Faith Raigul, Chair of the Idyllwild Arts Foundation Board, and Melonie Calderon, a citizen of San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, hold the award given to Idyllwild Arts Academy at the tribe’s 2013 Forging Hope Luncheon on March 26. The tribe presented the school with the YAWA Award in the category of Special Projects. Also pictured are Latisha Casas, San Manuel Business Committee member, and Carla Rodriguez, San Manuel chairperson (on the right) and Heather Companiott, director of the Idyllwild Arts’ Summer Program Adult Arts Center and Native American Arts Program and Gerald Clarke, consultant for the Native American Arts Festival and Visual Arts Department chair. Photo courtesy of Lydia Kremer
The Idyllwild community and the campus have a unique symbiotic relationship which truly takes a village to be successful.

Take a quirky family with oddball sensibilities, a small Southern town setting, throw in other assorted quirky characters and what you get is the hilarity of “The Miss Firecracker Contest,” which Theatre Department Chair Howard Shangraw and his gifted theatre students will present in several performances at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 19, Saturday, April 20, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 21.

Written by Pulitzer Prize and Academy Award-winner Beth Henley, this play is a hoot and is sure to delight and charm audiences with its folksy Southern culture and humorous plot twists.

“Henley deals with universal themes comically, yet insightfully. One of the re-occurring ideas in her plays is that sometimes we humans feel, like Carnelle (the lead character), that we can’t expect a whole lot out of this thing called life,” notes the play’s director Jeanette Knight.

Jeanette has taught acting and long-form improvisation for the Idyllwild Arts Theatre Department for many years and is an award-winning actor, director and choreographer. She has served as an artist-in-residence for the California Arts Council, Beaumont Actors Studio and the McCallum Theatre, where she also was its education program manager for nine years. She is the founder of Joe & Mustard, the long-form improvisational acting troupe.

The play is set in a small town in Mississippi and is wrought with small-town longings for a larger existence; such is the case with the lead character, Carnelle Scott, whose greatest ambition is to win the Miss Firecracker Contest.

Art in all its colors
The Visual Art seniors will also present a full schedule of events through the end of the spring semester. Several exhibitions will show the students’ best work in the culmination of their studies at Idyllwild Arts, and each show represents a variety of media, from ceramics, to photography, drawing, painting, sculpture and installation.

The Student Shows in Parks Exhibition Center are as follows:

  • Through April 13 — Visual Art Senior Show I:
    Featuring Kendall Ozmun, So Min Lee, YJ Yoon, Claire Markin, Holly Reinsch and Vivian To.
  • April 19 through 27 — Visual Art Senior Show II:
    Featuring Caleigh Torf, Charlie Siskin, June Huh, Jane Oh, Caroline Jang and Grace Shin. The opening reception will be 6 p.m. Friday, April 19.
  • May 3 through 11 — Visual Art Senior Show III:
    Featuring Zoe Ingram, Inga Gilbert, Franny Freeman, Yunah Kim and Anna Ahn. The opening reception will be 6 p.m. Friday, May 3.
  • May 17 through 25 — Visual Art Senior Show IV:
    Featuring Zienna Stewart, Peter Ding, Nadia Kim, Cooper Dai, Rei Mikatani and Delaney Clark. The opening reception will be 6 p.m. Friday, May 17.
  • The End of Year Visual Art Sale is scheduled for noon to 5 p.m., Friday, May 17.
  • Postscript
    Last week we were excited to report on Eric Lloyd Wright’s lecture about Sustainable Architecture. This will be 6 p.m. Friday, April 12.

    But we have even more good news to report on this family dynasty. His wife Mary Wright, an accomplished artist in her own “wright,” will also be visiting the Idyllwild Arts campus. She will present a Sustainable Watercolor Workshop from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 13, in the Ataloa Painting Studio. This workshop is open to the public.