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April 2012

St{art} Momentum 

hecksSt[art] Momentum, the 2012 Senior BFA Exhibition at Pacific Lutheran University kicks off with an opening reception on April 25, 2012, from 5p.m. to 7p.m. Graduating BFA students will have their best work on display. 

The exhibit remains open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (or by appointment) through May 27, 2012 in Ingram Hall at Pacific Lutheran University. Admission is free and open to the public.  

Patrons can see all their favorite mediums: ceramics, sculpture and painting, to photography and graphic design. 

“One of the great things about the work students have done is they’re really trying to push their mediums, think outside the box, and convey their artistic vision in really beautiful and unique ways,” Kate Miller, BA student says.  

The entire process for this University Gallery show is like no other show this season. The exhibition is student driven from the advertising and catering to installation and set up. 

miller“It’s been a huge learning experience, working in groups, because as artists a lot of what we’ve done up to this point is individual work,” Miller says. “You have to work together and be willing to compromise and keep the groups greater needs in mind.” 

Heather Cornelius, University Gallery technician, says this is one of the more valuable experiences of their college career, because it’s a representation of what will be happening after they leave PLU. 

“I try to give them as much information about what to do so they can apply it - from technical to conceptual, from the basics of learning how to swing a hammer to gallery flow and layout,” Cornelius says. “It’s 90 percent student ideas and 10 percent faculty input.  Sometimes they don’t realize they have options, so we try to throw out as many options as we can to entice their imagination. The artistic decisions are always their own.”  

“St{art} Momentum” is an excellent metaphor for where students are in their lives.

“It’s the big final push out of the safety net. Instead of our professors motivating us and making us work hard, we have to be our own motivation and make ourselves work and put our best foot forward,“ Tessa Heck, BFA student, says. 

After graduation Miller has a summer internship doing graphic design in DC for a think tank, The Heritage Foundation. After that she says she’s open to the next great adventure.  Heck is trying to get a museum or gallery job, she has a few offers on the table, but hopes to find an opportunity in Tacoma. 

The exhibition features work of PLU’s Art and Design seniors and rising artists Amanda Candella, Kate Miller, Ayla Mull, Jonathan Post, Meghan Arntson, Joe Flood, Rachel Stoneking, Tessa Heck, Alisha Buoy, Lottie Carlson, Anna Holcomb, Chelsea Flaherty, Claire Cordeiro, Andrew Deem, Jaeda Reed, Blair Chaney, Jill Peck and Michael Parretta.

WATCH: Drum Taps: Nine Poems on Themes of War

Join us for the closing event in the 2012 SOAC Focus Series. Enjoy a small gallery in Lagerquist lobby with ceramics and printmaking works. These pieces are inspired by the themes around Drum Taps. 

May 15, 2012

7:00 Attend a pre-concert panel with Composer Greg Youtz and Veteran Corps Representative Michael Farnum. MBR 334.

7:30 Doors Open - Lagerquist. 

8:00 Concert Begins 

SOAC People: Jeremy Mangan

manganWho: Jermey Mangan - Graduated from PLU in 1998 with degrees in fine art and German

Many SOAC students hope their careers turn out like Jeremy Mangan’s. Currently, he is included in Tacoma Art Museum’s 10th biennial, a group exhibition at Cornish College and a finalist for the prestigious and generous award called the Neddy. He’s the subject of a feature in an upcoming arts and culture publication and preparing to hold his second solo show with the Linda Hodges Gallery in November. 

But it wasn’t an accident that Mangan succeeded in living as a fulltime artist; it took a lot of hard work, self-motivation and discipline; the road was not devoid of challenges. 

Where has life taken you since leaving PLU?

Immediately after graduating from PLU I spent a year as a Fulbright Fellow in painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, Germany. Next was grad school, first at Central Washington University and then transferring and completing my MFA at Hunter College in New York City. I stuck around New York for a couple years after grad school, working and trying to paint, but mostly just working. I moved back to my native Pacific Northwest five years ago. I returned for many reasons, but one primary reason was to commit completely to making paintings. I live and paint in Fife, WA, and work on-call as an art handler and preparator at Tacoma Art Museum.

hotelHow has PLU impacted your professional growth?

Of the many benefits of my years at PLU, certainly my times studying abroad stand out as some of the greatest. I spent my entire sophomore year studying German language and culture in Freiburg, Germany. It was during that year that I first encountered significant works of Western Art, both in Germany and across Europe. This was, of course, a profound and formative experience, and one that nudged me- shoved me?!- in the direction I now travel. I credit PLU and professor emeritus Rodney Swenson with both my sophomore year abroad, as well as my Fulbright Fellowship. These experiences abroad have proven invaluable to me, both personally and professionally. I couldn't begin to articulate here all the ways this is true! However, I will say that my times abroad afforded me a more complete picture of the world and my place in it, opened my eyes and imagination to all manner of exciting possibilities, helped me to hone my interests and ambitions, and set the groundwork for the type of work ethic, tenacity, and discipline it takes to be a working artist. And they continue to do these things to this day. Maybe that's what makes them so great, so influential- those experience never cease to matter, to inform what I do, who I am, what I believe. I carry my time at PLU and in Germany with me everywhere I go.

