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Five Teaching Artists Join the NH State Arts Council’s Arts in Education Roster

November 18th, 2014 by Heather

    Hopkinton, Portsmouth, other artists to be featured


    The N.H. State Council on the Arts is pleased to announce that five new teaching artists who represent a variety of artistic disciplines and backgrounds have been added to the Arts in Education (AIE) roster.

    The AIE roster is a resource of professional artists who bring new ideas, skills, energy and creativity to schools and communities. To be named to the roster, artists are juried by certified arts educators, Artist Residencies in Schools project coordinators and experienced teaching artists. Together, they evaluate the quality of the artists’ work, professional commitment and experience working in educational settings.

    Artists play an important role in helping increase students’ access to high quality arts education. Teaching artists possess a unique set of skills and knowledge about their art form and provide authentic experiences that engage students in a different way than takes place in traditional classroom instruction.

    New roster artists are:

    • David Fichter – A visual artist from Cambridge, Mass., Fichter specializes in painted murals, mosaic, and theatre sets. He provides opportunities for students of all ages to design and create permanent murals that relate to their school culture, history or curriculum. www.davidfichter.com
    • Roger Goldenberg – A professional visual and jazz artist from Portsmouth N.H., Goldenberg leads art making experiences in printmaking and 3-D constructions, kinetic sculpture, and creativity and improvisation. He also leads workshops and residencies with the Ears ‘n’ Eyes Visual Jazz and Jazz Music Ensemble. www.rgpaints.com
    • Chris Klaxton – A jazz musician and band leader from South Berwick, Maine, Klaxton has years of experience working with students of all ages on a variety of instruments. He teaches musical improvisation, songwriting and small-scale theater workshops for both music and non-music students, plus workshops and master classes. He was recently appointed Director of Jazz Bands at Plymouth State University, Plymouth. www.chrisklaxton.com
    • Taylor O’Donnell – A contemporary and jazz vocalist from South Berwick, Maine, O’Donnell brings her deep roots in jazz, folk and rhythm and blues to perform and teach in an array of educational settings. She offers residencies, performances and lecture-demonstrations or master classes in vocal improvisation. Her school residencies may include a public event or concert as a solo artist or with the Ears ‘n’ Eyes Jazz Music Ensemble.www.taylorodonnellmusic.com
    • Elizabeth (Lizz) Van Saun – A mosaic artist from Hopkinton, N.H., Van Saun loves to share her knowledge, skills and joy of mosaic art with youth and people of all ages. She offers school and community residencies, teacher workshops, demonstrations and community based mosaic projects.www.kasthillstudio.com

    N.H. State Arts Council grant funds help to bring teaching artists into educational settings to provide arts learning experiences and to develop skills in imagination, creativity and innovation.

    To learn more, visit: www.nh.gov/nharts or contact Catherine O’Brian, 603-271-0795 or catherine.r.obrian@dcr.nh.gov.


    PSU honors retirees, longtime employees

    November 18th, 2014 by Heather

      PLYMOUTH STATE University retirees pose with President Sara Jayne Steen at a Nov.13 ceremony. From left: Diane Newberry, Susan Lafreniere, Shaughn Bolton, Nancy Aldrich, Judith Landry, Mary-Ellen Godville, PSU President Sara Jayne Steen, Tim Keefe, Susan Keefe and Nancy Betchart.

      Plymouth — Plymouth State University President Sara Jayne Steen recognized nearly 120 University employees and retirees in a Nov. 13 ceremony. Dozens of co-workers, friends, and family members attended the annual event. Steen thanked employees for their dedication and provided each of them with a gift for service to the University.

      “Recognition day is the kind of tradition that makes Plymouth State University special,” Steen said. “We are all here on the same mission – to prepare students to make a better world for the next generation. Recognition day is our chance to say thank you to our faculty and staff; it is an opportunity to express our gratitude to those of you who have created an environment that offers students an opportunity to succeed and excel. On behalf of everyone at Plymouth State University, thank you.”

      Retirees Nancy Aldrich, David Beronä, Nancy Betchart, Shaughn Bolton, Darlene Brill, Deborah Burnell, Robin Cummings, Robert Gannett, Mary-Ellen Godville, Susan Keefe, Timothy Keefe, Susan Lafreniere, Judith Landry, Loretta Muzzey, Diane Newberry, Susan O’Callaghan, Steffan O’Sullivan, Robert Swift, Warren Tomkiewicz and Orvell Tyrrell were recognized for their dedication to Plymouth State.

