Archive for February, 2016

“Grammar”: A Q&A with Professor and Artist Matthew Gamber

February 18th, 2016 by arouel16

In this Q&A, Matthew Gamber, Assistant Professor for the Visual Arts Department at Holy Cross,  discusses his decade-long project and how students, faculty, and staff at Holy Cross have responded to the exhibition. “Grammar” runs through February 27 at the Cantor Art Gallery.

Photo by Tom Rettig

Photo by Tom Rettig

 What would you say was your inspiration for this exhibition? 

This exhibition is a survey of artwork I’ve made over the last decade. This exhibition was a rare opportunity to display past photography projects in one gallery. Even all of the projects are realized in different media, there is a conceptual uniformity–linking ideas about photography and its relationship to perception, history, and language. Roger Hankins (director for the Cantor Art Gallery) and I conceptualized the exhibition as a book-on-the-wall, where the artwork is integrated in a way it might appear in a page layout.

You describe your project as a “response to changing syntax throughout the history of photography.” What are some of the ways your exhibition approaches this “changing syntax”? 

William Ivins noted that representational photography (in comparison to other print media) is defined by its apparent lack of syntax–a set a marks made by the interpreter’s hand, which characterized all previous methods of visual reproductive media. When he made this observation, photography was seen as a vehicle for direct representation since the images it produced were created by mechanical means, and was therefore more objective. However, photography’s syntax is larger, and more encompassing, involving the technology (along with the culture and economy) in which its images are made. Each camera type and printing process distorts the data it records in identifiable ways. This exhibition, in part, is about emphasizing the particular syntax of different photographic media as a space for creative expression.

How do you wish viewers to respond to this project? Should they go into the exhibition with any sort of expectation or should they prepare themselves in any way?

My hope is that viewers will leave with a heightened awareness about how we use photography for communication–utilizing it for not only documentation, but also for misdirection and humor, as well as knowledge creation and myth making.

How have viewers responded to the exhibition thus far?

The response has been positive, with great feedback has from faculty, staff, and students. It’s been nice to hear unexpected comments in conversation, often in passing between classes. While a full understanding of conceptual overview of the show requires careful reading, there is a lot of area for the casual viewer to interact.

Learn more about Matthew Gamber’s exhibition in his recent interview with the Worcester Telegram and Gazette.

The Cantor Art Gallery is located in O’Kane Hall, 1st Floor, College of the Holy Cross, One College Street, Worcester, Mass., 01610. Hours are Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturday noon – 5 p.m. For additional information please call 508-793-3356 or visit the Gallery’s website.

Holy Cross Dance Ensemble: A Q&A with Lauren Campson ’16 and Carly O’Brien ’17

February 15th, 2016 by arouel16

Dance Ensemble is made up of approximately 30 dancers who perform in a variety of styles including tap, hip-hop, jazz, ballet, contemporary, and lyrical. We have three shows a year: Our Family Weekend Show, our Benefit Show, and our Spring Show. Our Dance Team, which is also under the umbrella of Dance Ensemble, performs at the football games and basketball games on campus.

What do you love most about being in Dance Ensemble?

What we love most about Dance Ensemble is that we are able to express our love for dancing while still being dedicated students. Dance Ensemble allows us to continue to use dance as an outlet and challenges our creative thinking through choreographing and working with such a large group. DE is also a very close-knit group and strong support system for every member. We are also student-run, allowing each officer to play a big role in the organization of the ensemble. Both of us have met some of our closest friends while on DE and we have loved seeing every member grow through DE.

What is special about this year’s Benefit Show?

This year’s benefit show is special because all of the proceeds we raise will go to the JED foundation. This foundation is instrumental in promoting emotional health and preventing suicide among college and university students. Because the JED foundation is focused on supporting our specific age group, we thought it would be a great foundation to give back to. We hope that our show will help others to acknowledge that mental health issues are prevalent among college campuses and that we must act in order to help the individuals that need us to listen.

In addition to the wonderful cause we are supporting, the benefit show is special because there will be performances by a capella groups Fools on the Hill and Sons of Pitches. We are so excited for these two groups to be featured in our show because it shows how the performing arts groups on campus support one another. We also have class dances in our benefit show. These dances allow all members of the class of 2017, 2018 and 2019 to get together with their respective classes to choreograph a dance that includes dancers from all different styles within DE. Don’t worry, we didn’t forget about our seniors; their class dance is in our spring show.

Upcoming Performance: Friday, February 19th @ 7pm in the Hogan Ballroom  

-Lauren Campson ‘16 & Carly O’Brien ‘17, Co-Chairs of HCDE

A Capella Profile: Chris Fernandez ’18 of Sons of Pitches

February 11th, 2016 by arouel16


Group: Sons of Pitches


Members: Robbie Amesbury ’16, Brian Ott ’16, Pat O’Konis ’16, Quinn McGee ’16, Brian Nasto ’17, Charlie Schufreider ’17, Alec Davis ’17, Derek Kunz ’17, Christopher Fernandez ’18, Dalton Weir ’18, Nate Donahue ’19, Joe Portch ’19, Hawar Haddadi ’19, and Michael Lyons ’19

Tell us a little bit about yourself, Chris.

I’m from West Hartford CT and a sophomore. I joined Sons my freshman year on a whim. I had no intention of joining an a capella group, but was persuaded by Pat O’Konis to audition at the co-curricular extravaganza. He told me “The worst thing that can happen is you have the best time of your life” and that claim has held true.

Who are Sons of Pitches and what is your ensemble all about?

Sons is one of the all-male a capella groups here at Holy Cross. We perform a long list of songs that ranges from the Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows” to MKTO’S “Bad Girls.” The primary goal of Sons is to brighten peoples’ day with a song or two. Our aim is to put a smile on everyone’s face who attends our performances.

What do you love most about singing in Sons of Pitches?

What I love most about singing in Sons of Pitches is that no matter how challenging my day has been I can go to rehearsal and just let everything go. During rehearsal I get to relax, and for those few hours a week I don’t have a care in the world because I am surrounded by my friends while making some amazing music.

What’s it like being a part of the a capella community on campus?

Holy Cross has a very large a capella community for a school our size. I think that it’s great to be a part of such a thriving community. Each group on campus is unique; we all bring something different to the table. The diversity amongst the groups allows for us to learn new things based off of what the other groups are doing.

What’s your favorite song to perform and why?

My favorite song to sing with Sons is “Bad Girls” by MKTO. This song allows the full potential of Sons to be unleashed. It provides us with the opportunity to be the goofballs that we all are. Another reason why I enjoy this song is the arrangement itself. Our musical director Brian Nasto does a great job creating arrangements, and his arrangements of “Bad Girls” contains intricate lines that are fun to sing and interesting to listen to.

If you could describe Sons of Pitches in three words, what would those be and why? 

If I had to describe Sons in three words it would have to be: goofy, talented, and family. Sons’ primary goal is to perform to the best of our ability while putting a smile on everyone’s face, and we believe the best way to do so is by unleashing our inner goofball. Although Sons is an a capella group, more than anything it’s a family.

Upcoming Performances: Every Sunday @ 10:10pm in CoolBeans

-Chris Fernandez ’18