Breaking in the Arts Oasis

By Michael Eilers

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Have you ever stood in the barren, gravel-strewn strip

of land between the UA Art Museum and the Architec

ture building? This, believe it or not, is the Arts Oasis, still in the cocoon stage of metamorphosis. To hurry the development of this future campus attraction, a coalition of campus Arts departments and facilities are presenting the Second Sunday Arts Festival, with four hours of scheduled events designed to welcome students and citizens into the Arts community.

"This is the inaugural event of the second Sunday art festival," Suzanne Rice said. As the coordinator of the event, she saw the main strength of the festival coming from the combined efforts of the University's diverse arts schools. "The festival is something the museum has wanted to do for 3 or 4 years, and the result of a communications task force made up of community members and arts department personnel," she said.

The events, layered in overlapping blocks of time that Sunday afternoon, include a special show of Ansel Adams photographs in the Center for Creative Photography, the sounds of the Rosewood Marimba Band, and backstage tours of the campus theaters. Many of the events are participatory, and a few include special activities for children.

The soon-to-be-Oasis itself has been a slowly evolving project involving all the arts departments. "It's been on the drawing boards for a long time," said Rice, "and it will be better in the future, with vegetated areas, performance areas, and other enhancements."

Other events include a 40th Anniversary celebration in front of the Art Museum, dance performances, video presentations and gallery tours. There are excellent opportunities for viewing the new photography and art museum exhibits, as docents and guides will be on hand to interpret the exhibits.

There will be free parking in the University Park Avenue garage at Park and Speedway, and all Oasis events are free of charge. The many overlapping and simultaneous events will give participants a change to sample every arts department, or concentrate on a single event.

"It's a showcase for fine arts and for other campus entities, and we want to attract both students and familiesŸboth campus and the larger community," Rice said. A full schedule of events is available through the Fine Arts Development office by calling 621-9062.

By the creation of the Oasis, the campus arts organizations hope to steal some of the glory from the bland campus Mall, creating a new place for events and general hanging out. Bordered by museums and classrooms on all sides, the Oasis has the potential to be a cultural center on campusŸwith the addition of a little landscaping, of course.

Look for another festival in the Spring semester.

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