Lyon College's annual Academic Day, a regional math and science competition co-sponsored by the Arkansas Council of Teachers of Mathematics will be on Saturday, March 2, on Lyon’s campus. Winners in the math portion will advance to the state competition, while all winners will receive recognition, awards, and scholarship consideration.
Check-in starts at 8:45 a.m., and testing begins at 10 a.m. Sponsors need to register students by February 22. Information is online at https://www.lyon.edu/academic-day or by calling Kristi Price, regional coordinator, at 870-307-7494.
"Academic Day at Lyon College is an esteemed competition where students can flex their mathematical and scientific muscle, while also experiencing a slice of college life and an overall very fun day,” said Price. “We encourage all regional junior and senior high students to get registered!"
The competition is open to any 7th-12th grader. Students need to contact their classroom math and science teachers or school guidance counselors or academic coaches. Students must be sponsored by their school.
Free lunch will be provided, and students are invited to participate in Spring Fest happening on campus that day. There will be live bands and food trucks.
Lyon College upperclassmen art students and the Batesville Area Arts Council (BAAC) will host the pop-up gallery “Art Walk” this Friday, February 8, from 5 to 7 p.m. on Main Street.
There will be two exhibitions, one group will be showing at the Lyon College Kilted Kiln on third street behind First Community Bank and a second group will be exhibiting on the third floor of the Landers Theater at 332 East Main. This event is free and open to the public. It will coincide with the exhibition: Different Invisible Lines by the Culture Shock Art Collective at BAAC.
According to Lyon’s Associate Professor of Art Dustyn Bork, the first exhibition at the Lyon College Kilted Kiln will be focused around humanity through various media and perspectives. Kacy Perkins will be using sugar as a medium to experiment with proportions and ideas revolving around beauty. Morgun Henson will be using embroidery to create a self-portrait and to use color to express the sensation of emotions. McKinley Streett will be exploring the abstracting process of death through sculptures of dead flies.
“These pieces together act as representations of the artists and their qualms dealing with the human experience,” said Bork. “Kacy [Perkins] focuses on struggling with the unrealistic standards of beauty that take over the media by taking this concept to extremes. Morgun [Henson] focuses on art as a form of self- expression through colors and needle work. McKinley [Streett] focuses on dead flies to bring attention to their unexpected beauty by immortalizing them into sculptures. Together this series acts as a unit about life and the artists’ individual understandings of it.”
The second exhibition on the third floor of the Landers Theater showcases the work of Hannah Qualls, Charlie Gills, and Madison Bangert. Qualls spent the fall semester re-envisioning an original work of fiction into a visual novel, creating a handmade comic book. Gills has remodeled toy dolls using paint, fabric, and clay to create new figures with unique features. Madison Bangert will be exploring unexpected horror in various scenes in 2D.
“Madison [Bangert] focuses on the abnormal in various ways as a series to show the absurdity of life,” said Bork.
Photo by Dr. David Thomas
Earlier in January, Lyon College senior art student Nichole Cook, ‘19, applied for a STEM Minority grant from the Arkansas Space Grant Consortium (ASGC), and her proposal was granted.
Under the advisement of biology professor and Cavers of the Batesville Region of Arkansas (COBRA) Grotto president, Dr. David Thomas, Cook will document Thomas’s caving research team in local Ozark caves. In order to photograph in caves, Cook needed appropriate camera and lighting equipment, which the STEM Minority grant helped to provide.
“I never would have imagined applying for a NASA-related grant,” Cook explained in her proposal to the ASGC. “However, I now believe that my artistic perspective of caving appeals to NASA’s vision to ‘reach for new heights and reveal the unknown for the benefit of humankind.’ I hope to document cave life and the research my team is doing to expand our understanding of life not only on Earth, but throughout the cosmos.”
But how did an art and English double major develop an interest in speleology, the study and exploration of caves?
“I put off taking my lab science credit until the fall of my senior year, and landed myself in BIO 110 with Dr. Thomas,” said Cook. “He mentioned in class one day that beginners were welcome to come on an upcoming caving trip, and on a whim I decided to try it. When I first set foot in Coon Creek Cave, I was shocked at the beauty of the actinobacteria-coated walls and ceiling of the cave. The reflected light of my headlamp made them look like stars in a dark sky. I was hooked from that first cave, and every chance I got I went out with his speleology class.”
Thomas took note of Cook’s interest in caving and photography and encouraged her to apply for the grant.
