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8th grade films win awards at Middle School Media Festival

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Three films by Catlin Gabel 8th graders received awards at the Middle School Media Festival at Bush School in Seattle:

"Free Yourself" by Andrei Stoica and Katie Truong: Honorable Mention

"Welcome To The Hood" by Stuart Ryan, Mason Snider, and Elliott White: Audience Award

"One Fish Two Fish Dead Fish Chewed Fish" by Piper Kizziar, Kathryn Putz and Rachael Underwood: Audience Award & Teacher’s Choice Award

Congratulations to the filmmakers and their teacher, Brendan Gill.

Nic Bergen '16 wins Grand Prize at International Silent Film Festival

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Sophomore Nic Bergen's film "Continuous Quest" won the Grand Prix--first place, best film--last night at the selective International Youth Silent Film Festival, competing against films from the U.S., Canada, and China. Nic received a generous cash prize and time on the set of "Grimm," and will be featured in the Rose Festival. Watch for news of a public screening on June 4. Congrats to Nic and our other finalists, Søren Anderson, Becca Dunn, Gus Edelen O'Brien, Zulema Young-Toledo & Elena Lee, Ben Waitches-Eubanks & Javin Dana, and Vikram Nallakrishnan & Reuben Schafir!

Ten students named international film festival finalists

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Four individuals and three teams of two and have made it to the top 46 Pacific Northwest Regional Finals of the International Youth Silent Film Festival. As finalists, their work will be showcased May 19 – 21, from 7:30 to 9 p.m., at the Hollywood Theatre in Portland.

Congratulations to individual finalists freshman Gus Edelen O’Brien, and sophomores Søren Anderson, Becca Dunn, and Nic Bergen; and to team finalists freshmen Reuben Schafir and Vikram Nallakrishnan, Elena Lee and Zulema Young-Toledo, and Ben Waitches-Eubanks and Javin Dana.

The International Youth Silent Film Festival is a nonprofit organization that gives youth the opportunity to show their work at an annual competition. To purchase tickets, contact the Hollywood Theatre or call 503-281-4215.

Violinist Kristin Qian '14 performing Sunday, Feb 16

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Celebrated musician Kristin Qian will solo with the Portland Youth Conservatory Orchestra, performing Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto.

The concert is at 4 p.m. at the Skyview Concert Hall in Vancouver, Washington.

» Link to more information

Junior Valerie Ding and senior Kristin Qian among 11 winners in the Van Buren Concerto Competition

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Brava!

Niel DePonte, artistic director and conductor of the Young Artists Debut! Concert, announced the 2014 winners of the annual Van Buren Concerto Competition. The 11 soloists were selected from 28 semifinalists. Winners will perform with DePonte and an orchestra drawn from the ranks of the Oregon Symphony and Oregon Ballet Theatre orchestras on Tuesday, April 1, at 7:30 p.m. at the Newmark Theatre. 

Both Valerie and Kristin are three-time winners of the Young Artists Debut! Competition.

Valerie will perform the first movement of St. Saens’ Piano Concerto No. 2. Kristin will join two others in performing the first movement of Bach's Triple Violin Concerto in D Major. 

Creative Arts Center Opens With a Splash

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From the Winter 2014 Caller

The new Creative Arts Center opened officially in September with a celebration for the entire Catlin Gabel community. Alumni, students, parents, faculty-staff, and more came together to admire the beautiful new creative space and explore all its dimensions. The evening was capped by energetic student performances in the flexible black box theater, from Broadway song-and-dance numbers to classical violin music. Middle and Upper School students and teachers report that they are still thrilled every time they walk into this building and excited by the prospects it offers for collaboration.

"The Tempest" photo gallery

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Thank you to Thomas Newlands '14 for the photos.

Shakespeare's  "The Tempest," performed by Middle and Upper School students, was the inaugural play in the Creative Arts Center's black box theater.

Students part of citywide Shakespeare collaboration with “The Tempest”

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Catlin Gabel Middle and Upper School students are taking part in Portland Playhouse’s Fall Festival of Shakespeare, a series of plays produced by eight area high schools and two middle schools. The plays will be performed first at each individual school, and then all schools will bring their plays to Portland’s Winningstad Theatre on November 2 and 3.
 
