[all-carousels]

Improv team uneven but promising

ON THE FLY — Julianne Sobjana yells Korean-gibberish into Amanda Guerrero’s pelvis as the duo improvise a dance routine. Photo by Anna Pryor

  Underground Improv, Southwestern College’s masters of winging it, flew into the wall during its fall 2014 debut show. Normally witty, edgy and funny, the troupe limped across broken shards of improvisation doctrine and left the audience awkwardly silent nearly as much as it had them laughing. Underground’s rendition of the “Mormon Tabernacle Choir” began with members Auster Cruz and Braulio Fernandez discussing their plans for world peace. Their quest, however, was DOA as Fernandez monotonously asked Cruz question after question, turning a potentially-wonderful scene into a diabolical game of 20 Questions. Veteran improver Amanda Guerrero salvaged the scene with the night’s first laughs. Guerrero and Julianna Sobejana shone in “Half Life,” an improv that begins like a standard scene,…

Adorned in the colors and clothes of their culture, SWC’s mariachi and dancers take the stage for the Festival Internacional de Folclore.

Marvelous mariachi experience Brazilian adventure

  High atop Corcovado Mountain, the towering Christ the Redeemer statue gazes over Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Near its base, 2,400 feet above the teaming city, a group of Southwestern College students shivered and took selfies, surprised by the chilly air atop a tropical mountain. A ghostly white mist formed puffy, nebulous clouds that brought frothy rain from the sky. Ill-equipped students expecting the steamy weather of the World Cup huddled like puppies on a brisk morning. Brazil was not …

"ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISM HAS BECOME A PASSION FOR ME. I LOVE THE FEELING OF PAINTING ON A CANVAS AND THE PROCESS OF CREATING. MOVING THE PAINT AND ALLOWING THE IMAGE TO REVEAL ITSELF IS MY GOAL. WHEN I HAVE CREATED A COHESIVE AND VIBRANT PAINTING, I AM ARTISTICALLY FULFILLED AND EXCITED." -MANNIE KUGLER

Mannie Kugler 1922-2014: Artful Master of Life Itself

  “Abstract Expressionism has become a passion for me. I love the feeling of painting on a canvas and the process of creating. Moving the paint and allowing the image to reveal itself is my goal. When I have created a cohesive and vibrant painting, I am artistically fulfilled and excited.” -Mannie Kugler   Chula Vista Renaissance man Mannie Kugler died recently, but not before squeezing every possible ounce of life out of his 92 years. He was many things, …

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

MULTIMEDIA: SWC filmmaker documents ever-expanding world of comics

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 …

Photo by Melvin Graham

Preview: Rent

  Jonathan Larson’s world was falling apart, plagued by drugs and disease. Under the shadow of AIDS in New York’s East Village, Larson’s musical “Rent” depicts the dark life he knew. It is a morose masterpiece. Deep in American bohemia, “Rent” gives an intimate glimpse into the lives and relationships of a group of struggling young artists living in a New York loft. Director Ruff Yeager said the 1996 musical still carries a relevant message. “‘Rent’ speaks to a younger …

Courtesy Photo

Artistic mascots promoting art museums

A lion-duckling-caterpillar chimera greeted people with a giant brown paw at the Shoshanna Wayne Gallery in Santa Monica. Four colorful, smiley-faced creatures waved at passersby outside the Orange County Museum of Art in Newport Beach. Across America strange paper-mache and felt ambassadors are part of SWC art instructor Brian Dick’s ambitious venture, Nationwide Museum Mascot Project (NWMMP). Co-founded by Dick and his wife Christen Sperry-Garcia, NWMMP consists of the couple standing outside participating art museums in colorfully gonzo costumes, enticing …

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 …