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MULTIMEDIA: SWC filmmaker documents ever-expanding world of comics

‘Comics are everywhere’: Brilliant SWC filmmaker documents the ever-expanding world of comic books

It may be, as Neil Kendricks insists, the new golden age of comics. And Kendricks himself is their documentarian. Four years ago Southwestern College adjunct instructor Kendricks began production on his first full-length documentary, “Comics Are Everywhere,” a candid look into the world of comics as seen through the eyes of artists who make them. Kendricks’ film poses an elusive question: What does it take to create? After years in production, Kendricks is now asking himself that same question. His film has wavered, warping gradually from passion project to ferocious beast, savagely hindered, tinkering on the brink of completion. “It’s like trying to skin a bear with a small knife, and the bear’s still alive,” he said. “I have to…

Preview: Rent

Photo by Melvin Graham
  Jonathan Larson’s world was falling apart, plagued by drugs and disease. Under the shadow…
Photography is power - Instructor Todd Stands with the SWC photo students at MOPA (Museum of Photographic Arts). Photo by Marianna Saponara.

SWC photography class experiences Prix Pictet Power Exhibit

Images of Mother Nature’s herculean cataclysmic forces of earthquakes, tsunamis, and droughts are interwoven with man’s destructiveness at the Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA’s) Prix Pictet Power Exhibit in Balboa Park. Prix Pictet has already gained a reputation as a leading photography award Private Geneva-based Swiss bank Pictet & Cie is the founder and sponsor of this prestigious award given to amateur and professional photographers whose images present social and environmental change. Since 2008, Pictet & Cie has granted four …

Photo by Karen Tome

Daring #dance performance dazzles

Twitterati rejoice! Southwestern College’s spring dance concert “#dance” was gossipy and edgy, but also just a little too cute. “Hashtag Dance” made hash out of some dances, but heaven out of others. The almost-entirely student choreographed show, directed by Dana Maue, was often thrilling, sometimes lackluster, but mostly fun. Dressed in slacks, white collared shirts, suspenders and “working” in cubicles, “#work-a-round.playaround,” had the audience eager to clock out. As the workers danced in protest against their boss they held up …

Photo by John Domogma

The Mask behind the camera: Jack Mask profile

Few things are more beautiful than talented dancers. Few things are harder to photograph. Jack Mask is ballet with an f-stop. Mask is a wily 83 year old who insists he is not getting older, just better. He is already really good at a lot of things. He is a playwright, community college adjunct instructor, photographer extraordinaire, computer whiz, journalist, screenwriter, traveler and exhibited artist. Mask’s parents emigrated from Poland. “Like millions of immigrants, my parents were processed for entry …

SHOWING IT OFF- Theater major Amada O'Rourke bellowed out her lines with pride.

Vagina Monologues Review

Warm and sweet. In different shades of pinks and reds. Ranging from wild curls to neatly trimmed. All shapes and sizes but nonetheless beautiful. Cast members of the Vagina Monologues courageously performed pieces celebrating sexuality and the feminine experience in Mayan Hall. A disco anthem rumbled through the old auditorium and the beginning of Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” roared. Meant to be empowering, the song came off as kitschy and stale. Standing alone on stage, a terrified looking Kelly-Noelle …

BAD APPLE - Jesse Lopez's "Magic Spells" pays homage to Snow White.

Student art gallery a dreamscape

“Hello Dali!” Even without melting watches, Salvador Dali and M.C. Escher would have been proud of the “Lucid Dreamers” digital art exhibit. Student work showcased depth and intricacy. Immense detail within each piece appealed to the eye and the mind. Heaven was in the detail and the invisible line between dream and reality dared viewers to step over into the wild world of R.E.M.“Clear-Head,” by Catherine Segura was engaging. Her photograph depicted the thin foliage of plant life forming the …

Jazz Resurrection

Like fine wine, jazz musicians improve with age. SWC’s Big Band and Jazz Improvisation ensembles featured geriatric players with great talent and considerable fluency. Billy Strayhorn’s “Take the ‘A’ Train,” the opening number, sounded like what a black and white New York movie looked like. It was easy to imagine the music in a Woody Allen movie from the 1970s. Trumpets were loud and vibrant, but kept a fine balance that did not overpower the other instruments. One trumpet soloist in the back row stood to perform his solo, but was nearly inaudible over the complex and rapid piece. Each note was performed with gusto and it was impossible to find any section of the band that had fault in …

New help for arts transfers

Getting a little academic guidance can be tough at Southwestern College. Counselors are hopelessly outnumbered, outgunned and often outdated. SWC’s student-per-counselor ratio is 1,200 to 1, one of the worst in California. Even more troubling for art students, most of our over-worked counselors are underprepared to help creatives. Faculty at SWC’s School of Arts and Communication are looking to change that with a new push to provide counselors with the information art students need to transfer. Professor of Photography Micajah Truitt, chair of the Visual Arts Department, and other full-time faculty, are working on putting together a list of possible transfer schools with visual arts programs. “We decided that we want to try and work with counseling better and work …

MAKING A SPLASH —  “Dream Collage” by Francisco Ros was an impressive  standout at an excellent Student Art Show. Photo by Serina Duarte.

Deeply creative Student Art Show is a wonder

College leaders wrestling over the design and mission of the notorious “corner lot” ought to start making it a habit to attend visual and performing arts events. Our corner lot ought to highlight our college’s strong arts programs with performance and exhibition spaces for our elite Mariachi, Concert Choir, ceramics and 2-D arts programs. The arts — particularly theatre and vocal music — used to be the face of the college. With some foresight, the arts can lead Southwestern College …

THE DOCTOR IS NOT IN THE HOUSE— (clockwise from above ) Martine talks to her husband, who is impersonating a doctor, with Valere (Andrew Woodend) and (Braulio Fernandez). Sganarelle (Trevor King), the drunken woodcutter-cum-fake doctor. Monsieur Robert (Juan Palomino) and his puppet get ready to rumble with Sganarelle. Photo by Karen Tome.

‘Reluctant Doctor’ can still tickle the funny bone

If laughter is really the best medicine, “The Reluctant Doctor” should be on everyone’s health plan. “The Reluctant Doctor,” a relatively short play performed in Mayan Hall, capitalized on its own ridiculousness with even more ridiculousness. Updated to be wackier than the already-ridiculous 1966 original, director Michael Schwartz coaxed funny, if uneven performances from his cornball cast. Sganarelle, (Trevor King) a good-for-nothing woodsman posing as a world-renown physician, attempts to fool folks with highly-embellished and hilariously-inaccurate medical advice. King frequently …

Orchestras, Concert Choir a magical mix

“Night on Bald Mountain” has never been so hairy. Mozart was a Wolf (gang) in sheep’s clothing. Hays’ “Requiem” could wake the dead. All in all a good gig by three of the South County’s most talented musical groups. “A Night of Instrumental Music” was a harmonious blend of the Southwestern College Orchestra, Concert Band and Concert Choir that brought the curtain down on the semester’s concert season with style. Under the graceful baton of director Deborah Nevin, the Concert Band featured an array of works by classical composers like Clare Grundman, Danny Elfman, Norman Dello Joio, Gary Gilroy, Mark Hayes and Robert W. Smith. Grundman’s “Fantasy on American Sailing Songs” was a robust and lovely medley of folk songs. …