Summer Exploration Spurs Art Exhibit at The Circle Factory

Rise & Shine Scholars created wood assemblage sculptures and hundreds of photographs this summer thanks in part to funds received from a Grassroots Grant awarded by the North Carolina Arts Council through the Transylvania Community Arts Council

A great deal of inventiveness was evident in the titling of the artworks, with names such as "The Clustered Mustard," "Shrink Tank," "Home for Spiders," "Crusty Crab," "Sacred Monument," "Oneness of Us" and "Love Is in Every Bit" causing attendees at the exhibit to think twice about the constructions. 

The Scholar/Artists were given complete freedom of approach in the actual shaping of their assemblages. Some chose to create more realistic sculptures, such as Aniya Hemphill's "Crusty Crab" which featured a sea-side snack shop. Others, like Cavan Walker's "The Clustered Mustard," were completely abstract in nature--Cavan's work was a tightly-woven upright thrusting of pieces, where Analisa Walker's "Oneness of Us" was an open construction that invited viewers into the work. "I was so impressed with the sculptures. Zack Lucas's "Tank", Mauriel's "Sacred Monument" and Mallory's "Love" name a few. All were wonderful," said volunteer Carol Miller.

Before construction, local Artist Billy Smith came on campus to discuss color with the young artists, talking about the power of color choices and the history of color in cultures. He also introduced a bit of color theory, which the younger Scholars happily ignored when it came time to paint their assemblages.

The works were exhibited this summer at The Circle Factory, the art studio of local artist George Peterson, who graciously made a sawdust-free zone, lighted like a gallery, to show off the Scholars' artworks. The exhibit was very well attended, with Volunteers, Parents and other community members present for the festivities. Very glad that the exhibit happened, Rosalynd Storer said "Arts help kids to open their eyes to the world and increase their learning ability."

Besides the sculptures, Level III (middle school) Scholars displayed a selection of their photography. Studies in photography, using an assortment of higher-end digital cameras, were made possible with the work of volunteers Terry Jednaszewski and Don Lander. Both gentlemen escorted the Level III Scholars to various off-campus destinations  where they could practice their craft. In addition, Terry spent the time to sort and watermark the images, and coached the Scholars on the best images to select for exhibit. The results were diverse and delightful, despite the short amount of time spent in learning the basics of aperture and shutter speed. 

Board President Ella Jones was very pleased with the show. "It was an exhilarating experience. The talent was beyond my imagination. Our Scholars are great!" 

The photography of the middle school Scholars really made an impact on those in attendance. Many spoke up, hoping that instruction in photography could continue. Terry Jednaszewski allowed that he would be open to repeating the project, though would probably condense the course down to a single week, rather than spending one day for 5 weeks, following the example of other special summer instructors. 

Rise & Shine hopes to make the exhibit an annual event. "I was impressed by the creativity of the scholars in a variety of mediums. Many of the students were there and it was great to see their enthusiasm and pride in what they had accomplished," said Helen Freedman. Another volunteer, Paula Bennett-Paddick, said this: "What pride our Rise & Shine students showed when their photography was on display! I could see in their eyes that they were alive with good feelings about their accomplishments. Their exhibit in a local gallery? ...Pretty cool."

"The Clustered Mustard," by Cavan Walker.

"The Clustered Mustard," by Cavan Walker.

"Oneness of Us," by Analisa Waters

"Oneness of Us," by Analisa Waters

The event was well attended.

The event was well attended.

Photo taken at Silvermont by Sara Mason.

Photo taken at Silvermont by Sara Mason.

Photo taken at Hooker Falls by Zipporah Waters.

Photo taken at Hooker Falls by Zipporah Waters.

Photo taken downtown by Nyjeya Macon.

Photo taken downtown by Nyjeya Macon.

Rise & Shine Partner FUMC Layers On the Fresh

First United Methodist Church of Brevard, a long-time Team sponsor at Rise & Shine, recently selected Rise & Shine as a service project. According to Marian Wolf, Team Captain of the FUMC Homework Coaches, the conversation about where to do a service project was relatively short. She remembers saying, "well, we haven't done anything at Rise & Shine in a while..." and practically before the words were out of her mouth, Sarah Pooser, the project coordinator, was off and running. Sarah got together with Lowe's --who donated ALL of the paint-- and a date was set.

