Arts at the Anna and Ashmore

Home Arts and Entertainment Arts at the Anna and Ashmore

Rabecca Rogers
The Corsair

Pensacola State College seeks high praise for their arts and theatre performances this semester.  Hoping to fall nothing short of a standing ovation and honorable review, Don Snowden, the department head of music and theatre and Vivian Spencer, gallery director for the Anna Lamar Switzer Center for Visual Arts, have planned the events for the most positive reaction.

At the Anna

This season in the Anna exhibits consist of a series of multiple galleries in hopes to inspire young artists, as they gain culture and understanding in the art department.

“Their work will reinforce what’s happening in our classrooms,” Spencer said.  “This is a teaching gallery, so our graphic design instructor, our drawing and painting instructor can use these exemplary works and they can show these students  ‘well this is what I’m talking about’ . We bring in artist whose work is the highest quality that emulates our students.”

From Aug. 22 through Oct. 7, the Anna plans to exhibit Jonathan Twingley, a graphic designer and author of arts. He will be giving lectures to the public and displaying his works so that the students can interact and learn from his experience.

“Teaching is at the core of everything he does and you can see that in his work,” Spencer said.  “It’s very accessible and there are even couple of pieces that represent teaching.”

Along with Twingley’s art exhibit, Ted Metz sculptures will also be featured in the gallery, giving students a variety of areas to learn from in art. Spencer, who is in charge of all the event planning, hoped that students would use this as an opportunity to learn from the best, and expand their knowledge in the art field.

“We want to make sure that each one of our areas of focus of the department is being represented in the gallery schedule,” Spencer said.
As the season moves onward, Pensacola State’s faculty will also be submitting their works in the Pensacola State College Art Faculty Exhibition. For this gallery, students will learn and see their instructors’ art talents in action.

“This again is motivating our students and it keeps us motivated too, because our students are really good and we have to stay ahead of them,” Spencer said. “I’m really excited about all of it.”

At the Ashmore

As for the Performing Arts of the Lyceum Series, Don Snowden and the rest of the theatre committee have set up numerous entertaining productions for the semester. In September, PSC’s performing art events consisted of worldwide upbeat jazz trios, national guitarist winners, and a traditional Mithril Celtic Music performance giving us a unique and exciting taste of the Celtic and modern folkloristic experience.

“We have to pick out events and concerts that are diverse,” said Snowden about the shows he has lined up.“  We try to get performances in here that can appeal to everybody.”

As for October, the music and theatre department have numerous events lined up for the month. They will have local and regional composers doing musical concerts for the seventh contemporary music event at PSC, classic and Big Band composers for the Wind and Jazz ensembles. The Pensacola State College Choir will also be giving a performance.

“Our musical events are mainly classical because not a lot of places in Pensacola offer that kind of music, so we’re trying to present of diverse grouping of things that would appeal to everybody not just students,”  Snowden said.  “We try to give the students a liberal arts education which means that you get a little bit of taste of everything; the college experience and a little bit of taste of the world and it just makes you a better person to be able to experience different kind of music,  and different kinds of arts. I think it just makes you a deeper person as far as what you see in the world not just everything on Facebook.”

They also have Marie Howe, a respected poet who plans to recite some of her readings for students.

Later on in October, the Pensacola Civic Band will be commemorating the 70th anniversary of the start of World War II, entertaining students along with veterans, with some tunes from that period. Finally at the end of October, the musical and theatre department will be presenting Johannes Moller, a Swedish guitarist who won the 2010 Guitar Foundation of America.

In November comes the highlight event of the semester, PSC’s performance of the musical “Chicago.” Snowden says this may be the most exciting event of the semester, and hopes for all positive reviews.

“We always hope to have standing ovations,” he said.

For information on upcoming events, dates and pricing, go to