The Catlin Gabel cast will perform Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” on Friday, October 25, and Saturday, October 26, at 7 p.m. in the black box theater in Catlin Gabel’s Creative Arts Center. They will perform again at the Winningstad Theatre on Saturday, November 2, at 2 p.m. Tickets for the Catlin Gabel performances are available at the door: $9 general admission, $7 for students and seniors. Tickets for the Winningstad performance are available online through Portland’5 Ticketing. Tickets are $15, with a $7.95 fee per transaction.
 
“The Tempest” is the first mainstage production in Catlin Gabel’s new black box theater. The building was designed to bring Middle and Upper School students together, and they have collaborated on every aspect of the production. Students designed the set, costumes, makeup, lighting, publicity materials, sound, and music. The Catlin Gabel rock band will accompany the play with both originals and covers. See the video below for a preview of the play.
 
“The process has been so deeply driven by our students,” said Upper School theater teacher Elizabeth Gibbs. “A lot of what you see will come from their minds and imaginations.”
 
“Our students have built a creative community between Middle and Upper School students, as well as with students from other schools,” said Middle School drama teacher Deirdre Atkinson. “Our students’ insatiable curiosity and infectious enthusiasm has inspired the adults who have helped shape what they create. In turn, we teachers have collaborated with our peers at the other schools to read and engage with Shakepeare’s texts.” Both Elizabeth and Deirdre trained last summer with Shakespeare and Company, funded by a summer innovation grant from the school.
 
Deirdre and Elizabeth chose “The Tempest” because its compelling roles would be inviting to a wide variety of students and audiences, and they accepted all students who were interested. Deirdre remarked on the relationship between “The Tempest” and the new Creative Arts Center: “We are such stuff as dreams are made on. . . . How wonderful to reflect on Prospero’s words as we gather together in our beautiful theatre in the Creative Arts Center. In the theatre, so many people—actors, designers, dancers, and musicians—come together to bring a story to life ‘out of thin air.’ The building was once merely a dream; as in the theatre, so many members of the Catlin Gabel community came together to bring the dream to life. It has been a delight to watch our students build creative community while exploring Shakespeare’s text and coming to realize the possibilities of this brilliant new creative space.”
 
From the Portland Playhouse website: The Fall Festival of Shakespeare is a non-competitive region-wide collaboration between Portland Playhouse and area high schools. The Festival is a spectacular theatrical event, in part because student actors connect well to Shakespeare; they understand the passion, the large stakes, and the disaster. High school is not unlike an Elizabethan Tragedy.
 
The students are not only performers in the festival, but a large and vocal component of the audience. They are most active and vibrant theatre patrons you will ever encounter. They “oooh” and “ahhh”; call out “Oh no she didn’t”; scream and laugh. It’s the closest thing we have to how an Elizabethan audience at Shakespeare’s Globe might have reacted. It’s an unforgettable experience for the students involved, and an engaging cultural phenomenon for everyone to witness.
 
The collaborating high schools are Catlin Gabel, Ridgefield, Trillium, Roosevelt, Franklin, Ft. Vancouver, Hockinson, and De La Salle; middle schools taking part are St. Andrew’s and King.
 

Video about Drawing Together Day and installation in Creative Arts Ctr.

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Inspired by former arts faculty members, Drawing Together Day on September 9, 2013, brought back a tradition to campus: a time when people of all ages take time to draw. When the drawings were done, they were assembled into a chandelier-like structure and installed in Catlin Gabel's new Creative Arts Center. Visitors to the building are inspired by the demonstration of creativity, and the school's commitment to the arts. And the students love to find their drawing hanging there!

More Room to Make Art!

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A student's view of the new Creative Arts Center

From the Summer 2013 Caller

 
Every week last year I watched as the new Creative Arts Center evolved from a hole in the ground to a beautiful building I cannot wait to explore. I like to do artwork involving found materials and fashion. This year, I made a dress out of plastic bags, as well as a vest out of pencils in my 3D arts class. Although working in the 3D studio in the science building this year has been great, I look forward to being able to spread out a bit more on larger surfaces. I wanted to bring my dress form and sewing machine into the studio this year while I was working on the pencil vest, but I didn’t think there would be enough space. I am excited for the new facilities, because I think the spacious building will inspire students to bounce around ideas and create.

One aspect of the Creative Arts Center that excites me is that different art types will all be together in one building. This close proximity opens up a chance for crossover between the arts. I got a little taste of what this might be like as the 3D class worked on natural outdoor sculptures inspired by Andy Goldsworthy. We worked with media arts teacher Nance Leonhardt to combine sculpture and photography by photographing our works and keeping the pictures as our final product. Photography and sculpture is just one combination, and I am eager to see how other arts can overlap in the CAC.