Roughly a dozen people worked the weekend of September 25th to paint nearly all of the Bethel A Fellowship Hall where Rise & Shine is housed. Prior to that, Board of Trustee members Tommy Williamson and Warren Robinson set up scaffolding and cut in from the ceiling down to the large stained-glass windows and all around the windows and other special features of the wall space, so that the remaining painting could be accomplished from the floor with extension handles or standard ladders.

Prep work was also done by Sarah Haga, a Brevard College Work Study student, who volunteered to remove all the books from the shelves of the library so that the entire library could be painted. After the work was complete, she re-shelved the books with the assistance of a Rise & Shine parent. Rise & Shine Scholars are now studying surrounded by freshly painted walls, baseboards and bathrooms--a cheerful way to welcome fall!

Team Captain Marian Wolf, Homework Coach Pam Jamrog and two of their Scholars at Rise & Shine. 

Brevard Ballet and Rise & Shine Summer Dance Program


photo by Seyl Park

Brevard Ballet partnered with Rise & Shine for a Summer Dance Program last week, creating a win-win for Rise & Shine students and Brevard Ballet dancers. Rise & Shine Scholars were exposed to ballet, other forms of dance and related topics including dance history, injury prevention and nutrition, while the Brevard Ballet dancers staffed the program and gained teaching and leadership experience under the watchful eye of Director Angie Wells.

“This was a truly outstanding experience for our Scholars,” said Program Director Becky Young of Rise & Shine. “Angie planned a week of integrated instruction that not only provided our Scholars with new artistic experiences, but introduced them to what is happening now in the world of dance. Today’s ballet is not the ballet of 100 years ago, and it is much more accessible to diverse populations than it used to be.”

Dancers took an in-depth look at several pioneers and icons in ballet from diverse backgrounds. Many of these have overcome adversity to become great, including Misty Copeland, who just made history two weeks ago by becoming the first African-American female principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre.

The workshop culminated in an informal showing for parents where all dancers became part of something larger than themselves by rehearsing and performing together. The Brevard Ballet - Rise & Shine Summer Dance Program was made possible by a grant from Dr. Ann Farash and Hendersonville Pediatrics, which also helped to fund a scholarship to Brevard Ballet School for a deserving Rise & Shine student for the 2015-16 school year. 

The winner of that scholarship, announced at the program on Thursday evening, was Niema C., a rising fourth-grade student. Nearly in tears at the announcement, Niema pulled herself together to thank Angie Wells and bow to the enthusiastic audience.

  photo by R. K. Young


photo by R. K. Young

Sensei Frank and the Karate Kids

"Sensei" is a Japanese word that is literally translated as "person born before another". In general usage, it is used...after a person's name and means "teacher"." (Wikipedia) Sensei Frank, (as in Frank Robinson), is our volunteer karate instructor for Level II students at Rise & Shine. He currently comes for two days in a row, once a month, to provide our Scholars with some basics in the discipline of Karate.

"Discipline" is the key word, here. Any serious practitioner of martial arts will tell you in no uncertain terms that self-defense is just a small piece of the the puzzle. Shoshin Nagamine said, "Karate may be considered as the conflict within oneself or as a life-long marathon which can be won only through self-discipline, hard training and one's own creative efforts." 

Groups working with Sensei Frank are limited to 5 Scholars at a time, as in all enrichment and STEM activities. This allows each child more individual attention and keeps our Sensei and other enrichment volunteers from getting too overwhelmed. 

For Rise & Shine Scholars, this instruction is an introduction to another cultural discipline in which they can test the waters of their own abilities, both physical and mental. AND they get to shout words in Japanese. How much fun is that?

Farkle & Cops!

Chief Phil Harris and his trusty City of Brevard police force have been spending some time at Rise & Shine! No worries, it's all part of the plan. 

The recent upheavals in Ferguson, MO and other places between law enforcement and African American people left us wondering what we could do locally to keep this type of escalated enforcement from being a Brevard problem. Since much of the problem is based in fear and distrust between folks, we thought it would be a good idea to encourage less fear and more trust! So Rise & Shine asked Chief Harris if maybe, he might have some officers who wouldn't mind playing some games with us. 

We chose Farkle, because as anybody who has ever played the game can tell you, strategy is of no use. Any age can win the game. It is primarily a game of luck and self-restraint. At a large table of game players, all but one gets plenty of practice at being a good loser. This gives us all lots of opportunities to make fun of ourselves and practice being good, fun-to-play-with game players. 

Thanks to Chief Harris for letting his officers come play!