What are some of the biggest challenges you faced, and how did you overcome them?

I'll give you two. The first is the challenge of the "practicality" (or lack thereof) of pursuing the arts as a career. Oftentimes it has seemed at best risky, and at worst foolish and irresponsible. There are certainly more secure, predictable, and conventionally acceptable ways of making a living. Bills have to be paid. So there have been times when the whole thing looks untenable, like it might just not happen. How did I overcome that? Not sure that I did, the Lord simply carried me through. In every one of those moments I can think of how God provided what I needed right when I needed it, whether it be financially or in terms of encouragement or both.

dance floorThe second challenge is discipline. Absolutely I love what I do, but it is most definitely work, and I have to battle my laziness. There are plenty of days when I just don't feel like going into the studio and working, mornings when I'd like to shut off the alarm and sleep a little longer, or afternoons when the sun beckons me outside for a long walk. Or how about a 3-day weekend...? Nobody would know. There's no boss waiting for me, no coworkers to miss me. The temptation to relent, to relax, is ruthless.

I combat that by reminding myself of my definition of professionalism: It's doing the thing I've decided and set out to do to the best of my abilities, regardless of how I feel about it at any given moment. What matters is how I feel about it in the broadest sense- in terms of the proposition of being a working artist- and that is something I deeply want, something I feel called to, and something I feel like doing, all the time. If I couch my motivations in that broader, big-picture sense, I can almost always recover the motivation to get to work. What's more, once I've done this and begun working for the day, I find that, without even noticing, I'm suddenly back in that place of enjoying myself, of wanting to work right there in the moment. So it's a matter of order: It's no good to simply wait for motivation to well up, and then work out of that motivation. Most of the time I just have to start working, and then, as a wonderful by-product, the motivation arrives!

What are some of the experiences that have defined your work?

western-kingOne thing I've learned with absolute certainty along the way is that every experience defines the work. Of course some more than others, but everything an artist makes is a self-portrait. There's no way around it. We're all compelled to put "form"- in whatever discipline or media- to something we hold as true but can't articulate any other way. Any genuine, rigorous art-making impulse and motion must come from the deepest humanity the artist can muster. The work is a means to get at that very thing...

But having said that, I guess it's no surprise that it's always the extreme experiences that are most informative, because they are the most significant: those that are the most joyful, beautiful, pleasant, and then those that are the most difficult, sad, painful. Or, more profound and meaningful yet might be those that are both extremes at once! My times away from home fall into that category- the two years in Germany, and the nearly five in New York City.

No question growing up in the Pacific Northwest in particular, and the American West in general, have greatly defined my work. I'm fortunate to be extremely fond of the place I'm from. The mountains, waters, trees, and even vast horizons east of the mountains have always been dear to me and important to the work. Other art of any discipline greatly informs my work, as well- whether film, music, other painters... Seeing the contents of so many museums and galleries in New York, Europe, and the Middle and Far East have been wonderful. Any travel I do always proves significant and useful. Above all is my faith in, and relationship with, Jesus Christ.

What is some of the best advice you could give to an undergrad pursuing a career in the arts?

Unless you're spectacularly good or spectacularly lucky, it's very likely going to be as hard as everyone says it is. So be prepared. It's a tremendous amount of work, and oftentimes unrewarded work. Please take some real time to consider what you may be getting yourself into. Also, be very careful about committing large amounts of money to schooling. I know quite a few people who took out large loans for undergrad and/or grad school, and they're crippled by them as artists. They have to work a job to pay them off, and they're not making art anymore. Then they settle into the comforts of a steady paycheck and they stop outright- maybe for good.

So, know that it's a high risk, high reward proposition. However, if you've done the soul- searching and you feel called, know that it can be done and go after it with all your might! 

And, again, it can be very high reward! It's a great privilege and blessing to be an artist, to create daily.

To learn more about Jeremy Mangan and vew his work, visit his website at:

Fall in love with Almost, Maine

almost maineOn a cold, clear, moonless night in the middle of winter, all is not quite what it seems in the remote, mythical town of Almost, Maine. As the northern lights hover in the star-filled sky above, Almost's residents find themselves falling in and out of love in unexpected and often hilarious ways. Knees are bruised. Hearts are broken. But the bruises heal, and the hearts mend–almost – in this delightful midwinter night's dream.

