizing existing coursework from the Associate in Applied Science degree in Architectural Technology, Bachelor of Science degree in Facilities Management, and Community Studies minor offered through the College of Arts and Sciences.

“This program will educate students on real-world issues of green building and provide them educational experiences that embrace sustainable building technology practices,” CET Dean Tom Oldfield said. “Momentum toward sustainable design is growing, and this degree provides students the educational background to provide meaningful solutions to altering the built environment.”

The Educational Doctorate in Community College Leadership combines courses from the colleges of Business, Education, Arts and Sciences, and Professional and Technological Studies. With a business core and interdisciplinary approach, this innovative degree will help assure that the future leaders of Michigan’s 28 community colleges are as well-prepared for those challenges as possible.

“The unique emphasis of this program fits nicely with Ferris State University’s mission of preparing the state’s citizens for successful careers that will shape the future of Michigan,” Erickson said. “Ferris is well-suited to offer this degree based upon its career-oriented, broad-based approach to education.”

Ferris State University expects to enroll its first class of students in the program beginning in summer 2010.

“Ferris is preparing more and more students for meaningful careers through our academic programming,” Salomonson added. “The quality of our students has never been better. What they are learning here prepares them for a lifetime of opportunity. As our graduation rate continues to climb, an increasing number of students with a degree from Ferris will be shaping our future.”

Besides its main campus in Big Rapids, Ferris offers degree programs in Grand Rapids through the College of Professional and Technological Studies, and Kendall College of Art and Design, and at more than 18 off-campus locations throughout Michigan.

Enrollment has remained steady at the university’s Big Rapids campus, with 9,172 students enrolled. There are 2,182 students enrolled through the university’s off-campus sites, with the largest site in Grand Rapids with an enrollment of 922 students.

Kendall College of Art and Design also saw an enrollment increase, with 1,365 students attending classes this spring.

“It is gratifying to see how much the programs we offer are resonating with students,” KCAD President Oliver Evans said. “With faculty who are professional artists and an atmosphere that promotes creativity, Kendall attracts some of the most talented young artists and designers around.”

Ferris State University News Services: