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Courtesy photo Shown with a mural at Indiana University of Pennsylvania are (from left): artist Natalie Sharpless of Osceola Mills; artist Davey Beyer, an art education major from Ebensburg; Professor Ivan Fortushniak; artist Kaycee Morgan, a studio art major from Warren; and artist Elizabeth Wheeler, a master of fine arts student from Patton.

Courtesy photo

Shown with a mural at Indiana University of Pennsylvania are (from left): artist Natalie Sharpless of Osceola Mills; artist Davey Beyer, an art education major from Ebensburg; Professor Ivan Fortushniak; artist Kaycee Morgan, a studio art major from Warren; and artist Elizabeth Wheeler, a master of fine arts student from Patton.

Several area students part of innovative mural project at IUP

INDIANA, Pa. — Several area students at Indiana University of Pennsylvania were part of an innovative art project for an office within IUP’s Division of Student Affairs.

Natalie Sharpless, an art education major and art history minor from Osceola Mills, and Elizabeth Wheeler, a master of fine arts student from Patton, were part of a student team of artists that created a mural for the IUP Office of Student Support and Community Standards (formerly the Office of Student Conduct).

Sharpless, daughter of Lynn and Heather Sharpless of Osceola Mills, is a 2016 graduate of Philipsburg-Osceola Area School District. She is a dean’s list student and provost scholar. She is a member of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, the National Art Education Association, and Sigma Alpha Pi national honor society.

Wheeler, daughter of William L. Wheeler III and Debra Wheeler of Patton, is a 2009 graduate of Bellwood-Antis High School.

Over the course of several years, the Office of Student Conduct has shifted the way that IUP views student discipline, moving toward more intentional restorative and developmental practices to support the educational disciplinary process, according to Adam Jones, office director. In summer 2020, the office changed its name to the Office of Student Support and Community Standards in order to reflect the new direction of supporting and upholding students’ rights and responsibilities.

As a way of expressing the values of the office, an original permanent installation was created by Sharpless and her co-artists, supervised by IUP Department of Art and Design faculty member Ivan Fortushniak.

Altoona native among student choreographers at dance concert

SLIPPERY ROCK — Slippery Rock University’s Department of Dance hosted its inaugural Emerging Choreographers Student Concert on Nov. 18 via a livestream on the department’s YouTube channel.

The Emerging Choreographers Student Concert, formerly known as the Winter Concert, was conducted virtually this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The name change, according to Lindsay Viatori, an assistant professor of dance and the concert’s artistic director, was made to “more appropriately represent what the concert is and what it features.”

“The concert, just like before, is a really wonderful program highlighting the creative research of our students,” said Viatori. “It is a platform for students who have completed prerequisite courses to hone their choreographic skills, to explore new concepts outside of the classroom setting, and to look at the ways they want to work in the field of dance.

“This concert particularly showcases the strong work of choreographers who have deeply developed, refined and edited their pieces; these really are final projects for

these students.”

Performances for the show were selected based on auditions. Initially, junior and senior student choreographers submitted letters of intent and, if accepted to move forward in the process, audition other students to participate in their pieces. Group works were limited to six students or fewer, including the choreographer, to ensure social distancing could be maintained in rehearsal areas.

The auditioning process included a group of 29 choreographers and 75 dancers, auditioning for student directors Talynn Holman, a senior dance major from Philadelphia, and Skylar Smith, a junior dance major from Walworth. A total of 15 groups met the requirements to perform in the show.

Student choreographers included Anna DeRubeis, a junior dual dance and early childhood education major from Altoona.

Students showcased their work through prerecorded segments during the concert.

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