      Steen noted the 20 retirees cumulatively have worked at the institution for nearly 580 years.

      “Each retiree has made his or her mark on our institution as well as in his or her field and we are grateful for their achievements,” Steen noted.

      Christine Wilkie of Sodexo was recognized as the longest serving employee, celebrating her 45th year of employment at the institution.

      Retirees and Employees with Landmark 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, and 45 Years of Service


      Nancy Aldrich – Center for Young Children and Families

      David Beronä – Library and Academic Support Services

      Nancy Betchart – Division of Online and Continuing Studies

      Shaughn Bolton – Biological Sciences/Environmental Science and Policy

      Darlene Brill – Student Affairs

      Deborah Burnell – College of Business Administration

      Robin Cummings – Physical Plant

      Robert Gannett – Center for Young Children and Families

      Mary-Ellen Godville – Purchasing, Disbursements, and Contract Services

      Susan Keefe – Plymouth Academic Support Services

      Timothy Keefe – Student Affairs

      Susan Lafreniere – Center for Young Children and Families

      Judith Landry – Budget and Accounting Services

      Loretta Muzzey – Account Collection and Mail Services

      Diane Newberry – Financial Aid

      Susan O’Callaghan – Admissions

      Steffan O’Sullivan – Library and Academic Support Services

      Robert Swift – Music, Theatre, and Dance

      Warren Tomkiewicz – Environmental Science and Policy

      Orvell Tyrrell – Physical Plant

      Recognition Award Recipients

      10-Year Recognition

      Angela Adams – Graduate Studies

      John S Anderson – Art

      Lourdes Aviles Bramer – Atmospheric Science and Chemistry

      Alan Baker – Information Technology Services

      Amanda Bickford – Sodexo

      Christian Bisson – Health and Human Performance

      Darcy Cushing – Health and Human Performance

      Sureya Ennabe – Silver Center for the Arts

      Wilson Garcia – Languages and Linguistics

      Steven Golden – Health and Human Performance

      Brendon Hoch – Atmospheric Science and Chemistry

      Whitney Howarth – History, Philosophy, and Social Studies Education

      Amanda Hutchins – University Police

      Colleen Kenny – Information Technology Services

      Vedran Lelas – College of Business Administration

      David Mackey – Criminal Justice

      Patti May – Library and Academic Support Services

      Sandra McGarr – Admissions

      Thomas R. Morin – Atmospheric Science and Chemistry

      Steve Nichols – Sodexo

      Rebecca Noel – History, Philosophy, and Social Studies Education

      Holly Oliver – Music, Theatre, and Dance

      Angela Preisendorfer – Center for the Environment

      Geoffrey Tomlinson – Elementary Education and Childhood Studies

      Lisa Travis – Music, Theatre, and Dance

      Steven Whitman – Social Science

      Kerry Yurewicz – Biological Sciences

      15-Year Recognition

      Catherine Amidon – Museum of the White Mountains

      Karla Chierichetti – Registrar’s Office

      Michael Cosma – Information Technology Services

      Elizabeth Daily – Music, Theatre, and Dance

      Jane Davis – Mathematics

      Jeff Furlone – Dean of Students Office

      Timothy Gilmore – Music, Theatre, and Dance

      Michael Heffernan – Art

      Pom Hehir – Sodexo

      Wendy Hills – Health and Wellness Center

      Janice Johnson – Music, Theatre, and Dance

      Ginny Jordan – Sodexo

      Regina Kelly – Counseling and Human Relations

      Sandy Marrotte – Sodexo

      Geoffrey McGlone – Athletics

      Chris Mongeon – Sodexo

      Cyndy Mongeon – Sodexo

      Alice O’Connor – Academic Affairs

      Karen Sanders – Center for Young Children and Families

      John Scheinman – University Advancement

      Marianne True – Elementary Education and Childhood Studies

      John Ward – Physical Plant

      Elizabeth Wichland – Center for Student Success/Undergraduate Advising Center

      Metasebia Woldemariam – Communication and Media Studies

      Deborah Ziemba – Physical Plant

      20-Year Recognition

      John Bowen – Sodexo

      Ellen Braley – Physical Plant

      Kent Cherrington – Athletics

      Judith D’Aleo – Biological Sciences

      Abby Frizzel – Sodexo

      Stephen Gorin – Social Work

      Carol Jowdy – Art

      Dean Merrill – Physical Plant

      Paul Mroczka – Music, Theatre, and Dance

      Jonathan Santore – Music, Theatre, and Dance

      Kurt Schroeder – Social Science

      Richard Sparks – College of Business Administration

      Marguerite St. Laurent-Crowell – Atmospheric Science and Chemistry

      Susan Superchi – Physical Plant

      25-Year Recognition

      Carolyn Adams – Physical Plant

      Robin Cummings – Physical Plant

