By MARIBETH WARD
The 7th Annual gathering of artists, writers and performers will kick off Thursday, Oct. 30 at DePauw University and run through Nov. 9.
The event showcases the creative and performing art talents of members of the DePauw community and visiting artists.
The 11-day festival includes art exhibitions, theatre performances, concerts, lectures, film screenings, creative writing readings, and more. All events are free except for the theater productions, and open to the community.
First on the agenda on Oct. 30 is the installation of "Cross This Border: The Fence Project." This is a campus-wide art project where a chain-link fence will be erected throughout East College and used as voice for the university and Greencastle communities. It will cover about half of the DePauw campus.
Anyone from the community or school can place whatever items they like on the fence.
"The idea of the border fence separates people from somewhere else. People often visit such places and leave things that speak to their feelings and emotions," said Gigi Fenlon from the Arts and Theater Dept. of DePauw University.
A concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. featuring Chicago's premier Mexican folk music group, Sones De Mexico and a 9 p.m. performance of the popular bi-annual theater event, Playwrights' Festival.
Halloween evening the classic Phantom of the Opera, complete with improvised underscoring by organist John Schwandt, will take place at 8 p.m. This is the silent film version staring Lon Chaney, Sr. from 1927.
There will be a collection of original ten-minute plays written, directed and performed by students on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 1 and 2.
On Sunday the campus will resonate with theme-specific concerts offered by the DePauw Symphony Orchestra and the university Jazz Ensemble on Nov. 2 and Nov. 9 respectively.
An array of visual arts will also be offered including decorated campus bicycles outfitted with cameras. Volunteers can ride one, snap some pictures and contribute to Photocycles, a collective art project. This will take place during "The Camp Sessions" at the border field tent on the Green Center lawn during the day on Nov. 3-7.
"I think we are offering things people would not be able to see except in a big city like Chicago, New York, Los Angeles or maybe Indianapolis," said Fenlon
"We want people to come and expand your horizon and see some interesting and unique events," she added.
The work of Cuban-American artist Felipe Dulzaides can be seen on the double-sided billboard on U.S. 40 just west of U.S. 231. His exhibit "Nothing Happens Twice" will be available for viewing throughout the festival at the Richard E. Peeler Art Gallery.
Also at the Art Gallery is "Experimental Geography," an exploration of the intersection of geographical study and artistic expression. People are encouraged to add to the exhibit with their own visions of Putnam County.
Fans of theatre in all its forms will not be disappointed. Border crossing is definitely the theme of the "Laugh in Peace Tour" on Saturday, Nov. 1. This is a comedy routine touring nationally featuring one Jew, one Muslim, and one Evangelical Christian.
DePauw Theatre will open "Natural Selection" on Friday, Nov. 3, a dark comedy about the end of the world. The production's visiting guest actor, Cochise Anderson, will perform "The Kemosabe Therapy," a one-man show of music, dance and poetry providing a Native American perspective on our modern world. Cost for theater performances is $3 for children and $6 for adults.
The Student Arts Council is sponsoring a 24-hour stage on the East College lawn beginning at 10 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 7. All are welcome to participate with readings, performances, talks, or other performance art activity.
There's more. Several organizations are collaborating to present the Human Race Machine, a creation of art technology that gives viewers the opportunity to picture themselves as a different race. The machine will be available to all daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the Memorial Student Union.
Two participatory events offered by visiting professor Kimiko Gunji, a Japanese Tea Ceremony and a Kimono demonstration will highlight Wednesday, Nov. 5.
Visiting Mexican poet Ga'lle Le Calvez will headline "DoubleSpeak," an event at which you'll hear a reading twice, first in its original language and again in translation. Back by popular demand will be two evenings of readings of the work of creative writing faculty and students on Wednesday, Nov. 5, and Friday, Nov. 7, respectively.
Finally, one of the best highlights will be the all-community Art Attack party on the first Tuesday of November to watch the local and national election returns. The Green Center's Theta Garden (located off Locust Street) will be decked out with a giant screen television, food, and musical and theatrical entertainment from 8 to 11 p.m.
And, DePauw's ArtsFest would not be complete without its annual popular closing event, Art Attack, is a day of free art performances, workshops and hands-on art activities for children. If you're a child or a kid at heart, come to the Green Center for the Performing Arts on Sunday, Nov. 9, from 12:30 to 4 p.m.
Departments, programs, and organizations contributing to and collaborating in the festival include the DePauw Galleries and Museums, Film Studies Speaker and Film Series, the DePauw School of Music, the Kelly Writers Series, DePauw Theatre, the DePauw Performing Arts Series, Community Life, the DePauw Greek community, and numerous student organizations including the Student Arts Council. All events are free and open to the public with the exception of the DePauw Theatre production.
Brochures for ArtFest 2008 are available all over the DePauw Campus or contact Gigi Fenlon at email@example.com or call her at (765) 658-4485 to have a brochure sent. A detailed schedule of all ArtsFest 2008: Art & Borders visual, performing, and creative art activity can be found on the DePauw Web site at www.depauw.edu.