Check out student and faculty artwork at the All Student Show

By Jordan Weiker
Campus Life Assistant Editor

Interested in seeing recently created artwork while sipping on light refreshments? The All Student Art Show’s opening reception will be held April 17 from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Viterbo University Gallery on the third floor of the Fine Arts Center.
“Anyone is allowed to visit our gallery, and every student is allowed to submit artwork to the show, regardless of major,” said Joseph Miller, assistant professor of art. “The show runs April 17 – May 10, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the week while classes are in session.”
“Throughout the year, the gallery features the work of students and faculty, as well as the work of regionally and nationally known artists and graphic designers,” according to the Viterbo University gallery’s website.
“Students and faculty should consider attending the All Student Art Show to see and explore the wonderful artwork that is being made by students and faculty at Viterbo,” Miller said. “Students and faculty will have the opportunity to connect with artists, designers and art faculty at the reception.”
In addition to this year’s art show, the art department will also be self-publishing a second edition of the All Student Show catalog, which features work from the exhibit. “We produce an edition of 50 catalogs,” Miller told Lumen. “Each student participant receives a copy and dedicated art students help edit, photograph, design, print and bind this edition. All production is done in-house.”
Non-student participants can also purchase a copy of the All Student Show catalog, either in person or through shipping. “Shipping is free, and all proceeds will go to future All Student Show catalog publications,” said Miller.
Selections from the All Student Art Show will also be available on the art department’s blog at The current blog features selec¬tions and information from the 2012 show, including a video tour of the Viterbo University Gallery, along with several short films and a full length documentary by Jasper Duberry.
“Duberry was featured on La Crosse’s Channel 19 TV talking about the 2012 show, and the YouTube video of this interview can be found on the department’s blog as well,” Miller said.
Students and faculty wanting to know more about the All Student Art Show can visit the art department’s blog or contact Joseph Miller at


‘The Incredible Burt Wonderstone’: Not all that incredible

By Molly Grosskreutz
A&E Editor
and Valerie Groebner
A&E Assistant Editor

In Don Scardino’s film “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone,” best friends and magic duo Burt Wonderstone (Steve Carrell) and Anton Marvelton (Steve Buscemi) rule the Vegas scene for a 10-year stretch. When a younger and more intrigu¬ing street magician, Steve Gray (Jim Carrey), comes along and performs ludicrous acts on the Vegas strip, Burt and Anton must prove that their act can be revitalized.
VG: I was pleased at how unpredictable the film was. With a cast like this (Steve Carrell, Steve Buscemi, Olivia Wilde, Jim Carrey, James Gandolfini), I was expecting a lot of dirty and suggestive humor and content. I was wrong! There were some family-friendly elements, and lessons for people of varied ages are tucked away within the scenes.
MG: You thought the movie was unpredictable? I didn’t find any¬thing surprising about it. Spoiler: friends fight, make up. We’ve seen it thousands of times. This premise had the potential to tell that formulaic story in a new way, but it was so predictable and pedantic that it fell flat.
VG: One thing that called my at¬tention was the message this film conveyed and the manner in which it was conveyed. As time goes on, celebrities and performers of all sorts get old and are taken over by something or someone newer and hotter. Using the example of rising and fading performers in Vegas is clever and spot on.
MG: I agree that this movie tackles a very relevant phenomenon in American pop culture. I wish they had refocused the whole “be loyal to your friends no matter what” thing toward what I believe to be the more compelling conflict: self-preservation.
VG: I really liked how the Las Vegas atmosphere was displayed. I personally have not been to Las Vegas, but the cast portrayed Vegas to appear crowded, gaudy, fame-hungry and over-the-top. The wardrobe line-up was phenomenal and tacky—just like Las Vegas ap¬pears to be.
MG: I’m with you on that. If there’s one thing this movie did well, it was capturing the excessive and gaudy rhinestone fashions of Vegas. And the hair. Such glorious and luscious hair.
VG: I was irritated and disappointed at the way in which Burt and Anton climb back to the top of the entertainment realm. SPOILER: drugging an audience as a means of performing the most amazing magic trick is not smart, and clearly illegal. I guess, though, this was the example of the desperate measures celebrities take to stay at the top or make their way back to the top.
MG: I was disappointed in the level of Wilde’s involvement in the movie. Unfortunately, she was the pretty accessory at the men’s sides, which I suppose is realistic, but Wilde is capable of so much more.

Final Verdict:
MG: Thumbs down.
VG: Thumbs down.