      Juanita Field – Psychology

      Jennifer Hall – University Advancement

      Philip Haskell – Information Technology Services

      Frank Kopczynski – College of Business Administration

      Lisa Ladd – Center for Student Success/Global Education Office

      Susan Lafreniere – Center for Young Children and Families

      Barbara McCahan – Health and Human Performance

      Lisa Prince – Marketing Communications and Creative Services

      Pahl Sharrow – Physical Plant

      30-Year Recognition

      Elaine Allard – Library and Academic Support Services

      Elaine Berry – Physical Plant

      Dick Bruce – Mail Services

      Constance Chesebrough – Music, Theatre, and Dance

      Robert Fitzpatrick – Library and Academic Support Services

      Susan Noel – Library and Academic Support Services

      Frank Olcott – Information Technology Services

      Deborah Tobine – Center for Student Success/Undergraduate Advising Center

      35-Year Recognition

      Nancy Aldrich – Center for Young Children and Families

      Roger Babin – College of Business Administration

      Dennis McManus – Athletics

      Diane Newberry – Financial Aid

      Mark Okrant – Social Science

      Ellen Shippee – Physical Plant

      Robert Swift – Music, Theatre, and Dance

      40-year Recognition

      Gail Carr – Center for Student Success/Continuing Education

      Mary Campbell – Undergraduate Studies

      45-year Recognition

      Christine Wilkie – Sodexo

      Program gives support, guidance to New Hampshire college applicants

      November 17th, 2014 by Heather

        Concord High School senior Irene Ireme grabbed the confirmation letter off the printer and flashed a wide smile. She had just applied to the University of Connecticut.

        By day’s end, Ireme expected to submit applications to Keene State College and Plymouth State University, with the help of an admissions counselor from Franklin Pierce University.

        She was one of 43 Concord High students who worked with an admissions counselor during the state’s first ever “College Application Week,” which kicked off yesterday in Concord. Together, the group submitted 83 applications, many of them to NHTI, Southern New Hampshire University, the University of New Hampshire, Keene State and Plymouth State.

        The application program, a partnership with the American Council on Education, will continue at six New Hampshire public schools this week. Counselors are expected to coach about 350 of the state’s high school seniors through the college application process and help with information about financial aid.

        “It’s encouraging,” said Ireme, who was the first student to hit “submit” on an application. “I didn’t know it was going to be so easy.”

        The application week is part of national “I’m Going to College” month, supported in New Hampshire by the state Department of Education, the New Hampshire Higher Education Assistance Foundation, the state’s public university and community college systems and the New Hampshire College and University Council. Launched in 2005, the American College Application Campaign now reaches 230,000 students, with a focus on first-generation and low-income students who otherwise would not apply for college.

        “The idea is to help traditionally low-income or first-generation students apply and submit a college application, and to encourage them and give them the confidence to do others,” said Tori Berube, assistant vice president of college planning at NHHEAF. “These students are sort of getting cradled and rocked through the application process.”

        In remarks televised on Concord TV, Hassan commended students who had applied or planned to apply to college, calling higher education “critical” to climbing the ladder of opportunity and building a strong 21st century workforce. By connecting higher education institutions with the business community, the state can benefit from a workforce that helps businesses grow, attracts new companies and keeps the state’s economy moving forward.

        Organizers hope to build on this year’s program, said Thomas Horgan, president and CEO of the New Hampshire College and University Council. “The primary purpose is to help high school seniors navigate the complex college admissions process and ensure they apply to at least one college this week,” he said.

        “Our hope is that all New Hampshire public high schools will participate in this important effort.”

        After submitting her first application, Ireme said she had been a little apprehensive about the process. Ireme, whose two older siblings are in college, did not hesitate to sign up for help with the application. “I figured, ‘Why not?’ ” she said. “It was cool to see my siblings walk across the stage and graduate and go to college. I thought it was something that I would want to do, too.”

