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Keuka College News

Penn Yan Native Tony Collins to Speak at Keuka College Sept. 23

Penn Yan native Tony Collins, motivational speaker and retired NFL player, will speak at Keuka College Tuesday, Sept. 23.

Free and open to the public, Collins will discuss “Choices and Opportunities: Become What You Believe. The Power of Positive Thinking,” at 7 p.m. in Hegeman Hall 109. Collins, a motivational speaker, will share his story of addiction and the choices he needed to make to get him where he is today.

Selected in the second round of the NFL Draft in 1981, Collins spent eight seasons with the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins. His successful football career was highlighted by a Pro Bowl selection in 1983, and a single-game rushing record of 212 yards for the Patriots. This led him to the biggest stage imaginable for a football player—playing in the Super Bowl.

Before playing on football’s biggest stage, Collins first garnered notoriety in high school as a starter on the 1976 New York State Class B Champion Penn Yan Academy Mustangs. After high school, Collins attended East Carolina University (ECU) where he continued to break records and was inducted into ECU’s Hall of Fame.

Although he did not complete his undergraduate degree during his initial time at ECU, realizing the value of an education, he returned back to school and received his bachelor’s degree in communications in May 2011.

While Collins’ successes on the field were many, the destructive choices he made off the field resulted in a downward spiral. Collins shares his story in his recently published biography, BROKEN ROAD, Turning My Mess into a Message. His story is a reminder that positive thinking has the power to save a life.

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Redesigned Athletics Website Unveiled

Keuka College is proud to unveil a new and redesigned athletics website that will allow fans of the Wolfpack’s teams and student-athletes easier access to the latest news and information about the College’s 19 intercollegiate athletic squads.

Partnering with PrestoSports, a company that has designed and built athletics websites for hundreds of colleges and universities, the redesigned site will incorporate the College’s new athletics identity — the Wolfpack — and can be found at www.KCWolfpack.com.

Students sport Wolfpack gear following the Aug. 25 pep rally unveiling the new mascot. (Photo by Stephanie Lockhart '15)

The new and improved website will allow fans across the country better access to follow their favorite teams all season long.

The design has been cleaned up and mainstreamed, with a brighter and more reflective look.

There is also more of an emphasis placed on both videos and social media, with easy to find social media tabs for the Wolfpack’s Twitter (@KeukaAthletics), Facebook (www.facebook.com/KeukaAthletics), Instagram (@KeukaAthletics) and YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/user/KeukaAthletics) accounts.

Each sport’s schedule, roster and the latest news on that team is easily found on both the homepage and each sport-specific page. (more…)

Finger Lakes Guitar Quartet to Perform at Keuka College Sept. 20

The Finger Lakes Guitar Quartet will perform at Keuka College Saturday, Sept. 20.

Free and open to the public, the concert begins at 7:30 p.m. in Norton Chapel.

Comprised of Joel Brown, Sten Isachsen, Brett Grigsby, and Paul Quigley, the Finger Lakes Guitar Quartet has performed throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. Past performances include the Eastman School of Music, Ithaca College Guitar Festival, Skidmore College, and the Sandisfield Arts Center in Sandisfield, Mass.

Brown serves as the chair and senior artist-in-residence of Skidmore College’s music department. His performances as a soloist and chamber musician have included appearances with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Festival of Contemporary Music at Tanglewood, the Saratoga Chamber Music Festival, the Caramoor Festival, and the Killington Festival. Internationally, he has played at the Barbican in London with soprano Dawn Upshaw, in British Columbia at the Music in the Mountains Chamber Music Festival, in the Czech Republic at the Mikulov Guitar Festival as concerto soloist with the Martinu Chamber Orchestra. Notable appearances in the United States include Carnegie Hall with Dawn Upshaw, recitals on both coasts with mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade, and with the Boston Pops Orchestra. Brown has also performed on NBC’s Today, CNN’s Showbiz Today, on NPR, and on the BBC.