Mission Seminar class working with the YWCA

By Elizabeth Schaller
Contributing Reporter

This spring, students are dem¬onstrating one of Viterbo’s core values, service, by devoting a part of their class curriculum to conduct¬ing service projects in the La Crosse community. One example of service can be seen in Marlene Fisher and Anita Wood’s Mission Seminar class. The students of this VUSM 300 course are currently working with the La Crosse branch of the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA).
The mission seminar class is titled “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide.” The course is based on the widely acclaimed book of the same name, and thus aims to “explore the issues underlying and resulting from oppression of women,” Wood explained. The students are applying what they are reading about and discussing in class to their work for the YWCA.
The course is focused on women’s studies, but the idea for students to work with the YWCA to complete their required service project was completely the students’, Wood said. After a volunteer from the YWCA spoke to the students and explained the need for supplies and a restructured activity room at the Ruth and Ophelia Houses, the students immediately began brain¬storming ideas to help.
“As college students, we tend to stay in our own little bubbles.” said Lauren Omernik, a junior theatre major and member of the class’s fundraising group. “However, I feel it’s incredibly important to realize how privileged we are to even have the chance to receive a college education. I believe it’s our responsibility to use our position to help others rebuild their lives.”
After a tour of the Ruth and Ophelia Houses, which exist to help transition women coming out of alcohol and other drug abuse rehabilitation programs, as well as transitioning out of justice sanctions, the students began to plan, Wood said.
Students have been divided into three groups and given specific tasks to complete to help the organization. The main projects include cleaning and constructing two activity rooms in the women’s transitional homes and organizing a clothing/essentials drive to pro¬vide donations for the transitional homes.
Fundraising for the class’s project is vital. Students have already had small chili sales and bake sales during basketball games on cam¬pus that have raised funds and are hoping to begin a lollipop sale in the near future. Viterbo students had the chance to participate in an Easter egg hunt planned on Monday, March 25.
“Our goal is to set up the houses with supply closets that can be maintained and stocked after we initially set them up,” said Kristin Leon, a third-year transfer student and student project leader in the class. “The more money we raise, means more items for the supply closets,” she said.
A clothing/essentials drive was held on campus from March 11-15; however, the class will gladly continue to take donations.
Elizabeth Hoskins, a freshman nursing major and co-leader of the student fundraising group, said, “The most important issue we are facing is long term. That is, being able to keep these rooms filled with items for the women that transition in and out of these homes. One [donated] shirt, or a bottle of body wash, or even a paper towel roll can really go a long way.”
There are donation boxes around campus for clothing, hygiene items and household items. After sorting through donations, the students will decide which items still need to be purchased and then create welcome bags for new residents of the houses along with stocking the supply closets.
“Once the YWCA and the women who live in the homes see all the donated items, they will quickly realize that the Viterbo community and the community of La Crosse care and want to see them succeed,” Hoskins said.
The students in this mission seminar class are working hard to better the lives of women in the La Crosse community, but they are also learning and growing as individuals in return.
Leon said, “It is true that in order to pass this class we must fulfill volunteer hours, but we have taken on a very special project that involves more than just bodies moving. It requires one to truly care about the wellbeing of the project. The insight that the class has brought to women’s struggles has given us that extra drive.”
Hoskins agreed: “Many times we as individuals feel we can’t help with large issues, such as homelessness, in our communities, but through class discussions, we are becoming empowered to say ‘yes, we can do something about this.’”
“I believe it’s our responsibility to use our position to help others rebuild their lives.”

‘Magnify’ started to bring good into the world

By Valerie Groebner
A&E Assistant Editor

With the spring season having started, an opportunity for all col¬lege students comes along with that. On April 12-14, 2013, Campus Ministry will be hosting their very first retreat called “Magnify.” The idea came from assistant director of Campus Ministry, Emilio Alvarez.
“Magnify” is a compilation of some fun times, some games, some talks and some reflection times, so there will be prayer time as well.” As this is the first time ever for “Magnify,” Alvarez hopes to continue with the retreat every proceeding semester. “The goal is to have the retreat be student-led, for students,” he added.
A twist that comes with “Magni¬fy,” however, is that the participants are allowed to be first-timers only once. After their first time on the retreat, they can apply to be leaders for the next retreat and leave the new participants up to a different group of students. This allows room for expansion and an opportunity for former participants to have a chance at leadership. “You can be a team member as much as you want,” Alvarez noted.
The name “Magnify” comes from a passage in the Bible, Matthew 5:14-16. Alvarez explained that the passage talks about “letting the light of Christ shine… it’s this idea that everyone is called to be in a relationship with God… it’s not only for people who are holy—ev¬eryone has this ability to be holy … to bring good into the world. That’s kind of the idea of what Magnify stands for: is to magnify what God has given you.”
“I’m hoping to get between 15 and 20 students,” Alvarez said. Registration for “Magnify” starts on April 4, and it is open to all college students. Priority goes to Viterbo students—should there be any open spots, but students from other campuses will have the opportu¬nity to fill those in. Registering for Magnify is online at

