Students, faculty exhibit art, music during ‘The Happening’

A “happening”  is a performance, event or situation meant to be considered art – usually performance art. Happenings can be staged anywhere such as at, galleries, theater settings or even on a street.

The Fine Arts Department at South Plains College hosted “The Happening” on March 1 through March 3.  The term was first used by Allan Kaprow during the 1950s to describe a range of art-related events.

“The idea comes from the 1950’s, and I took the various elements and brought it together,” said Dr. Daniel Nazworth, chairperson of the Fine Arts Department.

Photo by Kendall Rainer

On the first and second days, a performance was held in the Jones Theatre. The performance was a collaboration by Dr. Nazworth, Kristy Kristinek, instructor of fine arts, SPC’s Ballroom Dance team, and SPC theatre majors.

Theatre majors performed a scene from Shakespeare’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream.” The SPC Ballroom Dance class performed throughout the night, and Kristinek performed a live painting on stage while Dr. Nazworth quoted Shakespeare monologues.  Kristinek painted a new painting each night.

“The Ballroom Dance Team was an excellent addition,” said Dr. Nazworth “and the collaboration was fun for both theatre and dance. Hopefully in the future we can do more things together.”

Photo by Autumn Bippert

The final day of  “The Happening” featured multiple performances throughout the day. At 4 p.m., there were performances by the SPC Symphonic Band, SPC Jazz Choir and Jazz Band, along with some student chamber ensembles in the Jones Theatre. There were also several student ensembles playing in the hallways of the Fine Arts Building.

“Being part of something so much bigger than just the Dance Team was such a fun experience,” said Vanessa Moffett, the ballroom dance team coach and assistant professor of physical education. “Combining the lights, the theatre, the actors, and the artist, all with dance was a learning experience that stretched and allowed us to grow as people and as dancers. It taught us how to perform in different situations and gave us an inside look at the inner workings of the world of theatre.”

Photo by Autumn Bippert

During the event, art studios were open, a group created a mural, a jewelry casting class and demo was held, and a create-your-own ceramic tiles workshop was held. The event ended with the theatre performance in the Jones Theatre.

“The Happening was an event filled with an artistic vibe of music, theatre, art and dance, providing our audience with a unique collaborative experience,” Kristinek said. “Our hallways resonated with the sound of student musicians, open art studios, and anticipation of the evening’s Theatre, Dance, and Live Painting Performances waiting to go on stage.”

According to Kristinek, planning “The Happening” took the whole first part of the semester, because all areas of the Fine Arts Department participated. Instructors from each area helped plan and facilitate the event.

“There are plans in the future to host another “Happening,” much like an Open House for our department,” Kristinek said.

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