        Ireme said she knows she wants to study nursing and doesn’t want to be far from her family in Concord.

        Max Fosier was preparing to apply to UNH, St. Anselm College and Wesleyan University. “I basically wanted to get it in and get it all done,” Fosier said. In addition to courses of study and location, Fosier needed to consider cost.

        “It’s really all of the above,” he said.

        The application support includes a financial component, Berube said.

        She cited the recently released annual report by the Project on Student Debt, which found New Hampshire’s college Class of 2013 had on average more debt than college graduates in any other state. New Hampshire graduates had an average of $32,795 in debt, compared with the national average of $28,400, according to the report.

        “That is definitely part of the discussion,” Berube said. “We never dissuade a student to apply to a certain school, but we help them understand the various financial aid packages available to them.”

        Hassan touched on the importance of college affordability, citing the tuition freeze across the university system and the per-credit cost reduction in the state’s community college system. Still, community college credits in New Hampshire are among the highest in the country.

        “Your state government is working on this with you, to hold the cost of higher education down,” she said. “We are going to continue to work together to make higher education more affordable and more accessible.”


        The Threepenny Opera

        November 16th, 2014 by Heather

          PLYMOUTH —The Department of Music, Theatre and Dance at Plymouth State University will bring to life the tale of Macheath (Mac the Knife) and his cronies, and the underbelly of early Victorian London, with their production of Bertolt Brecht’s The Threepenny Opera. Performances of ‘The Three Penny Opera’ in the studio theatre at the Silver Center for the Arts will be Thursday through Saturday, November 20–22 at 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, November 22 and 23 at 2 p.m.

          Director Sharon Rae Paquette says this “play with musical elements” tells a story, and in so doing illustrates social and cultural challenges not unlike what has become familiar in the U.S. over recent decades, with our citizenry decrying “the one percent,” bailed-out bank failures, and politics directed by the wealthy while the middle class withers and shrinks.” The Threepenny Opera depicts the subculture of cronyism and illegality that developed in London in the face of such challenges. American theatre critic Brooks Atkinson said, “The Threepenny Opera turns the accepted values of the good life upside down.”

          Composer Kurt Weill talked about “the importance of the sound-scape” in all his works, and Nadine Gordimer says, “Kurt Weill’s music is not an accompaniment to Brecht’s play, of course, but intrinsic to its conception.” Weill developed songs characterized by raw intensity for the play, setting “reality to music” with a 1920′s cabaret vibe. In fact, Threepenny likely inspired other plays such at Cabaret, Chicago and Urinetown.

          The Plymouth State production will be totally acoustic, without microphones, and with instruments such as harmonium, piano, banjo, guitar, saxophone, clarinet and drums. In the initial production, seven musicians played 23 instruments according to Professor Kathleen Arecchi, music director. Arecchi says the music is more challenging for the cast than it seemed at first introduction. “The melodies alone were easy to learn, but when put together with the accompaniment, the singers became quite disoriented initially,” she says. However, the dissonant music helps to set the time and place of the story.

          Tickets for the play are $21 for adults and $18 for seniors and youth at the Silver Center Box Office, (603) 535-2787 or (800) 779-3869. Tickets are also available online at silver.plymouth.edu.


          PSU hosting All New England Band Fest on Nov. 24

          November 13th, 2014 by Heather

            PLYMOUTH — The Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance at Plymouth State University will host the All New England Band Festival November 24 at the Silver Center for the Arts. The annual program will bring more than 200 high school students from across New England, along with their band directors, to the PSU campus.

            The concert will conclude a daylong event involving honor band members representing 65 high schools from all six New England states. The students were chosen from more than 400 who applied for the festival from a total of 80 high schools. Selection was based on students’ individual musical achievements while attending the schools they are representing. More than two-thirds of those selected have been members of their respective all-state band or orchestra.

            Dr. Jack Stamp is a guest conductor for the festival. Stamp is professor of music, department chair and director of band studies at Indiana University of Pennsylvania where he conducts the wind ensemble and teaches courses in graduate conducting. His compositions have been commissioned and performed by leading military and university bands across the United States.

            Professor Russell McCutcheon, also a guest conductor, is director of bands in the Sunderman Conservatory of Music at Gettysburg College. McCutcheon directs the Bullets Marching Band, and teaches conducting and music education courses. He also supervises student teachers in the field. Bands under his direction have performed in China, Singapore, England, Scotland, Italy and Switzerland.