Touchstone provides an outlet for creativity

By Cassidy Mayberry
Contributing Reporter

Aphrodite, goddess of love uses, “manipulation, desire and emotions” to guide the actions of people, but Artemis, the goddess of the hunt, uses “logic and straight¬forwardness,” stated senior cos¬tume designer Rachel Wahl. These ideas paired with of visual research are what guided this member of the theater department to create the colors, textures and shapes of the goddesses’ costumes for the Greek tragedy “Hippolytus,” only in Touchstone magazine can you find photos of these costumes alongside a series of literary pieces and other art works.
On Wednesday, April 3 from 6-9 p.m., Viterbo students and commu¬nity members will be celebrate the release of the Touchstone maga¬zine will be held in the back of the library near Robers Conference room and food an beverages will be served.
Touchstone is a student created magazine that provides a creative outlet for the publication of art, po¬etry and prose. Its mission, accord¬ing to the Touchstone website, is to contribute to and praise the creative thinking of the Viterbo community. It also provides a learning opportu¬nity for students to assemble a pro¬fessionally published journal that expresses the culture and education of Viterbo University.
Joycelyn Fish, co-literary editor of Touchstone and senior organiza¬tional communications major from Reedsburg, Wis., expressed her passion for the magazine as being “a place where students are free to display their talents and share them with the rest of the Viterbo commu¬nity. We have so many unique and creative individuals on campus” she said, “and it provides them an¬other outlet to express themselves through their work.”
Touchstone received student submissions until the middle February. The literary portion of the magazine received 61 submis¬sions. Fish stated this number was “the most in recent history.” One of her duties as a member of the Touchstone staff, in addition to col¬lecting literary pieces, assisting in editing content and advertising the launch of the magazine, is visiting classrooms to promote and gather submission. Twenty-four different student authors entered submis¬sions to the magazine’s staff, and 15 of the pieces were accepted to be published.
Molly Grosskreutz, co-literary Ed¬itor of Touchstone and senior liberal studies major, helps in the process of soliciting, selecting and editing literary submissions. Her favorite part of working as a member of the Touchstone staff is “seeing the range of work students are capable of,” Grosskreutz said.
The magazine also features a number of student art works rang¬ing from paintings and drawings to sculptures and ceramics.
Danielle Stark, Touchstone maga¬zine’s co-art editor and photogra¬pher, and senior studio art major, worked on advertising, gathering the submissions, judging the art entries and photographing and editing the accepted pieces. She was also responsible for helping with decisions on the layout and design of the magazine and will be helping with the installation of the gallery in the library before the release celebration. More than 100 student submissions were made to the art side of the magazine, and around 45 pieces were accepted here.
During the release party the art pieces published in the 2013 Touchstone will be featured and the authors will read their literary pieces.
Also, the Touchstone website will be unveiled and launched during the release celebration. The website is tailored to represent the current edition of Touchstone and features all of the art and literature pieces contained in the magazine. The online version also features original music and videos submitted by students.
“This edition of Touchstone is going to be different from past years,” Stark said. “We are inter¬mingling the art and literary pieces, and we are playing the pieces off of each other. We have also decided to pick pieces as “editor’s choices” to put a little more emphasis on the pieces that we believed were outstanding.”
Fish also commented on the changes made to this year’s install¬ment of Touchstone. “This year marks a new layout and design for the magazine, making it more dynamic, sustainable and collabora¬tive. It truly molds the two sides of the magazine [literary and art] into one cohesive piece for the entire Viterbo community to enjoy.”