Isachsen, who serves as an instructor of guitar at Schenectady County Community College, has appeared as concerto soloist with the University at Albany Orchestra and the Ithaca College String Quartet. Possessing a bachelor and master of music in guitar performance from Ithaca College, he has studied guitar with Frederick Hand, Ed Flower and Brown. He has also participated in master classes with Manuel Barrueco, Sergio and Odair Assad, and Benjamin Verdery.

Isachsen is also a member of the Musicians of Ma’alwyck, a string trio-in-residence at the Schuyler Mansion, the Cohoes Music Hall, and Schenectady County Community College. In addition to his work as a classical guitarist, Isachsen performs regularly on steel string, and electric guitars, and mandolin, and maintains a private studio in Delmar. Clients include Gibson-endorsed mandolinist Skip Gorman, jazz guitarist George Muscatello, jazz saxophonist Brian Patneaude, Empire Jazz Orchestra, and the Lustre Kings.

Grigsby oversees the guitar department at Skidmore College, and has held faculty positions at Lehigh University, the College of St. Elizabeth, and Kean University. He has performed as both soloist and chamber musician for more than 15 years. Notable performances include solo concerts at the 92nd St. YMCA, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, an all-Bach program at Steinway Hall, and at the esteemed concert series at St. Paul’s Chapel in New York City. As a chamber musician, Grigsby has performed with both his guitar duo, A Piacere, and as a member of various guitar quartets performing at the International Festival Domaine Forget, in conjunction with the National Jazz Ballet Company of Montreal. Grigsby has performed in master class settings for Roberto Aussel, Hubert Kappel, Andrew York, Bruce Holzman, Nigel North, and the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet.

An adjunct instructor of guitar at Schenectady County Community College, Quigley also serves on the faculties the College of Saint Rose and SUNY Adirondack, where he teaches classical and electric guitar. He has performed with the Glens Falls Symphony, the College of Saint Rose Camerata, and at the Saratoga Arts Center Theatre, Shakespeare & Company, and the Oberwald Concert Series in Basel, Switzerland, among others.

Quigley has performed in master classes for Magnus Anderson, Eliot Fisk, David Russell. David Tanenbaum, David Starobin, Luis Zea, and Duo Suonare. Additionally, Quigley was a featured performer on the Queen Elizabeth II World Cruise as well as the Queen Mary II and Crystal Symphony ships.

Poet Bruce Bennett to Read from His Works as part of Keuka College’s Spotlight Series

Poet Bruce Bennett will read from his works Tuesday, Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. in the Gannett Room of Lightner Library.

Part of the College’s Spotlight Series, the reading is free and open to the public.

Bennett, who serves as professor of English and director of creative writing at Wells College,  is the author of nine full-length books of poetry and more than 20 poetry chapbooks. His books include Something Like Karma and Subway Figure. His chapbooks include Visitation and The Holding Stone, and A Girl Like You. His latest book, Swimming in a Watering Can, was published this year.

His New and Selected Poems: Navigating the Distances was chosen by Booklist as “One of the Top 10 Poetry Books of 1999.” Bennett has reviewed contemporary poetry books in The New York Times Book Review, The Nation, Harvard Review, among others, and his poems have appeared widely in literary journals, textbooks, and anthologies. He was awarded a Pushcart Prize for his villanelle, The Thing’s Impossible, which appeared in the fall 2011 issue of Ploughshares.

He received three degrees, including his doctorate, from Harvard University, and taught at Oberlin College from 1967-70. While at Oberlin, Bennett co-founded and served as an editor of Field: Contemporary Poetry and Poetics.

In 1970 he moved to Cambridge, Mass., where he co-founded and served as an editor of Ploughshares. Three years later, he began teaching at Wells College.

During the 1980s and 90s, Bennett served as co-associate editor at Judith Kitchen’s State Street Press in Rochester and Brockport. In 1993, he co-founded the Wells College Book Arts Center and Wells College Press, and served as director of both until 2002. Under his direction, Wells College Press published a number of poetry chapbooks and pamphlets, as well as poems by writers featured in the Wells College Visiting Writers Series.