            The festival bands will share the concert with the Plymouth State University Symphonic Band, conducted by PSU Professor Mark Stickney. The Symphonic Band will perform Jack Stamp’s “Gavorkna Fanfare,” “Choreography” by Robert Sheldon, “Shadow Falls” by Julie Giroux and “Illumination” by David Maslanka, among other works.

            Tickets for the concert are $8 for adults and youth and $6 for seniors at the Silver Center Box Office, (603) 535-ARTS or (800) 779-3869.


            Plymouth State names Leslie Castonia recipient of Patricia Storer Awards

            November 10th, 2014 by Lynn

              Laconia Citizen

              PLYMOUTH — Leslie Castonia has been named the 2014 recipient of the Patricia Storer Award by Plymouth State University. Jim Hundrieser, PSU’s Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, presented the award at a Nov. 7 ceremony. He noted Castonia has been an integral part of Plymouth State University for nearly 11 years as the Assistant Director of Admissions and is very deserving of the award due to her commitment to the institution.

              “Leslie’s dedication to Plymouth State expands far beyond her day-to-day job; she often works far into the evening and on weekends interacting with students and helping students build pathways to reach their goals,” said Hundrieser. “I really appreciate her genuineness of spirit and care she has for her coworkers.”

              “I’m very honored to be the 2014 recipient of the Pat Storer Award,” Castonia said. “I love working at Plymouth because of the strong sense of community. The Plymouth State Community energizes me on a regular basis. It is exciting to be in an environment where people respect others’ ideas and encourage everyone to have a voice and contribute. I have been in the Admissions field for over 20 years, and although many things have changed, it still comes down to making that connection with a student. Each student has their own unique story and it is so rewarding to help a student make that decision to have Plymouth be a part of that story.”

              The Patricia Storer Award was established in 2008 to honor a Plymouth State employee who exemplifies dedication, knowledge and respect in serving the students, staff and faculty at Plymouth State University. Storer was a longtime Plymouth State employee who, during her career, served in a variety of roles, including faculty member in the education department, dean of women students, associate dean of academic affairs, and registrar.

              Castonia has played a key role in developing PSU’s programs for attracting first-generation students, a critical part of the institution’s role in serving the region and state. Nearly 40 percent of Plymouth State undergraduates are the first people in their family to attend college.

              Castonia is a native of Reston, Va., and is an Ashland resident; she is married to Plymouth State head football coach Paul Castonia.


              PSU marketing students honor Michelle McEwen

              November 9th, 2014 by Lynn

                Laconia Citizen

                PLYMOUTH — The President and CEO of Speare Memorial Hospital was honored Nov. 5 by the Plymouth State University student group, Marketing Association of Plymouth State (MAPS). Michelle McEwen ’81, was named to the MAPS Alumni Hall of Fame at the Delta Mu Delta annual awards dinner. McEwen, a resident of the Plymouth area for nearly 30 years, said she was surprised and honored to be recognized by her alma mater.

                “I’m truly humbled by it,” McEwen said. “I think the experiences that I got here were wonderful; I had professors with real-life experience, they could apply what we learned from a textbook to their jobs, whether it was as a tax attorney or a CPA, that really helped. The small classes were also very helpful — it was more of a dialogue than a lecture, which is a great way to learn.”

                McEwen, a summa sum laude graduate of Plymouth State, is a certified public accountant who has lent her expertise to several local and regional boards of directors, including the Plymouth Chamber of Commerce, Foundation for Healthy Communities, Meredith Village Savings Bank and NH Mutual Bancorp. Previous to her leadership role at Speare Memorial Hospital, McEwen served as the Vice President for Finance at the New Hampshire Hospital Association and as manager at Ernst and Whinney, one of the world’s largest accounting firms.

                This was the seventh year the MAPS organization has named a PSU alumnus to their Hall of Fame at the annual Delta Mu Delta dinner, which also serves as a networking opportunity for PSU business students and alumni. Previous Hall of Fame recipients include Jason Lyon, ’94, CEO of the Common Man Family of Restaurants, Larry Haynes, ’86, President and CEO of the Grappone Companies and Plymouth business owner Scott Biederman, ’75.

                Delta Mu Delta is a business honor society that recognizes and encourages academic excellence of students at qualifying colleges and universities.

                MAPS is a student organization that provides the local community with fundraising and community service projects, partners with the Live, Work, and Innovate program, and organizes guest speaker events on campus. The mission of the association is to provide students with the opportunity to market themselves through real world business experience while giving back to their school and community.