In the small town of Parkland, Washington theatre students are preparing to close their theatre season with the production of Almost, Maine, and residents of PLU will find themselves falling in love with PLU theatre all over again. 

Almost, Maine, directed by Jeff Clapp, shows on Eastvold’s Mainstage May 11, 12, 18, 19 at 7:30 p.m. and May 20 at 2 p.m.  Student Preview is May 10 and students can watch for $2. 

This is the closing production for PLU’s Theatre season for the 2011-2012 school year, and may be your last chance to catch your favorite seniors actors before they move on to bigger, better things.  Almost, Maine features a delightful series of vignettes showing 19 residents of Almost. Because of the large cast, it’s a chance for a lot of students to perform, and because it’s an ensemble show with no leads, actors are featured equally. 

The mini plots are varied and expertly woven and provide a very light, positive play that is able to entertain a wide audience, from couples to families. The show will keep you laughing while reaching out and tugging at the heartstrings. 

Tickets go on sale Wednesday, April 25, purchase them at the Campus Box Office at 253-535-7411. Tickets are $8 for general admission and $5 for PLU community. 

Music Tickets

Tickets for music events can now be purchased at the Campus Concierge at 253-535-7411, if you're a student or staff member who qualifies for free tickets, they can be picked up in the Music office. 

Announcing the Spring 2013 Focus Series Theme


Challenging our assumptions about the way things are and can be. 

SOAC explores the creative and artistic dimensions of the social process that fosters power in people for use in their own lives, communities and in their societies, by acting on issues they define as important. Stay tuned to this page for more details.

Calendar of Events



THEATRE- Dance 2012 @ 7:30pm, Eastvold Mainstage


MUSIC- Heidi Pintner Alvarez, Flutist @ 3pm, Lagerquist Concert Hall


MUSIC- Choir of the West Homecoming Concert @ 8pm, Lagerquist Concert Hall


MUSIC- Regency String Quartet @ 8pm, Lagerquist Concert Hall


ART- Senior Exhibition Opening Reception @ 5-7pm, University Gallery, FREE

4/25- 5/27: 

ART- BFA Exhibition, University Gallery, FREE


THEATRE – The Complete Works of William Shakespeare: Abridged, @ 7:30pm, Studio Theater


MUSIC- Wind and Brass Student Recital @ 8pm, Lagerquist Concert Hall, FREE


MUSIC- Bassoon Ensemble @ 12pm, Lagerquist Concert Hall, FREE


MUSIC- Mu Phi Epsilon @ 3pm, Lagerquist Concert Hall, FREE



MUSIC- University Chorale @ 8pm, Lagerquist Concert Hall


MUSIC- University Jazz Ensemble @ 8pm, Chris Knutzen Hall


MUSIC- Keyboard Students Recital @ 8pm, Lagerquist Concert Hall, FREE


MUSIC- Percussion and Steel Pan Ensembles @ 8pm, Lagerquist Concert Hall, FREE


MUSIC- Solvvinden Flute Ensemble @ 3pm, Lagerquist Concert Hall, FREE


MUSIC- Composer’s Forum @ 3pm, Lagerquist Concert Hall, FREE


MUSIC- Guitar Orchestra & Ensemble @ 8pm, Lagerquist Concert Hall, FREE


MUSIC- Jazz Combos in the Cave @ 5:30pm, University Center Cave, FREE


MUSIC- University Concert Band @ 8pm, Lagerquist Concert Hall, FREE


THEATRE- “Almost Maine” @ 7:30pm, Eastvold Auditorium


MUSIC- Choral Union Spring Concert @ 8pm, Lagerquist Concert Hall, $15 General Admission, $10 Senior Citizen, $5 PLU Community, Alumni


MUSIC- University Wind Ensemble @ 8pm, Lagerquist Concert Hall


MUSIC- “Drum Taps: Nine Poems on Themes of War” @ 8pm, Lagerquist Concert Hall* and Mozart Piano Concerto No. 24 in C Minor, K. 491.

* Part of the SOAC 2011-12 Compassion Series


MUSIC- String Kaleidoscope @ 8pm, Lagerquist Concert Hall, FREE


MUSIC- Piano Ensemble Recital @ 8pm, Lagerquist Concert Hall, FREE


THEATRE- “Almost Maine” @ 7:30pm, Eastvold Auditorium


THEATRE- “Almost Maine” @ 2pm, Eastvold Auditorium

Ticket Prices, unless otherwise noted.

MUSIC events: $8 - General Admission, $3 - Alumni & PLU guests, FREE - PLU Community & Children under 18

THEATRE events: $8 - General Admission, $5 - Senior, PLU Community

For tickets please call the Concierge Office at 253-535-7411