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The 24-hour Art Festival: FGCU students compete against each other and the clock

Florida Gulf Coast University’s Center For The Arts commenced its 7th annual 24-Hour Art Festival on Sept. 6. Students were provided a list of mandatory materials and several additional tools to be used as the substructure of their work.
From there, the participants were expected to turn these miscellaneous demands into a formulated creation. Each participant was given 24 hours to create his or her art in the medium of stage play, film, performance art, visual art, dance or music.
The obligatory theme was “At a distance, everything is comedy.” The necessary sentence was “He was flying apart in all directions,” and the plot fragment required that the subject of the artwork “uncover the truth that changes everything”.
Along with the usage of the mandatory theme, sentence and plot fragment, students were expected to include a list of random objects. These objects included a bucket, a monster, something melted, a white object, aisle of secrets, a red balloon and a broken record.
“It’s a great way to start the year with spontaneous creativity, said Berry Cavin, professor of theater at FGCU. They are wrestling with random ideas and working to express them in an organized idea.”
After racing the clock, students returned Sept. 7th to reveal their artwork to a panel of fi ve judges chosen based upon their creative and cultural experience. The judges included Frank Verpoorten, director and chief of The Baker Museum, Kristen Coury, founder and producing artistic director of Gulfshore Playhouse; Chris Silk, theater critic for the Naples Daily News; Amy Tardiff, station manager and news directors for WGCU; and Mike Kiniry, public relations director for the Lee County Alliance for The Arts.
After roughly 15 minutes of deliberation, the judges chose the fi rst place winners from each of the four categories: music, moving image, live theatre and static visual. The winners from each category were awarded a $500 scholarship toward their education at FGCU.
The money awarded came from the Mrs. Keith S. Benson Scholarship Fund. Mrs. Benson was known as a strong businesswoman who believed strongly in higher education and was driven to help students with continuing their education.
First place winners from the festival included Julianna Javier for visual art; Keagan Harvey, Caitlin Karcher, Courtney McDonald and Ronnie Buckley for moving image; Michael Bridges, Vishal Seemongal Nicole Oldja and Hanny Zuniga for live performance and Tim Bicknese, Brad Talbon, and Lisa Sidoran for music composition/performance.
The amount of interest in this event, by both students and the community, has been on a substantial upsurge since its debut seven years ago. However, even with the steady increase in recognition, the Center For The Arts is still striving for more participation by students who are musically inclined.
The intention for this event each year is to ignite a new semester with enjoyment and some friendly competition. “Any time I can combine joy and learning I want to be able to do so,” Cavin said.

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