/Showcase to display student artistic talent in competition
(GRAPHIC/ James Shipma)

Showcase to display student artistic talent in competition

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Lauren Post

Staff Writer

Troy University’s Pendulum Art Society will be hosting its first performing artist showcase on Saturday, April 14, from 7-10 p.m. in the Trojan Center Ballrooms.

“I expect Saturday to really become the landmark spring event of the organization,” said Jermaine Van Buren Jr., a sophomore theater major from Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and the secretary of Pendulum.

This will be the organization’s first time hosting a competition event.

“It will be an inaugural event of a tradition that people look forward to every spring from Pendulum,” Van Buren said.

The showcase event will feature performances from 12 different Troy students who auditioned and were selected to compete by members of Pendulum’s executive board, and the attending audience will vote on who the winners are. Cash prizes are up to $250.

Saturday’s showcase was suggested and planned by one of the group’s newest members, Ashley Edwards, a sophomore global marketing business major from New York City.

“As soon as the idea was pitched, I did whatever I could to make it happen,” said Jamillah Bell, a junior history major from Montgomery and Pendulum’s vice president. “We’ve put plenty of blood, sweat and late nights into making this a reality — Ashley most of all.

“I am so happy to have people with her skill set involved as we continue to grow and evolve on campus.”

According to Bell, Pendulum’s members are all dynamic and integral to what the group works toward.

“That’s part of what makes us great,” Bell said. “Every member is bringing stuff like this to the table.”

Michael Orlofsky, a professor of English, is the adviser of Pendulum. He was originally introduced to the group in October 2016 at one of Pendulum’s Open Mic nights.

“The students in attendance were well-prepared,” Orlofsky said. “They had their material memorized.

“They were talking about important issues and their perspective on it. It was imaginative and well done.”

At the time, the group had not yet been recognized as an official club on campus. Orlofsky wanted to help, and soon became the club’s adviser.

Now, the group organizes poetry and spoken word readings monthly and gives public performances of its work.

Pendulum has been planning the showcase  since early February. Van Buren said the process of putting the event together was uncomplicated.

“The process was fairly smooth,” Van Buren said. “The only stresses were ticket promotion and artist intrigue.”

These stresses were short-lived, however, as Buren said the group received a multitude of auditions via email to be judged, with the winners coming to audition live for the group’s executive board.

“I’m particularly looking forward to hearing and seeing what the artists perform Saturday,” Van Buren said.

“Art is open to anyone who has the impulse to create, no matter the gender, race or class. Being part of an organization like that means that the art produced is so free — free from boundaries.”

Van Buren’s sentiments towards creative freedom are shared by other members of the group as well.

“We want to create a safe and creative space for people to enjoy and benefit from, whether that be open mic events, our weekly Wednesday and Thursday meetings or whatever the venue may be,” Bell said.

Tickets can be purchased for $5 with a student ID online until Friday, April 13, at 3 p.m.,  plus a $2 credit card fee, and $10 at the door. Tickets can be ordered online at artistshowcasetickets.squarespace.com/live/.