                ‘Beehive Collection,’ collective approach alight on PSU

                November 6th, 2014 by Lynn

                  Artists collectives are gaining ground in creative circles around the globe, but groups can vary greatly in approach or intent.
                  Sometimes, the focus is on establishing a community that shares authorship of works. Sometimes it’s about giving members anonymity for controversial or political expressions. And in other instances, it’s about giving people the forum to challenge the very boundaries of what art is.

                  In “The Beehive Collection,” which opens with a reception from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 10, at Karl Drerup Art Gallery at Plymouth State University, the emphasis is on what it’s like to be part of this type of collaborative process. “The worker bees” of this collective take the traditional drawing medium into a contemporary framework to convey messages and ideas. All posters, banners, drawings and other works represent ideas and personal drawings from two to dozens of artists, depending on the piece.

                  A display of final and process art work, along with large banner pieces from the collective’s “Mesoamerica Resiste” project, will hang through Saturday, Dec. 13, at PSU.
                  “This exhibit will inspire us to imagine the diverse ways that the arts can motivate and activate local and global communities,” said the gallery’s director, Cynthia Robinson.

                  For example, “The True Cost of Coal” asks viewers to consider coal mining in relation to mountaintop removal and impact on Appalachian communities. “Mesoamérica Resiste,” nine years in the making, is a large printed graphic that chronicles grassroots organizing and community resilience from Mexico to Columbia, while also celebrating cultural and ecological diversity.

                  Students in the museum studies class “Objects and Collections,” led by PSU Professor of Art History Jayme Yahr, curated the exhibition. They were asked to “get close to the work, spend time with it, and create a map of what ideas you notice and how they connect to each other,” Yahr said.

                  As they sorted through the collected works, students shared comments about how the art was made, the work that went into it, how it relates to what they do in class, and how attached they were getting to some of the featured pieces.

                  Related programs include a popup exhibit in the Shoebox Gallery inside the Drerup Gallery with postcards created by elementary, high school and university students and members of the community creating works inspired by the words “bee,” “community” and “resilience.”

                  For more information, visit Plymouth.edu/gallery.

                  PSU students participate in ‘The Beehive Collective’ Exhibition at PSU

                  November 6th, 2014 by Lynn

                    PLYMOUTH — The Karl Drerup Gallery and Exhibitions Program at Plymouth State University presents “The Beehive Collective,” a collection of final and process art work, along with large banner pieces from the Collective’s Mesoamérica Resiste project from Nov. 10 through Dec. 13 in the Karl Drerup Art Gallery at PSU. A gallery opening will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 10.

                    The exhibition reveals what it is like to work in an artist collective, a model that is becoming widespread in the art world. Many collectives protect their members’ names, providing anonymity due to the nature of the issues and content of their work. Some artist collectives deal with issues that are political and controversial, while others challenge the boundaries of “what is art.” Still other collectives are more concerned with establishing a community of artists, sharing the authorship.

                    A significant portion of “The Beehive Collective” exhibition is showing the process of making art, and in this case the central process is drawing. The artist members of the Collective, “the worker bees,” take the traditional drawing medium into a contemporary framework to use the images to convey important messages and ideas. All posters, banners, drawings, etc. are created by the group with anywhere from two to dozens of artist’s ideas and personal drawings incorporated into the finished pieces.

                    “The True Cost of Coal” asks viewers to consider coal mining in relation to mountaintop removal and the resulting destruction of Appalachian communities.

                    “Mesoamérica Resiste” was nine years in the making. The large-format printed graphic tells stories of grassroots organizing and community resilience from Mexico to Columbia while also celebrating cultural and ecological diversity. This project has at its core the values of resilience, resistance and solidarity in relation to these communities.

                    “This exhibit will inspire us to imagine the diverse ways that the arts can motivate and activate local and global communities,” said Cynthia Robinson, gallery director.

                    Students in the PSU museum studies class Objects and Collections, led by Professor of Art History Jayme Yahr, curated the exhibition, arranging the works for display. Yahr says that for her, the project is about student engagement and hands-on work. It is also about making a collection of objects speak to the process of the Beehive and to the process of the viewer. She tasked the students to “get close to the work, spend time with it, and create a map of what ideas you notice and how they connect to each other.”

