F.A.M.E. Bringing Artists Together to Benefit All

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No need to head to New York City or Toronto for a major film fest… it’s all here at Genesee Community College with WNY F.A.M.E. (Film, Art and Music Event)! Take a break from studying on September 15-17, 2017 to enjoy more than 75 movies, music videos and short films, live music competitions, game show, raffles, workshops, and more at the upcoming F.A.M.E. Event! Entry is free before 5 p.m., after 5 o’clock tickets are $10 for a single block and $25 for the VIP Festival Pass. You can visit www.wnyfame.com to view dates and times, as well as purchase your ticket ahead of time.

 

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F.A.M.E. is run under Beaver Alley Studios, a nonprofit organization. It was created by Rhonda Parker, a former GCC student, and her husband Mark. The organization was established for the purpose of production, promotion, distribution, exhibition and celebration of all art forms especially those from a female perspective. Their main goal is “helping people to follow their dreams.” 

 

I got the opportunity to speak with Rhonda and learn more about her, and her organization. Rhonda is an award winning writer and director, and her love for the arts is what led her to Beaver Alley Studios, her goal being to “bring artists together to benefit all.”

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Beaver Alley Studios was formed in 2014. Originally it was called Kaleidoscopic Productions, but it was changed to its in 2015, they felt Beaver Alley’s Production was easy to spell and more memorable. They chose the name because of the “ironic undertones of female empowerment,” and Rhonda says in every project they create there is at least one scene on the brick road of Albion’s Beaver Alley. Rhonda says her favorite part about working within her own company is being able to follow their visions, and all of the people she has met along the way. She says they have taught her so much both directly and indirectly, and she loves being able to create with the variety of people she’s met during her time with Beaver Alley Studios.

 

Rhonda studied at GCC from 2012-2015, she began as a Paralegal major, with the main goal of being able to help her family with civil rights violations, however her paralegal knowledge also helped her with paperwork when creating her nonprofit organization. However after meeting Barry Chow in a scuba diving class, she learned of all of the different courses GCC has to offer. This led to her interest in film. She later added a second major studying Communications-Media Art. Rhonda says her love for art was not all that spontaneous, it actually started as a child. She has always loved drawing and writing. She wrote her first script in high school, and even turned some of her scripts into films for school projects. It was the inspiration in her early adulthood years that led to her taking script writing more seriously.

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‘Friends Don’t Let Friends Date Friends” was written as a “somewhat autobiographical version of events at a time when I hung out in coffee shops writing poetry,” says Rhonda. The talent she met while directing “Friends Don’t Let Friends Date Friends,” eventually led to her experimentation with short film. Her second feature was with Lonely Bananas where she was given the opportunity to work with over 30 of the best area actors, writers and entertainers. She stepped out of her comfort zone for her third feature, “Message in a Bottle,” which premiered on September 15, in Movie Block 4.

 

Next Rhonda hopes to embark on uncharted waters with the psychological thriller “Lifeboat.” Through her work with Beaver Alley Studios she continues to work to grow the audience base for local artists. Her hopes for this year’s event are to increase public participation, and to create a more relaxed environment for attendees.


Don’t forget the event is free before 5 p.m., so why not stop by and see all that Rhonda Parker and her Beaver Alley Studios team has to offer. Also make sure to purchase your movie block, or VIP Festival Pass ahead of time, and join the fun!

 

GCC Art Exhibit Revealed

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From all the new things here I bet viewing art is the top priority on your list, right?  No?  To the freshmen and other newbies that have came here I suggest giving it a shot. The exhibit is high quality, took years to produce and will give you more than just an experience viewing nice pictures, with notices on the walls to find how some were made, and why most of the photographs have a man, standing alone, with an orange cap in them.

The grand opening was back on September 11th where I watched over a dozen people help themselves to melted sherbet juice, and an assortment of cookies, in formal dresses to dress shirts, all engaged in pleasant conversation.  The art gallery here has some kind of following!  Its pleasantly surprising, and caught me off guard.  The exhibits focus on various faculty artists.  I’m not surprised the last, and perhaps the largest, showing was the photos from a professor Joe Z.  Adviser to the photography club and traveling artist.  He was able to tell me about the photos that came from Tonowanda to Okinawa.  This project started two years ago when he asked for the funds to be able to travel, and since then  has brought the grand opening in the paper, and been taking artists statements for this.  He has been doing this since 1988, and the quality of work is something that I can’t deny, even as a noobile art critic, is incredible.  He invites any and all who have an interest in the arts to join the photography club, even if photography or art is not the profession they’re seeking, including me.  You may have missed the drinks and cookies but this is only the first act.

I bet you’re wondering then, ” Well I missed the event.  What now?”.  Joe plans no new art exhibits in the near distant future but when I asked how could anybody get involved with art on campus, or in the area, he told me a few places to stop by.  The first is the Goart.org, which is held by the Genesee-Orleans regional arts council.  You can donate on the page or involve yourself with any of their activities locally.  The place has a gallery posted up, but you need to schedule an appointment from 9-4 from Monday to Friday.  It’s a bit classy.  If that doesn’t hit anything, how about art Fridays?  Look up first Fridays for Rochester and Buffalo on the almighty google.  Every first friday of the month some art shows and activities are held at local galleries at each city.  The best part is that it’s free.  The last is the Allen Street Art Festival where there is sure to be food, crafts and good time, that is though when it actually shows.  The festival is a yearly event so keep your eyes peeled for that one.

Even though I’ve only been here for little over three weeks, I can tell the people here are kind and dedicated to their arts and crafts (forgive the pun).  In all seriousness though, show up sometime to the Roz Steiner gallery or anything else around here.  It really is a rare gem on campus and as Joe said ” It’s really nice to see young people here.”