Put the winter blues behind you by welcoming spring with ‘Picnic’

By Molly Grosskreutz
A & E Editor
We may have just been pum¬meled—again—with snow, but winter’s on its way out, and spring will be here soon. What better way to harken spring’s arrival than with a picnic?
A small cast of Viterbo theatre stu¬dents are putting on a production of “Picnic” March 14-17.
“Picnic” is a play written by William Inge in 1953, is the story of a small Kansas town and how everything gets turned upside down when a stranger arrives one hot summer day. It describes the change in social standards that be¬gan in the ‘50s but really came into prevalence in the ‘60s.
Stage manager Lizzie Stauble is excited for the show because of the personal significance it has for her.
“To me, ‘Picnic’ is a special show because things in my own life are echoed in the characters’ lives. Certain behaviors and reactions hit very close to home for me. It is also special for me because it is the first show I’ve stage managed. I was an assistant stage manager for ‘A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum’ and ‘Secret Garden,’ both of which were main stage musicals. ‘Picnic’ is a small straight play in the La Croix Black Box, so the scale is so different,” Stauble told Lumen.
Assistant stage manager Lexie Scott seconds Stauble’s opinion. “It may not have the same spectacle as other shows, but it’s just as power¬ful,” she said.
Brenna Gustafson, a sophomore theatre and arts administration double major from Houston, Minn., is the show’s costume designer. “I love the aesthetic of the 1950s,” Gustafson explained, “especially the small-town styles early in the decade.”
One of Gustafson’s favorite ele¬ments of the costumes she’s de¬signed is that the costumes convey the play’s themes of constraint versus liberation, and society’s ex¬pectations versus personal desire.
For junior Andy Krage, the co-lighting designer and sound designer, “Picnic” is an “interesting study of gender roles.”
All of those interviewed in preparation for this article said their primary challenge in get¬ting this production on its feet has been scheduling around the big¬ger productions of “Cinderella” and “A Chorus Line,” as well as spring break and summer audi¬tions. Despite all those scheduling headaches, the cast and crew are confident and excited to share their work.
Tickets are available both at the box office and the Fine Arts Center website.

Viterbo’s ‘Cinderella’ transplanted to Arabia

By Molly Grosskreutz

A&E Editor

Everyone knows the story of Cinderella—ragged housekeeper-turned-bombshell, fairy godmother, evil stepsisters—but what if, at the stroke of midnight, the Cinderella we all know and love flees not from a castle, but from an Arabian palace?

The Viterbo music and theatre department’s latest full-stage opera, opening Feb. 22, is centered around this provocative change of setting. Director David Gardiner made the decision to transplant this universal story to the harsh and ornate fron­tiers of Arabia, which has provided a number of unique and interesting challenges for the cast and crew.

Paige Hauer, a senior music theatre major from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is the assistant director. For her, “one of the biggest challenges is incorporating the theme of Ara­bian nights into an Italian opera.”

She says the story fits the theme well, but choreographing and blocking the chorus has had its dif­ficult moments because the per­formers are often moving in styles unfamiliar to us Westerners.

Chad Kolbe is the show’s tech director and production manager. Planning the show has been chal­lenging for him as well, because “an Arabian theme means very spe­cific architecture: onion domes, lots of flowing fabric, and other unique lines, shapes, colors and palates.”

Despite these challenges, how­ever, both Hauer and Kolbe are excited for the end result. “It’s my first opera…and the music itself and the music the performers are singing is gorgeous,” Hauer told Lumen.

Kolbe says he is looking forward to seeing “the magic of all of this.” What does that entail? “There are a lot of unexpected moments,” he hinted.

Why should you go?

“You should go to this one be­cause it will be aesthetically and musically beautiful…the lighting, costumes and set are all very lus­cious and rich,” explained Hauer.

“Everybody should see this show because I think everybody should experience opera,” Kolbe added.

The show runs Feb. 22-24, and tickets are available both online and at the box office.

USITT: The Super Bowl of theatre technology and design

By Molly Grosskreutz

Arts & Entertainment Editor

More than 25 students and faculty from Viterbo’s theatre department are gearing up for what is equivalent to the Super Bowl of technical theatre.

The momentous event is the United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) Conference and Stage Expo held this year in Milwaukee March 20-23.

An estimated 5,000 industry experts, educators, students and vendors will swarm Milwaukee’s Delta Center, exchanging ideas, trade secrets and business cards.    It’s a way for those in the theatre industry to learn from one another and is an especially useful networking event for students and young professionals. It’s also the only annual conference that includes all the different aspects of theatre.

Samantha Goessner, a senior theatre major with an emphasis in tech and design from Oconomowoc, Wis., is involved in organizing the trip for her peers. This will be her third time attending the conference since she started at Viterbo, and this time, she’ll be presenting.

“I’m excited because I’m presenting a paper I wrote about digital collaboration and communication called ‘Pinterest in the Production Room,’” Goessner explained. “And it’s cool to see people get excited about this. I’m excited for the freshmen and sophomores to experience it for the first time.”

For Goessner, one of the past highlights of attending the conference was meeting Lady Gaga’s tech rider, the person in charge of informing host venues what Lady Gaga needed to put on her show.