                    As they sorted through the collected works, students shared comments about how the art was made, the work that went into it, how it relates to what they do in class, and how attached they were getting to some of the works. One student said, “This is great. I’m getting an idea of how the art was made. … it must have taken so many hours.” Another commented, “We’ve been talking in class about how museums tell stories in exhibits. This is cool because it actually does tell a story. Now we get to plan how to set up that story for people.”

                    Students participating in the curatorial project are Stefanie DeSimone, a senior art education major from Orford; Michael Desroches, a senior history major from Stratham; Taylor Falcone, a junior early childhood studies major from New Fairfield, Conn.; Jeffrey Reynolds, a senior business administration major from Nashua; Marjorie Salvatore, a senior theatre arts major from New London and Rebecca White, a senior history major from Nashua.

                    Special gallery events connected to the exhibition include:

                    A popup exhibit in the Shoebox Gallery inside the Drerup Gallery throughout the exhibition includes postcards created by elementary, high school and university students and members of the community with a drawing, painting, collage, photo or mixed media composition on them in response to the words “bee,” “community” and “resilience.”

                    “The diversity of media, interpretations and creative thinking displayed in the wide array of postcard responses speak directly to the Collective’s universal values and the essential narratives of their graphic works,” Robinson concluded.


                    Plymouth State University acquires historical letters collection

                    November 6th, 2014 by Lynn

                      World War II sailor mailed letters to sister at Plymouth Teachers College

                      PLYMOUTH, N.H.– A collection of more than 200 letters mailed by an Ossipee sailor to his sister attending Plymouth Teachers College (PTC) during World War II has been donated to Plymouth State University.

                      The sailor, Edgar Eldredge, was stationed aboard the USS Rankin; he faithfully mailed letters detailing life in the Pacific Theatre to his sister Fran, an education major at Plymouth. The correspondence was donated to the University by Louis “Skip” Sander, Executive Director of the USS Rankin Association, an organization established to preserve the memory of the Rankin. The letters offer a fascinating glimpse of life aboard a ship during wartime, as well as a New Hampshire college town thousands of miles away.

                      “This collection is really a treasure, it is a snapshot of what they were doing, what was life was like on campus in the early 1940s,” said Plymouth State archivist Alice Staples. “Then there’s the larger picture, World War II, and what was going on; we don’t often get to understand what life was like in history-making times like that.”

                      Sander collects memorabilia about the Rankin and acquired the letters earlier this year through on online auction. When he started reading the letters, he was fascinated.

                      “It was like a book you couldn’t put down…it’s the diary of the life of a simple, country kid from New Hampshire; every two or three days this guy wrote a letter to his sister–that’s familial devotion,” Sander said. “There was lot in his correspondence about what was going on back home; he was interested in his grandfather’s activities, like selling bait at Lake Winnipesaukee, or the arrival of a new puppy. But he was really devoted to his sister, a real tight-knit family communicating with each other.”

                      “I bet it has been a swell summer around home, I sure know I could have enjoyed it plenty,” wrote Eldredge in 1945.

                      After researching the names and addresses on the letters, Sander, a Pittsburgh resident, contacted Staples and offered the University the collection.

                      “All of these letters were addressed to Plymouth Teachers College,” Sander noted. “Donating them just seemed like an obvious thing to do, so I contacted Alice Staples and she agreed.”

                      The letters, written in longhand on US Navy stationery, cover the years 1944-46. Eldredge was a deck seaman aboard the Rankin. His letters detail his activities as the ship went through training in amphibious operations, passed through the Panama Canal, and moved to the Pacific Theatre. Ultimately, the Rankin participated in the latter stages of the Battle of Okinawa. Edgar was in the Pacific when the U.S. used the atom bomb against Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In writing home in August, 1945, he optimistically hoped for hostilities to cease.

                      “The war will soon be over now that they have that new bomb and Russia has declared war on Japan,” Eldredge said.

                      Sander said Eldredge was discharged in mid-1946, and in his last letter he expressed hope that he would be home in time for his sister’s graduation from PTC in May, 1946.

                      Sander believes he made it in time.

                      “After he returned home, Eldredge went to trade school, learning about heating and plumbing systems, and he worked for a Moultonborough hardware store for many years,” Sander said. “Edgar eventually married one of Fran’s classmates, Norma Moulton, and their daughter, Susan, graduated from Plymouth State in 1974.”

                      Both Edgar and his sister Fran are deceased. Plymouth State University is transcribing the letters and will make them available to the public when that project is completed.



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