Manifest Spotlight: 2015 Practicum Courses

Published on Mar 31, 2015
Manifest 2014 Site Specific Design Spectacle Manifest 2014 Site Specific Design Spectacle

By Joshua C. Robinson (MAM ’15)

Practicum courses are the heart and soul of many Columbia College Chicago department curriculums. These courses provide a way for students to exercise and profile their skills across disciplines and allow them to collaborate with their peers, faculty, and industry professionals. This semester, the practicum courses are gearing up to create bleeding edge exhibits and performances at Manifest.

Site Specific Design & Performance:

This semester, the students in the Site Specific Design & Performance practicum, under the guidance of famed Chicago puppeteer and faculty member Chelsea Warren, are conceiving, designing, and building a large scale spectacle for Manifest's Opening Convergence with professional assistance.

Focusing on the impact distractions have on our daily lives, the spectacle will feature an 'epic battle' between the Distraction Contraption and the Focus Knight, huge large scale puppets. 

In addition, the class will be collaborating with freshman performance majors from Theatre Foundations 2, who will be performing as both Color Cohorts and Distractibles. In the performance, they will at first be distracted by the Distraction Contraption and then with the help of the Focus Knight, will work together they will defeat Distraction.  

"Distractions can be big or small: Facebook, your phone, doubt, fatigue, lack of motivation, negative influences, fear of failure--whatever it is that might distract you from realizing your creative potential," explains Rachel Burke ('15.)

“There is a battle between the Distraction Contraption and the Graduate Knight, and in order to overcome the DC, the Colored Cohort call on the help of the Distractibles. They [Distractibles] manage to re-focus their energy, turn their experience into something inspiring and make a valuable contribution to the Columbia College and broader community."

“Working on an event is a unique form in our theatrical world. We will work for months, weeks, and hours, all for material that lasts less than an hour,” explains Warren.

“For those 30 minutes or so, we bring to life and inhabit a world populated by our collective imagination…a street spectacle reaffirms the possibilities inherent in being a human, in being an artist, in being a theatre maker.  Spectacles remind us that life is spectacular.”

The Hokin Project:

The Gallery Management Practicum, also known as “The Hokin Project,” is different every semester and curates exhibits for the fully operating Hokin Gallery. Students have been working with artist in residence, Josue Pellot, to create a site-specific installation and a series of related programs.

“The Hokin team is excited to be able to apply their own diverse knowledge and skill sets in a professional setting, and in the process to build their professional portfolios,” says Business & Entrepreneurship Professor, Robert Blandford.

The Gallery Management Practicum is truly a collaborative and creative process, bridging disciplines of fine visual and media arts, anthropology and business to bring to life an exciting and thriving series of exhibits.

Business & Entrepreneurship Event Management:

The Business & Entrepreneurship Event Management Practicum takes over the Fulcrum Lot each year to launch a collaborative event with student organizations.

“What happens in the lot is all up to the students in the class,” explains Business & Entrepreneurship professor Kari Sommers.

“The entire class is responsible for organizing their ideas and collaborating with student organizations and volunteers to create this event.”

This year’s class designed a collaborative multi-dimensional event that explores the way we use and interact with paint.  

Working with this idea, the class created an event that plays on the traditional paint ball game where costumed performers will wear canvas costumes guests can throw paint on.

In addition, there will be multiple paint-focused events that collaborate with student events on campus including: a 20x10 paint-fight arena, a partnership with MCA’s Feminist Parking lot, a Hip-Hop Breakdance fest, and a zip-line where graduates can wear their cap and gown for a unique photo-op.

Want to get involved in Manifest? Connect with your deparment liason, student activities, and check the official participate page.