SOAC + School of Art & Communication
SOACtivities banner
February 2014

Seven PLU Faculty Artists, One Incredible Show

PLU art and design faculty display recent work

Opening in the University Gallery on Wednesday, February 5 is PLU’s “Faculty Exhibition,” an exhibit featuring work from current faculty of the Department of Art and Design. Participating faculty include JP Avila, Craig Cornwall, Spencer Ebbinga, Bea Geller, Steve Sobeck, Jessica Spring and Michael Stasinos. 

The artworks in the exhibition range from ceramic vessels, sculpture, digital photography and paintings to printmaking and letterpress. 

JP Avila, associate professor of art and design, will be debuting a new body of work titled “Held Memory” using methods of cutting and folding, a technique used by several cultures for decoration, celebration and narration. 


The title, "held memory", represents the piece in two ways. When paper is disrupted from its original form, the fibers retain the memory of that fold, crease or cut. 

“Paper and the art of creating on paper has been with me from the beginning. I am child of paper,” Avila says. “For me, cutting, folding, and creating using paper is a comfortable environment and one that reminds me of the beauty of simplicity and the opportunity for art and design to be found in and on any surface.”

Craig Cornwall, resident assistant professor of art and design, will exhibit printmaking pieces. His work is often described as eclectic and varies in terms of style and content. His love for the printmaking medium is evident. 

Cornwall adopted a philosophy once voiced by jazz trumpeter Miles Davis, ‘You can't do what you did six months ago, that's old stuff’.  His new series of work in the show features beggars. 

“[Beggars] can be like urban ghosts, there one minute and gone the next.  The works portray the ‘Anatomy of a Beggar’, the mind the heart and the spirit,” Cornwall says. “At some time we are all beggars, totally dependent on the kindness of others for our welfare.” 

Michael Stasinos, associate professor of art and design, is representing a selection of work from three areas of his artistic pursuits: landscape work, figurative drawings and illustrations done in collaboration.

For many years Stasinos has been known as a landscape painter, focusing on the cityscapes of Seattle, and painting at a location using multiple days to achieve a sense of a constructed moment of time. 


In addition to this work, he will exhibit pieces relating to the figurative skill sets students may experience in his class. 

“The bulk of my career and development of an artist has been creating figurative works. Even now I take what time I can to draw and learn through working from the model”, Stasinos says. 

The third segment of Stasinos’ works is collaborative illustrations done for PLU anthropology professor, Bradford Andrews, which include a Market Scene for The Calixtlahuaca Archeological Research Project, among others. 

SpringJessica Spring, resident artist, will feature a variety of letterpress work. Her piece "Honey B Hive" displays a hive-like structure full of various letter Bs from the vintage wood and metal type collection of at Springtide Press. Her print series, “Five Rings”, consists of five prints based on Miyamoto Musashi's The Book of Five Rings, a 350-year old martial arts classic, which analyzes the process of struggle and mastery over conflict that underlies every level of human interaction. 

An opening reception will be held, Wednesday, February 5 from 5-7pm and will run February 5 – March 5. The exhibition is open Monday-Friday 8am-4pm and by appointment. The University Gallery is located in Ingram Hall.

Black History Month Concert kicks off 2014 SOAC Focus Series on Entrepreneurship

Focus Series: Entrepreneurship On Thursday, February 20, the 2014 SOAC Focus Series on Entrepreneurship will kick off with the Black History Month Concert in Lagerquist Concert Hall. Directed by David Deacon-Joyner, the concert plays tribute to the entrepreneurship of African-Americans featuring the legacy of their music, literature, and art.

A joint effort by the PLU School of Arts and Communication, Multicultural Recruitment, and the Department of Music, the concert features the PLU university orchestra, wind ensemble, jazz ensemble, and Chorale.  It will also feature Tacoma talent steel drum artist Obe Quarless, vocalist Marlette Buchanan, and DaNell Daymon and the Greater Works Chorale.

After emancipation and the end of the Civil War continuing racism and economic rivalry thwarted African-American achievement at every turn. Entertainment was an appealing and viable option. Black music makers not only had a means to make a reasonable living, but also had the means to be a public voice for personal and community cultural expression.

University Symphony Orchestra

By the beginning of the twentieth century, African-American music represented by ragtime, blues, jazz, and popular song was pulling the American cultural mainstream away from European influence. No one was more aware of this than Europeans themselves, who were captivated by the lively exoticism of this music that had risen from its societal obscurity.

Because of this, the program not only showcases the music of African Americans but of European composers from the early 20th Century that were inspired by African-American music, including French composer Darius Milhaud’s La Creation du Monde and the second movement of Czech composer Antonin Dvorak’s From the New World Symphony.  

The PLU jazz ensemble will present the music of Duke Ellington, accompanied by the PLU Swing Dance Club. Ellington and his jazz orchestra became the house band at the Cotton Club in Harlem where Ellington honed his craft and gained worldwide notoriety. Of his hundreds of compositions, the PLU Jazz Ensemble will feature three selections: “Stompy Jones”, an example of a swinging dance number comprised of short “riffs” and fleshed out by brief improvised solos, “I Got It Bad (and That Ain’t Good)”, a composition inspired by and customized for members of Ellington’s band, and “Cottontail”, a piece recorded during a landmark recording session for Victor Records.

