IVCC’s Day of the Arts: Public unveiling of olio curtain highlights inaugural Day of the Arts


Michael Westerman

Brian Holloway, IVCC’s dean of Humanities, Fine Arts and Social Sciences, shows off his musical talents alongside members of SPAMO on Oct. 17 at the Day of the Arts

Michael Westerman, IV Leader Editor

IVCC’s Day of the Arts showcased the sights and sounds of the vast artistic collective on campus.

The day-long event took place throughout the CTC building and Cultural Center. The day included
performances by IVCC’s jazz band, choir, and theater group, as well as workshops for people to play instruments, draw, create ceramic masks, and swing dance.

The inaugural Day of the Arts was inspired in part by the restoration of an olio stage curtain from the days of vaudeville that was donated to IV in 2014. The olio’s reveal was the first event of the day on Oct. 17.

Brian Holloway, dean of Humanities, Fine Arts and Social Sciences, and the theater group took the audience back to the days of vaudeville when olio curtains were used in many opera houses and theaters.
Norman Engstrom, speech instructor and theater performer, opened with two songs followed by a duet of Engstrom and Don Grant Zellmer, director of the upcoming play “Ruthless – The Musical!”

With the olio curtain hanging on stage, theater students sang and danced, introducing nostalgic vaudeville acts for the audience. Holloway joined the fun, playing banjo in one number. After the performance, Holloway invited anyone to come on stage and get a closer look of the olio. Many of the audience members were descendants of business owners that helped sponsor the olio originally. These relatives took pictures and reminisced with each other about their local roots.

The day marched on after the opening ceremony with workshops where anyone could show off their own creative talents. Students and families alike could try their hand at storytelling, dancing, and percussion with the help of teachers and students involved in such programs here at IVCC. Attendees could watch IVCC’s Improv group or listen to creative works from IVCC’s literary magazine, River Currents.

After the breakout sessions, the IVCC choir performed a few songs in the hallways of the CTC building. The audience, young and old, student and alumni, all watched through their collective admiration for beautiful music and moving art. IVCC’s Jazz band was next, performing classic and contemporary jazz pieces.

With a full horn and wind section, a bass guitar, piano, and drums, the range of sound from the performers was limitless. The band also invited other artists to play with them like the members of
the Dave Hoffman Trio.

IVCC theater performer Clarrissa Gerrard even provided her vocals for a song. The audience’s crescendo of applause after the show was the only thing that matched the volume of the band’s performance.

The Day of the Arts ended back in the cultural center in front of the olio with the vaudeville performance “Playing the Palace.” The theatre group left the audience feeling like they were back in time enjoying the age of vaudeville in the town’s local Opera house.

The entire day built a connection with everyone involved; a connection of the beauty of local art and culture at IVCC, epitomizing the mission of Brian Holloway and the Humanities and Fine Arts  department.