“I knew that she had an interest in photography and was looking for something to do for her senior [art] project,” said Thomas. “I found out that there were student STEM Minority grants still available at the December ASGC meeting and suggested to Nichole that she should apply for one. The proposal was enthusiastically received by the ASGC board.”
When Cook and Thomas found out her proposal was granted, they said they were both pleased.
“I was very proud and satisfied that she received it,” said Thomas. “She spent a lot of effort on her proposal and application. Most of these grants go to students in STEM majors. She was able to tie in the art of photography to the sciences of speleology and astrobiology.”
Cook said, “Frankly, I was astonished that I actually got it. I was just really happy and extremely excited at the opportunity to further my skill and experience with these two things that I love and share it with both STEM and liberal arts audiences.”
Cook will also use her photography for her art senior thesis project, among her other interests.
“I've since used my caving experience in my poetry, art, and I am now excited to be working with Dr. Thomas and the research team and presenting at the STEM conference in April.”
Cook will present at ASGC’s annual symposium on April 19.
On Monday, as part of Lyon College’s DREAM Week 2019, the College hosted Scots Servant-Leadership Day in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
Associate Dean of Student Life and Director of Diversity Lai-Monté Hunter led the events of the day, including assembling care packages and writing letters for Operation Gratitude, and marching across campus, concluding with a Unity Circle ceremony.
“The vision of Scots Servant-Leadership Day,” Hunter explained, “is to strengthen our community by offering our individual time and talents.”
A total of 105 members of the Lyon community prepared care packages and wrote letters of appreciation to various “heroes” for Operation Gratitude, an organization striving to connect Americans to military and first responders through service projects. According to Hunter, these letters were addressed to deployed troops, veterans, recruits, and first responders. Hunter hopes that these letters will “positively impact lives beyond our campus and remind our public servants that they are appreciated.”
Following the assembly of care packages and writing of letters, Hunter said that “participants from various generations reflected on the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by marching together across campus and rededicating [themselves] to the dream through a Unity Circle ceremony.”
“As a beneficiary of the dream, I find it an honor and privilege to assist in creating opportunities to continue the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr,” said Hunter. “He was a pillar in our community with a voice that echoed an everlasting message of freedom and equality for everyone.”
Lyon College recently started a pottery studio in historic downtown Batesville on 309 East Main Street. Formerly Main Street Pottery, the new Lyon College Kilted Kiln will now offer pottery classes for class credit and workshops for the local community. Main Street Pottery owners Karen and Jeff Bailey have agreed to lease the studio and its equipment to the College for two years.
Associate Professor of Art Dustyn Bork worked with the Baileys to lease the studio and said he is excited about what the studio can offer Lyon students.
“This is an amazing opportunity for students to learn traditional skills in hand-building and thrown pottery,” said Bork. “It is also a unique opportunity in that it gets students off campus and puts us in a thriving downtown... I am thrilled by the close proximity it puts our students to the historic Batesville downtown with its many great restaurants, shops, and galleries.”
Beginning and advanced courses will be offered each semester to students. This semester, Chad Graves will teach a studio ceramics class.
Graves, who has a B.F.A. focused in ceramics, said he plans to teach the students several aspects of pottery, besides teaching students “how to throw.”
“We will also explore hand building, sculpture, tiles, glazing, and kiln firing,” said Graves. “I plan to take some students out to a local place and prospect clay from the ground. This will help them see the whole process from the ground to the fine art finish.”
Students are also excited about the new opportunities they will have with the studio. Senior art student Victoria Hutcheson will serve as an assistant in the ceramics class this semester. She recently completed an independent study in ceramics with Karen Bailey and now gets to continue her study as the assistant.
“This studio will give students the opportunity to expand into a medium that is generally not as well-known coming from a high school education,” said Hutcheson. “It also gives students who are not declared art majors the chance to expand their interests and potentially grow an interest in an art major or minor.”
Hutcheson said she wants to become an art therapist after she graduates, and having a background in ceramics will help prepare her for this goal.
“On most of my graduate schools [applications], ceramics was listed as a specific requirement along with several other mediums that I needed to have experience with,” said Hutcheson. “This allowed me to be more well-rounded and experienced when applying to graduate schools and hopefully be a more competitive candidate.”
The pottery studio will also partner with the Batesville Area Arts Council to offer community workshops. For more information, visit https://www.batesvilleareaartscouncil.org/classes--workshops.
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