Artists Come Together for “Clay Connection”

Collaborative work by Richard Aerni & Carolyn Dilcher-Stutz.

Faith Benedict was looking for a way to inspire the growing number of students in her ceramics class at Keuka College, and the result is a new exhibit: “Clay Connection,” featuring the work of eight regional potters and sculptors from Rochester to Syracuse.

Although most of the artists don’t personally know one another, they have in common a passion for creating art from the same original element: clay. And though each piece began in the same form—as a wet, misshapen lump—the variety of shapes, sizes, colors and uses of the pieces that result reflects the distinct styles and skills of each artist and further contrast just how dynamic clay itself can be.

The array of pieces now adorning new gallery space in Lightner Library even features a handful of collaborative works where two artists teamed together to display the contrast possible between large-scale pottery and small-scale sculpture. While Richard Aerni of Rochester fashioned the foundational jars or pedastals of each piece, Carolyn Dilcher-Stutz, also of Rochester, designed the intricate, hand-sized animals – birds, a deer – atop each one.

Whimsical teapot crafted by John Smolenski

Nearby, other animals, particularly fish, serve as whimsical, cheery handles on several teapots crafted by John Smolenski of Skaneateles. The former Keuka College professor attended the School of American Craftsman at Rochester Institute of Technology, then served as artistic mentor to Benedict and other students during her undergraduate years before he went on to teach high school art in Skaneateles.

The “Clay Connection” exhibit also features the work of husband-and-wife artists Ann Bliss and Steve Pilcher of Butternut Pottery in Jamesville, N.Y., along with Peter Valenti, and David Webster, both of Skaneateles, and Peter Gerbic of Middlesex. Light refreshments will be served at the artists’ reception held from 4:30 – 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 4 at the gallery inside Lightner Library, with a brief artists talk from Smolenski on the craft, starting at 5 p.m. The reception is open to the public and the gallery is open daily during library hours.

According to Benedict, her personal connections with potters such as Smolenski led to new connections with additional potters and sculptors until she had gathered eight masters of the craft. The show includes artists using traditional methods of firing high-temperature stoneware, as well as some who use a single-firing technique.

An earthenware piece by Gerbic

Peter Gerbic of South Hill Pottery in Middlesex has been working with clay since 1964 when he first started at the American School of Craftsmen at RIT, where he trained under the tutelage of renowned sculptor Frans Wildenhain. While initially trained in functional pottery, Gerbic said, like his “master” Wildenhain, he eventually moved into sculpture, even murals, which retain the same, brick-colored hue as the earthenware in which he specializes. Even its name, terra cotta, correlates to its nature as “baked earth.”

“At the moment, I’m doing straight sculpture, which means lots of curves, at least the way I do it,” Gerbic said with a chuckle. “My emphasis is more on the sculptural elements – the bark on trees, the way sand or snow moves from the wind, human body forms, fruit forms, the way a stream is etched by the water, rocks that have been sandblasted, or water itself. I’m trying to create my own interpretation with the bedrock of Great Nature behind me.”

Gerbic’s works also include some ceremonial pieces, which he described as “my interpretation of Native forms and designs and representations that speak to larger dimension of our life.”

A work by David Webster

According to Benedict, seeing what other artists are doing, with the same material she works with, will inspire her, not only as a fellow craftsman, but as a teacher.

“It’s important for the students to understand that every one says something different with their work – what is your voice? We’re all on different paths and experience different things,” said Benedict, drawing a contrast between her own functional pottery –plates, bowls, mugs and such – and the bronze or clay sculptures for which her husband, Professor Emeritus of Art Dexter Benedict, is known.

“No two of us are the same,” she said. “When we’re talking about the connection at Keuka College, I think that’s what is exciting about an organization, where you have all this diversity, this common bond of wanting to learn. It’s our glue”