The PLU Wind Ensemble will present French composer Darius Milhaud’s “jazz fugue” from Movement 2, “The Chaos Before Creation”, and Movement 5, “The Man and Woman Kiss” of the ballet, La Creation du Monde (The Creation of the World), which was inspired by Milhaud’s experience with early jazz. 

University Symphony Orchestra

The program features opera singer Marlette Buchanan and alumna Stephanie Ann Johnson, a recent finalist on the NBC program The Voice, presenting music by Harold Arlen and George Gershwin inspired by and written for African-American musicians.

Finally, recognizing that African-American music means all of the Americas. The steel drum tradition from Trinidad is believed to be the only acoustical instrument to be invented in the 20th Century. Often played to the local style known as calypso, the music is joyous and rambunctious. PLU’s own Obe Quarless, who will perform, is a master of this genre.

The 2014 FOCUS series brings together SOAC’s talented students and faculty to examine the theme of entrepreneurship through a multi-disciplinary approach. Through music, art, and communication we come together to explore entrepreneurship and its culture of boundless dreams and actions - where creativity meets and fuels opportunity. In this series we combine the visionary and the pragmatic – the heart and the mind. 

Black History Month Concert tickets are $8 general admission, $5 for alumni and patrons over 55, and free to the PLU community and students under 18. Tickets can be purchased at the Concierge Desk in the Anderson University Center, at the door, or at 253-535-7411. 

Joanne Lisosky, Fulbright All-Star 

With two Fulbright trips under her belt and an appointment as peer reviewer underway, Communication Professor Joanne Lisosky just can’t get enough

Professor Joanne M. Lisosky has been awarded with two Fulbright awards, completing programs --in 2003 in Kampala, Uganda at Makerere University and 2011 in Baku, Azerbaijan at Baku Slavic University. Now, Lisosky is amidst a three-year term reviewing applications of Fulbright hopefuls. 


During her time in Baku, she was immersed in the community and worked closely with the US Embassy; when the State Department asked for recommendations for reviewers, the Embassy in Baku submitted her name. When she was offered the appointment, she said "yes".

Hundreds of faculty from around the country peer review applications for the Fulbright Program. Lisosky is assigned to Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Along with two colleagues from other universities, they review applications for Fulbright faculty teaching and research appointments to Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Russia. 

This year they reviewed more than 90 applications, about the same number as the year before. The applications come to her electronically in late August, then she combs through them looking for applicants that are a good fit for the country and assignment. 

“It's really a blast reviewing the work of my fellow Fulbright hopefuls,” Lisosky says.  “I've picked up a slew of knowledge about some of the most current revelations in the fields of medicine, literature, computer science and a host of other disciplines.” 

The candidates recommended in the peer review are considered for awards to more than 130 programs around the world. The J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, appointed by the U.S. president, makes the final selection of candidates. 

Along with her two Fulbright awards, Lisosky has taken her teaching on the road by leading more than 120 students on communication study abroad courses to Australia, Switzerland and Uganda. She has served as a freelance journalist at the UN in Geneva, an academic consultant to UNESCO in Nairobi. 

Her book, "War on Words: Who Should Protect Journalists?" was published in 2011 after her last Fulbright appointment. 

Today, there is no limit on how many Fulbrights one person can receive in a lifetime, (it used to be just two), and there is no limit as to how often you can serve (formerly a five-year gap was required between Fulbrights). 

“I am in the throes of trying to get my husband to join me on a Fulbright the year we retire… wish me luck!” Lisosky says. 

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. 

Angela Meade Vocal Performance Scholarship Underway

On January 18, Soprano Angela Meade ‘01 performed a one-time-only benefit concert at PLU to kick off fundraising for the new Angela Meade Vocal Performance Scholarship.

Angela Meade“During my years at PLU, I received about a third of my tuition in scholarships and I know how essential they are,” Meade wrote in the night’s program. “My parents always taught me to be thankful for what you have and receive, to acknowledge where you came from, and to give back to those who have helped you on your path. So in honor of my mother, who game me my voice and always aspired to sing professionally, and to PLU who helped nurture my talent, I present this recital to help others on the way to their dreams.”

Accompanied by Bradley Moore, pianist, the performance included selections from Puccini’s Chi il bel sogno from La Rondine and Edgar along with sets of songs from Giocomo Meyerbeer, Georges Bizet and Franz Liszt. 

In a review of the performance in Seattle Gay News, Rod Parke wrote, “After the recital, the pianist said to me, 'I don't understand why these Liszt songs aren't performed more often.' To which I replied, 'Because most sopranos would be scared to death by them!' Indeed, the vocal demands were formidable in every way: range, agility, and dramatic thrust.”

Meade performed in memory of her mother, Deborah Meade, who died of breast cancer in July 2012. Donations can still be made to establish the endowed scholarship for vocal performance at PLU and to “help others on the way to their dreams” by clicking here.