|August 1, 2004
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“Beyond Hammonton” Recalls Days When Books Were Works of Art
A truly remarkable book has been created by Michael McGarvey, Professor of Art, and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Stephen Dunn, Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing.
More than three years in the making, the pair collaborated on Beyond Hammonton, a chapbook of classic Dunn poems about South Jersey that McGarvey made by hand on a 19 th century vintage printing press he purchased and installed in the basement of his Port Republic home.
“All I can say is that Michael did a superb job and I’m happy to have such a handsome book,” said Dunn, who won the 2001 Pulitzer for poetry for his Different Hours collection. Dunn said a chapbook is a short, usually thematically related grouping of poems. “I selected the poems and in a sense, that’s where my involvement ended.”
For McGarvey and his wife Denise, who is an assistant at the Stockton Art Gallery and helped with the printing process, the painstaking work was just beginning.
In an ironic juxtaposition of technologies, McGarvey designed his original illustrations on a computer and then made woodcuts of each to use on the printing press. The scenes are local wooded areas, marshes, piers, and images of family and friends.
In a published interview, he likened each woodcut to “a sculpture, because there’s only so much wood to work with.”
McGarvey hand set the rows of lead type and dampened each sheet of hand-made Italian paper before making the print with the vintage, hand-cranked press. “That moment...of making an impression with that beautiful dampened paper seems special (but) it is not unique,” he was quoted as saying. “In a few minutes you are going to make another one.”
The result is a stunning volume that is as much a piece of art as a mere book. McGarvey printed only 100 of them; each is numbered and signed by McGarvey and Dunn. The $250 price tag hasn’t slowed sales at all.
For more information on Beyond Hammonton call McGarvey at (609) 748-2928 or e-mail email@example.com.
Stockton Dancers Draw Raves at the Kennedy Center
The Stockton Dance Company performed at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. recently. The prestigious occasion was the National American College Dance Festival, held this year from June 1-3.
Stasia Botis, a senior Dance/Biology double major from Cinnaminson, and Jaclyn Taylor, a senior speech pathology major/dance minor from Lincoln Park charmed the Kennedy Center audience with a beautiful performance of “The Locket,” which was choreographed and designed by Associate Professor of Dance, Henry Van Kuiken.
“This festival is a national honor, and we all knew this particular performance had to be great,” Van Kuiken said. “We never discussed this fact, but just before the curtain, one of the dancers whispered to me, ‘OK, this audience is mine!’ And they went out and knocked ‘em dead!”
The National Festival is a preeminent event for dance in higher education. It is presented by the American College Dance Festival Association and made possible by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. “The Locket” was honored as one of only five works chosen to represent the Mid-Atlantic region at the Festival. The event is held biennially to highlight the quality of choreography and performance that is being created on college and university campuses on a national level. More than 280 institutions are members of the Festival Association, organized into nine regions.
“We tend to focus on the moment of the performance, but it is important to remember we did not get to the Kennedy Center alone,” Van Kuiken said. “It was a labor of love on the part of the Stockton faculty and staff who worked behind the scenes. Nada Punosevic tailored two glorious 18 th century gowns for a 21 st century dance and helped translate the costumes into the soul of the characters. Rob Davidson edited the sound score, and Robert Zeir took my sketches for the set and created two-dimensional tea tables and service that defined the stage space. Rob Johnson did the original PAC lighting design which Professor Mark Mallett translated for the Kennedy Center stage. It took quite a few people to make this happen.”
Southern Regional Institute Leaves Stockton’s Imprint Throughout Region
“Stockton on the Shore” is the name we’ve given our initiative to leave the Richard Stockton College’s “footprints” throughout the South Jersey region. We do this in many ways including our new Carnegie Library Center satellite location in Atlantic City and the “Stockton Goes to the Beach” Summer Concert Series.
There might not be a finer example of “ Stockton on the Shore” than the Southern Regional Institute and Educational Technology Training Center (SRI/ETTC) which recently relocated to a 6,000-sq. ft. headquarters in Mays Landing. The SRI/ETTC is headed by Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Harvey Kesselman, himself a Stockton graduate and member of the charter class at the Mayflower Hotel in Atlantic City. A consortium of 73 school districts, as well as public and private organizations, SRI/ETTC represents over 82,000 students from pre-kindergarten through 12 th grade.
“We have grown a great deal in a short period of time, and there doesn’t seem to be a limit for the demand for our services,” Dr. Kesselman says.
The SRI/ETTC provides training opportunities in the latest instructional technology, computers, telecommunications and distance learning, and has already trained more than 8,000 teachers.
Membership includes every public and non-public school district in Atlantic County, every public school district in Cumberland County, and numerous government, non-profit agencies, charter schools, and colleges throughout the region. In just the last year alone, SRI/ETTC membership grew 12%, necessitating the move to the Mays Landing facility. Moving west was also a strategic move, placing the new center closer to the seat of Atlantic County government and accessible to a larger number of schools.
In addition to new members, the SRI/ETTC has been attracting grants and contracts. It was recently awarded a three-year, $825,000 grant from the New Jersey Department of Education earmarked toward improving the teaching of math and science in our local schools. Further, the organization has more than a dozen contracts with individual school districts in support of their grant activities.
Impressive and serious as this may seem, the SRI/ETTC is also a hands-on fun place where teachers and professionals can learn how the latest innovations in technology can be put to the best use for their needs. The new Mays Landing Center is equipped with what Dr. Kesselman calls his “toy room” in which the latest hardware is available for student interaction. The center also boasts:
“Our success has been such that a major university recently asked to learn about some of our techniques,” Kesselman said. “We declined to do that, but we did offer to sign some of their people up for a professional development workshop.”
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