 
Art is a fundamental piece of who I am, and I know that other Catlin Gabel students feel the same passion. With all the highway bustle of academics, art for me is a garden pathway urging me to slow down and appreciate.  

New Opportunities for Learning: Charles Walsh, music

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Creating Art Defines Our Souls

From the Summer 2013 Caller

Serendipity. My first year at Catlin Gabel has been amazing, and I am thrilled to return this fall to work in a brand-new arts building. I have been overwhelmed by the welcome and support of the people here. It feels like a home.
 
The story of my path to Catlin Gabel reveals some of the many reasons why I am so happy to be here. My college roommate at Kenyon College in Ohio in the late 1990s was a CG alumnus, Trace Hancock ’96, and from him I endured numerous stories about this wonderful place. I was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, and had never been west of the Mississippi, so I really could not picture what would be so great about a school on a farm in Portland, Oregon. But I went west after graduating from Kenyon and found myself in a teaching program at Western Washington University. My mentor, Kate Wayne, also attended Catlin Gabel. At our last meeting together she told me: “If you ever get a chance to look into teaching at Catlin Gabel, I think you would really like it.”
 
When I interviewed at Catlin Gabel last summer I had spent five years in Portland trying to find fulltime employment teaching high school music. I had given up and taken a job in Bellingham, Washington, to teach math, when the Catlin Gabel job opened up. I came to the campus with a sense of destiny, and to discover that a new arts building would be built made things nearly surreal.
 
I worked on the Campaign for Arts Funding that ultimately instituted the Portland citywide arts tax, an awesome statement by this community to support arts when funds are tight. As the victim of cuts in arts funding in public schools, I was heartened to see that the arts are important to people here, and they are willing to give the arts the role I think they deserve. As much as anything we do as humans, I think creating art defines our souls and makes us amazing.
 
This year my colleagues and I will be able to collaborate in the same building and create our curriculums in a more organic way. We’ll have the spaces to serve our students’ needs, in contrast with the situation now, where they must compete for insufficient practice spaces. Arts at Catlin Gabel will move from the periphery to the center. Our students are so talented in so many ways, and it has been exciting to be able to give them the opportunities to shine in music. The new building will be a hub, and I believe it will absolutely blossom the arts programs. Students create thoughtful and beautiful art at the school every day. Now all the arts will be seen as they should, which is a necessity for the entire artistic process. The school is at a turning point, and the new possibilities are as endless as multiple spring sunny days in a row.   

New Opportunities for Learning: Elizabeth Gibbs '04, theater

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Come Together: The new arts building will be a boon for collaboration

From the Summer 2013 Caller

Theater is a collaborative art form. It is not made by a single person alone in a studio: it is forged through personal interaction, group experimentation, and the collective expertise of innumerable individuals. Visual artists conceptualize the setting, costume, and media elements, technical artists wire the electrics and create the lighting and soundscapes, performing artists embody characters and employ their vocal and physical talents to bring a show alive. This variety of artistic talent can be found at Catlin Gabel, both in its students and its faculty, and with the new performing arts center the possibilities for meaningful collaboration will be hugely increased.
 
Arts classrooms are currently spread across the campus, with students trekking from Choir class by the barn, to Acting in the Cabell Center, to 3D Art in the science building. Visual artists are geographically separated from performing artists, and opportunities to hold casual conversations and informally experience each other’s work are therefore reduced. The new arts building will centralize all of these classrooms, bringing the different art forms under one roof. Not only will the students be able to more seamlessly connect their work in media arts to their work in theater and music, but the arts faculty will be more connected to each other and more aware of the possibilities for collaboration and joint exploration.
 
This past year, my Acting II students have each spent time in residency with drama teacher Deirdre Atkinson’s 7th grade class, working as assistant directors and helping mentor these up-and-coming performers. This experiment in cross-divisional learning is a small taste of the possibilities that will become available when Middle and Upper School students are sharing space in the arts building. Middle schoolers will have a clearer picture of what goes on in Upper School art classes, and high schoolers will have the opportunity to share their knowledge and skill with younger students.
 
As I picture the new arts center this year, my ideal is that it will exist as a fertile ground for expansion of ideas and imaginations. I hope that it will provide the opportunity to expand the boundaries of all our disciplines, encompassing new ways to teach art, as well as broadening the possibilities for collaboration between students and faculty. In this beautiful and warm building, I imagine that students will be inspired to create innovative and exciting art, in any and all disciplines.