FOSA features complex art, poetry, theatre, live music

On Friday, April 12 classes were canceled for Lewis & Clark’s  annual Festival of Scholars and Artists (FOSA). The day’s itinerary was jam-packed with students eager to present papers, projects and teach about topics they have done extensive research on. Topics ranged from cultural to scientific, theatrical to mathematical. There was truly something for everyone.

Being an English major, my interests mostly lay in arts-related events — putting the emphasis on the “A” in FOSA. I managed to attend a couple of events on breaks from work. I caught part of the Arts@LC showcase, and afterward, I checked out the Senior Art Exhibition, “Squeeze,” at the Hoffman Gallery. 

The Arts@LC showcase, which took place on the JR Howard steps thanks to a hired portable stage, included instrumental and vocal performances, poetry readings and theatrical scenes and monologues. I could go on; essentially, every form of spoken or sung art you can imagine was there. I saw “Opening Up,” sung by the cast of the Waitress theatre thesis, which was a great preview of the thesis performance (amazing!). The cast did a phenomenal job, especially working with a less-than-ideal sound system.  

I saw two original poetry readings, one of “The Screamers” by Tiani Ertel and the other “Greater Love Has No One Than This / My Dearest, Friend” by Shelby Platt. Both poems were absolutely gorgeous. So many talented people presented at the Arts@LC showcase, and the event itself had a great turnout. Especially being situated in such a central area of the academic campus, it was able to catch the attention of passersby. 

The art gallery was also such a treat to explore. I could not make it to the opening, but I still took a look around on my own. The energy inside was vibrant, with many people appreciating the work that these artists put so much time and effort into. It was also awesome to see the artists themselves proudly standing next to their work and interacting with the guests.  

I particularly enjoyed Max Lobato’s “The Death of Frankenstein,” an acrylic painting portraying the final scene of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. I loved Lobato’s bio, which began with “I create loud paintings.” And loud this painting was, in all of the best ways. The artist, in their own words, “exploits the dissonance of the primaries,” using the majority of paint which looked like it was squeezed directly from the tube: bright yellows, deep blues and bloody reds that created a piece that exhibits Lobato’s excellent understanding of color theory and anatomical study. Especially being a fan of the novel, I found that this painting created a completely unique take on the final scene, one that I will from now on always visually associate with the story. 

If you did not get the chance to see live performances at the showcase or to attend the opening of the gallery, all hope is not lost! For one, it is very easy to find arts-related events on campus, but if it is a FOSA-adjacent experience you crave, the artists’ pieces are still on display in the Hoffman Gallery until May 5, and it is more than worth a meander through.

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