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News from the Hilltop

April 27, 2007

Birmingham-Southern faculty and students' art to be exhibited in Czech Republic, First Lady to perform at opening ceremony

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Birmingham-Southern College First Lady and violinist Karen Bentley Pollick will perform in the Czech Republic from May 6-13 alongside Louisiana State University professor of cello Dennis Parker.

Sponsored by the Institute of Art and Design of the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen, Czech Republic, a performance will take place on May 6 in the University Gallery on the occasion of the ceremonial opening of an exhibition presenting artwork of BSC faculty and students.

The exhibition, entitled “Birmingham-Southern College – A Southern View,” is part of the ongoing cooperation between BSC and the Institute of Art and Design of the University of West Bohemia, and the program is part of the annual Pilsen Liberation Festival.

BSC faculty and students whose art will be included in the exhibit are Natalie Andrews, a senior art-painting major from Franklin, Tenn.; Steve Cole of Hoover, professor of art; Kendel Gordon, a senior art-studio major from Trussville; Jim Neel of Crestwood, assistant professor of art; Graham Ritchie, a senior art-sculpture major from Mobile; Kevin Shook of Northern Shelby, assistant professor of art; Cooper Spivey of Alabaster, instructor of art; and Pamela Venz of Southside, associate professor of art.

The May 6 opening ceremony performance in Pilsen by Pollick and Parker will feature Czech composer Jan Vicar's “Homage to Fiddlers,” which was composed in Birmingham in 2006 while Vicar was teaching composition at BSC. The duo will perform several concerts throughout the Czech Republic that will include Czech composer Erwin Schulhoff's 1925 “Duo for Violin and Cello,” as well as Pennsylvania composer Scott Eggert's “Dance Card,” which is a suite of virtuoso ragtime and tango dances, and Maurice Ravel's 1922 landmark “Duo for Violin and Cello.” They will also collaborate with the Wind Ensemble of the Prague Castle Guard Band in a rendition of Mozart's “Sinfonia Concertante” for Violin and Cello at Zbiroh Castle on May 11.

This exhibition honors the sister city relationship between Pilsen and Birmingham and is the third in a series of exhibitions of American artists on the occasion of celebrations of liberation of the city of Pilsen by American troops and the end of World War II in Europe. This tradition started in May 2005 with an exhibition of paintings by Mrs. Catherine Cabaniss, followed by an exhibition of photographs by Chad Evans Wyatt in 2006.

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