|Volume 29, Issue 9
||January 22, 2003
Leake returns to NIACC to further her art career
Current NIACC student Erin Leake left one of the best art schools in the country to come back to her native Mason City this fall and attend NIACC this year.
Leake, an art major, has created many sketches and portraits as art projects, but she said her ultimate goal is to work in clay-mation.
She's drawn inspiration from a number of sources and cites one of her sketching biggest inspiration as Johnen Vasquez, who created "The Nightmare Before Christmas," "Johnny the Homicidal Maniac" and "Invader Zim."
According to Leake, the most influential artists in relation to clay-mation have been Nick Park, who is well known for his work on "Chicken Run" and "Wallace and Gromit" and Tim Burton, who started out in clay-mation before moving on to direct and created "The Nightmare Before Christmas."
Leake attended the San Francisco Institute of Art as a freshman last school year, but she said the decision to return to NIACC was easy for her.
"My boyfriend was back here, and couldn't visit," Leake said. "It was a lot more expensive and the living conditions in the area I was in..." she ended the statement with a shudder.
Leake said she encountered many legitimate examples of homelessness while walking the streets of San Francisco.
In one instance, she said she remembered one gentleman who had lost everything in a fire. He had lost his house and his family.
She said he didn't have insurance, so he found himself living on the street.
Leake said she would speak with him regularly going to and from class and social activities, and remembered him fondly.
"He'd always say hi and ask if I'd hear of any jobs...I never knew if he was joking," Leake said.
Not all those on the streets were legitimate according to Leake.
"I would see people panhandling on the streets in the filthiest scraps of clothing," Leake said. "Then they would get done, change into designer suits, get into BMWs and drive away."
In addition to the higher standard of living, Leake said NIACC also offers art history courses so similar to the courses offered at the institute they used the same books.
She said the main difference between the courses, in her estimation, was the price.
"I think it's great she decided to come back. I have her in Art History where I'm using the same text she already was, so she's gaining a similar experience," Peggy Bang, her NIACC art instructor, said.
"If you don't find happiness in your backyard, you'll never find it," Bang said. "I think that applies to a lot of NIACC students."
The cost was significantly lower at NIACC, and allowed her the convenience of being near friends and family.
Leake said she enjoys being back in Mason City and attending NIACC, but plans to transfer eventually to the Minneapolis Institute of Art.
"Erin is an interesting thinker and it's alright to question whether something is right for us," Bang said about Leake's approach to life.
Usher volunteers get free admission to events
The Performing Arts series offers great cultural opportunities and experiences for all NIACC students and staff.
There is a way for some to receive this great entertainment for free and there's one lady who can help you get there.
By volunteering to usher, staff and Student Senate members are offered the chance to view these performances for free.
"We basically only allow faculty and Student Senate members the chance to usher because if we left it open to all students, there would be an enormously large amount of volunteers," Linda Schulting, house manager for the performing arts, said. "We just look at it as a perk for staff and Student Senate."
Schulting just took over the position of House Manager this fall.
Previously, a NIACC staff member had held this position, but this year there was no response to the need to fill the position.
The Performing Arts board, comprised of community members, asked for suggestions and Schulting was offered the job.
Schulting said that she enjoys her job very much and is always grateful for the hard work the volunteers offer.
"Prior to the performance, getting the ushers is my main responsibility. The night of the performance is when I oversee the behind-the-scenes work and make sure that everything runs smoothly," Schulting said.
"I make sure that everyone is in the right seat on the right night. I take care of any emergencies that may arise and I train the ushers as to their responsibilities for the night," Schulting said.
As a newly hired NIACC staff member, Schulting said she takes pride in the appearance of those who help with the productions.
According to Schulting, ushers are required to wear the attire that the audience may be wearing for the performance.
However, tuxedos and formal dresses are not required.
"When Jeff Corwin came, khakis and a nice dress shirt was fine, but when you usher for a performance like Lorie Line, a dress or a nice suit is more appropriate," Schulting said.
Although not available to all, ushering is a great opportunity to see some of the great entertainment offered on campus, for free.
Any staff, faculty or Student Senate members who are interested in ushering for any of the upcoming performances may contact Linda Schulting at her new email address, email@example.com or by telephoning her at 641-424-2801.
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