‘Happenings/unhappenings’ combines all aspects of art

Shirley Smith

The third annual “Happening/Unhappening,” was sold out last Friday night in the Studio Theater. The event featured faculty from jazz, dance, painting, ceramics and also spoken word poet Chuck Perkins.

“Happening” is a spontaneous, improvised performance from artists of different disciplines in one location and can involve audience participation in the performance.

Before the show, Ceramics instructor Richard White explained parts of the “Happening” performance.

“We are taking a lot of influences and putting it together like the modern world is influenced and putting it together,” White said. “The thing based on this performance is improve. We don’t know what really going to happen both in the sculpture, painting, dance and theater movement. That is all improve it is supposed to got together and the idea of improvisation and spontaneity relate to one media and another.”

Even though the location, materials and performers are planned, the events on stage are not.

“We’re hoping that something comes out or it  may all be rubble,” White said about the performance.

Michel Pellissier and her husband come every year, and said she was looking forward to it this evening.

“Last year they had two shows back-to-back and no one was turned away, but this year we only had one showing and we sold out hours before opening announced the box office,” Pellissier said.

Ellen Prince opened the show in dance, and was soon joined by Joey Sellers (trombone) and Ariel Alexander (alto saxophone).

White, along with Marco Minaya, soon began to paint on large rollaway canvases.

In four episodes and three segues, artists moved around the stage somewhere between impromptu and avant-garde.

One highlight of the night was New Orleans-based poet Chuck Perkins,  who cited poetry while the artists worked on the stage.

Perkins gave up the first week of Jazz Fest in New Orleans to participate in this year’s “Happening,” White said.

The climax of the night was expressed in sculptures by Minaya, White and ceramics instructor, Steve Dilley.

It was a full two hours of entertainment with everyone on stage vying for the audiences’ attention at the same time.

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