OC87 – The Obsessive Compulsive Major Depression Bipolar Asperger’s Movie

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Filmmaker Bud Clayman’s documentary is a personal story with universal relevance – a wildly original documentary of pain and vulnerability, empowerment and his quest for belonging.

Throughout his youth, Bud’s future was filmmaking. After college he headed to Hollywood in search of a break. Instead he had a breakdown. Thirty years later, in an effort to reclaim and share his story, he made the movie of his life.

“I want people to understand,” says Clayman, “there is more to mental illness than pain and problems. My recovery is about acceptance and getting on with life.”

On Thursday May 1, The Mental Health Association in Genesee County and the Reel Mind Theatre & Film Series presents OC87, The Obsessive Compulsive Major Depression Bipolar Asperger’s Movie by Bud Clayman in the Stuart Steiner Theatre at 7pm. Doors open at 6:30 pm.

After the screening, there will be a question and answer session with Bud Clayman, Co-Director Glenn Holsten, and Clinical Director at the Rochester Psychiatric Center Dr. Larry Guttmacher, M.D.

There will be an additional screening for students from 12:30pm – 2pm. Suggested donations for both showings is $5.

For more information, call the Mental Health Association in Genesee County: (585) 344-2611

This project is made possible through the Reach Grant Program, a decentralization regrant program administered by the Genesee Orleans Regional Arts Council.

3rd Annual Fine Arts Festival

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ArtsFest_homepage2The third annual Fine Arts Festival offers numerous free workshops demonstrating creative endeavors such as drawing, painting, origami, printmaking, weaving and a carnival style photo booth!

The annual event highlights GCC’s dynamic Fine arts program and gives people of all ages the opportunity to explore different artistic media and also meet GCC’s faculty in the fine arts and photography.

The Fine Arts Festival is free and open to the general public.

Event Details: 

Thursday April 3
10:00 am – 2:00 p.m.
Forum Stage
Batavia Campus

Student Art Showcases

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GCC students enrolled in Fine Arts Courses at the Batavia Campus Center and Albion Campus Center are working hard as the semester comes to a close!

On Friday, March 21, the Roz Steiner Art Gallery will feature the work of our students in two opening receptions, the first from 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm and the second from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm. Refreshments will be served throughout the evening, and select pieces will be for sale.

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The Roz Steiner Art Gallery is located at the Batavia Campus, 1 College Road, Batavia NY 14020.

Stay up to date on what’s happening at the Art Gallery on Facebook!

The Albion Campus Center Student Art Show Opening Reception will be held on Thursday, April 24 from 5 pm – 6:30 pm, with refreshments provided. The reception will be held at:

Albion Campus Center
Student Lounge and Room 17
456 West Ave
Albion, NY 14411

Can’t make either reception? Not a problem. Students’ work will be on display for the remainder of the semester in both locations.

Fashion Forward – Genesee Community College’s 32nd Annual Fashion Show, 2013

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Fashion Forward Poster

Our Perfectly Imperfect World

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“Equality is not in regarding different things similarly, equality is in regarding different things differently.” Tom Robbins. In our age of political correctness we have the tendency to overcompensate in the name of equality.  We stifle our own  preferences, turn a blind eye to differences, and make one size fits all solution to every problem.  In the interest of being fair we have stopped treating  people as individuals. It certainly seems like no harm can come from passing laws with the good intention of making things fair for everyone. The problem is, you cannot rid the world of hate and inequality by passing laws. All you succeed in doing is making it invisible.

 

The government seems intent on passing more laws. Tougher gun laws will certainly stop crime. Problem being, criminals do not follow the law, so more likely the result will be less law abiding citizens with guns. Our nation is unhealthy and overweight. so, the government responds with  heavy taxes on cigarettes and tax penalties, for going without health insurance. Surely hitting people in their wallet will encourage  them to do the “right” thing. There is no chance its just going to succeed in making the poor people poorer. Our nation is in a war against obesity, so they try to pass laws to ban happy meal toys and super-sized fries and drinks. Clearly Americans need the governments intervention in order to  make good choices.  

 

Lois Lowry creates a world where it is considered impolite to point out peoples differences, in her young adult novel, “The Giver”.  The book shows the benefits and sacrifices of a world of “sameness.”  The government makes all the choices for the residents, to be certain no one makes a mistake. What is left is a Utopian society without crime, acclimate weather, or even pain. Even the people all look the same, because differences in color have been eliminated.  Granted, this is with the good intention of ending discrimination, but it seems a  few steps too far. This book portrays a possible future if we continue to allow the government to limit our freedom of choice, under the guise of doing whats best for us.

 

 I’m not saying that the concept of a world without hunger and disease, natural disasters, and hate, isn’t worth striving for. But I am saying it is simply not possible to legislate morality. I may think its bad to smoke, eat fast food, and own guns, but that doesn’t mean I want to infringe upon other peoples rights. Further, I am not willing to trade my freedom of choice for someone else’s idea of right and wrong. Maybe you could care less about these issues, but the next rights that the government wants to infringe on might be something that is important to you.

 

The point is, there is not a one sized fits all answer to our problems. Complex problems require complex solutions. I think instead of trying to solve the world by looking around, we look within. Instead of trying to change everybody else, work on changing yourself. Don’t look at the fast food on your neighbors plate, and judge…look at your own, and be thankful there is something on it. Don’t look with jealously on the good fortunes of others; I’m sure, you honestly wouldn’t want to take it away. Know that fate smiles on us all at different times, in different ways, and soon you will see the gifts you have been bestowed. Soon, you will realize you do not want the same life as everyone else. You want a life as rare and wonderful as the person in charge of it…YOU.