It’s All in a Day: Whirlwind Festival Offers Explorations in the Arts

Posted: April 5, 2010 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: April 2, 2010 at 2:39 pm

By Jill Graziano

Art professor Helen Frederick works with students on printmaking. Creative Services photo

Many people have always wanted to learn about different art forms but never have had the time. Now, Mason’s College of Visual and Performing Arts has made it easy to experience music, dance, theater, film and visual art — all free and all in 24 hours.

The college will present its second annual 24-hour arts festival titled Impact 2010 on Friday, April 9, beginning 7 a.m. and continuing until 7 a.m. on Saturday, April 10.

Student-led arts events and faculty explorations in music, dance, theater, film and visual art make this 24-hour period a thrilling experience. The entire Mason community and beyond is invited to enjoy the varied artistic offerings, stretch their imaginations and get a sense of the joy inherent in the visual and performing arts.

The festival is organized by a faculty and student committee led by Theater Department professor Ken Elston and School of Art professor Helen Frederick.

“This festival offers students, faculty, alumni and the public expanded experiences ranging from movement, image-making, music and reflection,” Frederick says. “Combine this with going nonstop for 24 hours with some of Mason’s finest faculty and fabulous students, and you have a truly unique experience.”

Festival participants have a wide range of creative experiences from which to choose, including opportunities to participate in modern dance, salsa and tap dance classes; graphic design, sculpture and bookmaking and printmaking art classes; theater workshops in improvisational comedy and stage combat; scenic painting; a 24-hour laptop music improvisation sponsored by Apple and the Music Technology program; and a live audience television taping of GMU-TV’s “Studio A,” featuring Megan Holley, who wrote the feature film “Sunshine Cleaning.”

This year’s festival includes a steamroller printmaking process, led by Jo Ganter, a visiting artist from Edinburgh, Scotland, as well as Frederick and other artist/printmakers. Participants will create massive fine art prints — up to 8 ft. by 3 ft. — using a three-ton steamroller as a press.

Visitors are invited not only to come and watch, but also to participate by making their own “footsquare” printing plates that will be printed using the steamroller.

“Creating large prints by a steamroller (that won’t fit in the studio) and allowing for exciting images produced by movement and body gestures — dancers, skateboarders and artists alike will all make marks for printing,” Frederick says.

All events take place in the Art and Design Building, Fine Arts Building, Performing Arts Building and the Johnson Center on Mason’s Fairfax Campus. Paid parking is located in the deck adjacent to the Concert Hall.

The tentative schedule follows; full schedules will be available prior to the event. For more information, call 703-993-8898.

Impact 2010: 24-Hour Arts Festival

Printmaking skills will be applied to a three-ton steamroller at the arts festival. Creative Services photo

Visual Art

  • Steamroller Printmaking Project, April 9, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.  Outdoor sculpture deck, Art and Design Building. Led by Helen Frederick, visiting Scottish artist Jo Ganter and the Printmaking Guild.
  • New Media/Sound Session, April 9, noon to 2 p.m., location TBD.

Graphic Design

  • April 9, 2 to 4 p.m., Room 1002, Art and Design Building. Led by Don Starr. Design and make a “graphic” button or magnet using a 1 ½-inch button maker. Bring color printouts of your favorite images — perhaps from the day’s events — or create your own message in the studio via computer or by hand.
  • Inflatable Sculpture Design, April 9, 9 p.m. through the night, Sculpture Studio, Art and Design Building. Join the production of fabric tent-like designs printed on plastic and fabric that can inflate with motion.
  • Bookmaking and Printmaking, April 9, 10 p.m. until 2 a.m. on April 10, Room 1009, Art and Design Building. Assemble a personal book to celebrate the Arts Marathon Festival. Hand printed, digital flipbooks and more will be created.

Dance professor Susan Shields will lead a demonstration on advanced modern dance techniques. Creative Services photo


  • Participate in “The Technique of Martha Graham,” April 9, 9 to 10:15 a.m., Room A307, Performing Arts Building. Led by Constance Dinapoli.
  • Observe Intermediate Modern Techniques, April 9, 9 to 10:15 a.m., Room A301, Performing Arts Building. Led by Susan Shields.
  • Observe Intermediate Modern Technique, April 9, 10:30 a.m. to noon, Room A307, Performing Arts Building. Led by Christopher D’Amboise.
  • Observe Advanced Modern Techniques, April 9, 10:30 a.m. to noon, Room A301, Performing Arts Building. Led by Dan Joyce.
  • Participate in Beginning Tap, April 9, 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Johnson Center Dance Studio. Led by Nicole Goodson.
  • Participate in Afro to Latin Dance (Salsa), April 9, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., Johnson Center Dance Studio. Led by Jim Lepore.
  • Senior Dance Majors Teach, April 9, 2:30 to 4 p.m., Rooms A301, A305, A307, Performing Arts Building.
  • Participate in Salsa for Experienced Dancers, April 9, 3:30 to 4:15 p.m., Johnson Center Dance Studio. Led by Jim Lepore.

Festival-goers can sit in on a live-to-taped session of "Studio A" on April 9. Creative Services photo


  • Mask Making, April 9, 10 a.m. to noon, Dewberry Hall, Johnson Center.
  • Improvisational Comedy, April 9, 12:30 to 2 p.m., location TBD.
  • Stage Combat Workshop, April 9, 2 to 3:30 p.m., TheaterSpace, Room A105, Performing Arts Building.
  • Scenic Painting Experience, April 9, 5 to 10 p.m., Scene Shop, First Floor, Performing Arts Building.
  • “The Nerd” by Larry Shue, April 9, 8 to 10 p.m., Black Box Theater, A101, Performing Arts Building.
  • Bench-Making Mini Marathon, April 9, 11 p.m. through 4 a.m. on April 10, Scene Shop, First Floor, Performing Arts Building.
  • Space for Creativity and Rest, April 10, midnight through sunrise, TheaterSpace, Room A105, Performing Arts Building.


  • 24-Hour Laptop Improvisation Sponsored by Apple and the Music Technology Program, April 9, 7 a.m. until 7 a.m. on April 10.  Location changes throughout the day, begins in Room B200, Fine Arts Building.


  • “Studio A” Taping, GMU- TV, April 9, 2:30 to 4 p.m., Room 456A, 4th Floor, Innovation Hall. The guest is Megan Holley, who wrote “Sunshine Cleaning.” Attendees need to be seated by 2:45 p.m. Please go to the fourth floor lobby area and ask for Cindy Lont.  Reception to follow from 4 to 6 p.m. RSVP to Cindy Lont,

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