Pasco-Hernando Community College's Art and Culture Week returns for its second year with even more offerings for students and the community.
Art and Culture Week was created by Mike Sadusky, a retired professor of sociology and religion, and David Kastner, U.S. liaison to the Japan International Artists Society and art instructor. Sadusky and Kastner had worked together on the college's Peace Week committee, which plans and organizes the annual themed week featuring lectures about peace. Their work with Peace Week gave them the idea to start a similar event celebrating art and culture.
"The important thing is to introduce students and the community to cultural events or cultural experience," Kastner said. "In an academic environment, this refers to experience and lectures and expanding the academic environment beyond the classroom and its specific courses."
"It's a global society," said Associate Dean of Student Activities and Engagement Bob Bade. "The more we can expose our students to different art and culture, we're doing our job as a college when we bring this type of activities to them."
Art and Culture Week includes festivals celebrating Hispanic, Caribbean, and Asian cultures, food, music, art, lectures and more. Following the popularity of last year's hands-on painting activity, this year's event debuts a hands-on clay spinning class led by Kastner and University of North Florida art professor Trevor Dunn.
"As a teacher, I know that there are a lot of people who are fascinated with the process of throwing clay," Kastner said. "I'm confident that this will be a very popular hands-on experience for students."
Bade thinks the clay spinning will be fun to watch.
This year's keynote speaker is Terry Barrett, an art professor at Ohio State University, who will present the lecture "Criticizing Photographs: An Introduction to Understanding Images." Kastner, who uses Barrett's textbook in his photography classes, hopes to have Barrett critique some student photos after the lecture.
One of Kastner's students, Marco Hancock has even taken off from his job at Home Depot to see Barrett's lecture. "I've come to realize how important his works are," Hancock said. "Learning how to properly criticize an image has helped me to identify the weaknesses in my own pictures."
Another of Kastner's students, Joshua Milford, is excited to see Barrett and experience the other events during Art and Culture Week. "It can be a bit mind-numbing going from class to class that requires nothing but book knowledge," Milford said. "There's another half of the brain dedicated to creativity, and holding an Art and Culture Week is a great way to stimulate this second half. "
Samantha Fuchs can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 869-6235.
This article has been revised to reflect the following clarification: Photographs by Pasco-Hernando Community College students Marco Hancock and Joshua Milford will be shown Tuesday during the keynote lecture by Terry Barrett at PHCC's Art and Culture Week. The captions that appeared with the original version of this story were unclear about when the work would be displayed.