Amanda Rehberg, a junior theatre BFA major with an emphasis in costume design, is also excited to be going to the conference. She’s going two days earlier than everyone else in order to attend a tutu-making workshop.

“It’s a good place to make connections and to learn different techniques,” Rehberg said.

This wonderful opportunity does not come without a price, however. Goessner anticipates high travel and parking expenses.

Theatre students are selling popcorn for $1 in the Fine Arts Center lobby Tuesdays and Thursdays between 11 and 1:30 as a fundraiser to offset the fees of the trip.

Three seniors deliver top-notch show

By Jessica Schurmann

Assistant Editor

The third floor art gallery in the Fine Arts Center opened its first senior show of the semester on Wednesday, Jan. 23. Seniors Philip Hanner, Rachel Hoscheit and Juila Opalinski presented a diverse body of work that culminated from their years of work at Viterbo.

Hanner, a printmaking major from Juda, Wis., exhibited six Intaglio Etched prints utilizing etching techniques such as sugar-lift, aquatint, marker-ground, etching and dry point. His style demonstrates unity, a wide range of techniques, and an individual approach that marks his pieces as his own.

One of the prints, entitled “Moon, Pine, and Flower” is a very bold piece with a variety of textures, gradients and placement that brings everything together and highlights the subject matter with life-like accuracy.

Hoscheit is a recent art education graduate from Onalaska, Wis. who focuses on the style of “Idiosyncratic Art.” Hoscheit described the style of art during the show opening as “art that is natural…art that is within oneself.”

For the show, Hosheit displayed six examples of printmaking: one woodcut, two drypoint, one intaglio and two monoprints. She also exhibited two ceramic pieces: a beautiful and realistic tree stump sculpture and an equally beautiful round vessel with a tree stump opening. Much of Hoscheit’s art tied humans and nature together, and all of it flowed together into a cohesive body of work.

A digital photography major from Prairie du Chien, Wis., Opalinski submitted eight works of digital photography to the show, with the intention to show viewers things they may not notice on a day-to-day basis. She brought observers into her world with personal photographs of nature, skylines, interesting architecture, and animals. The photos are of great quality and make viewers think twice about what they pay attention to in the world.

Hanner and Opalinski will graduate in May with Bachelors of the Fine Arts. The three seniors’ show will be open until Feb. 15 and can be viewed during gallery hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

MARAT/SADE brings creativity, raises questions in VU’s Black Box theatre

By Molly Grosskreutz

A&E Editor

From the title, “The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade,” MARAT/SADE by Peter Weiss is not your typical theatrical production. It’s challenging, abstract and wholly unconventional. And if that piques your interest, you should come check out the show this weekend.

Emily Matthees, a senior arts administration major from Rochester, Minn., explains the premise as “a show within a show.” “You’re not going to see your typical boy-meets-girl…it’s telling a story in a different way,” Matthees told Lumen.

The show involves inmates at an insane asylum who put on a performance as part of their therapy, Matthees explained. Aside from that, the show is setting-less. It implies ideas rather than stating them directly.

The show is unconventional in numerous ways. It breaks the fourth wall, meaning that the characters sometimes address the audience directly. It also employs projections and soundscapes to contribute to the overall unsettling atmosphere.

For Matthees, who has been involved with the show as the production manager and assistant technical director since day one, the best part is seeing all of those diverse elements come together with the actors and costumes. “I had seen almost everything separate, but you layer them together and it gets its punch,” she said.

Joe Holdman, a senior theatre tech and design major from Minnetonka, Minn., is the show’s projection designer. “The projections are still developing, but I think they’ll be cool and really interesting,” he said. He’s incorporating prolific photographer Dorothea Lange’s Depression-era photographs to communicate the show’s powerful message. “It’s a mechanism to convey a dark message common to all Americans,” he told Lumen.

Despite having many shows under his belt, Holdman is still excited about this production. “It’s gonna make you think, take a look at our national and international history and evaluate it, and I think that’s something that needs to happen,” he commented.

The show is geared for more mature audiences, so “don’t bring your five-year-old cousin,” Matthees joked.

Matthees says the show is actually aimed toward college students, since it mimics the way our minds process all different sorts of stimuli at the same time. “It involves a lot of multi-tasking…we as college students work that way.”

MARAT/SADE opened last weekend and continues this weekend, with performances Thursday through Sunday in Viterbo’s Black Box theatre. A question and answer session with the cast will be held after Friday’s show.

Tickets are available at the Viterbo Box Office and on the Fine Arts Center web page.

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