April 12, 2011

Second Annual ‘Art on the Hill' Festival Expands to Include Music, Theater

The second annual Art on the Hill Festival at Rogers State University has been expanded this year to include live free music and theater performances, as well as free children's art activities and the exhibition and sale of art, according to RSU First Lady Peggy Rice.

The festival, which is free and open to the public, will be held on Friday and Saturday, April 29-30, "on the Hill" at the RSU campus in Claremore.

"We would like to invite the public to join us on the beautiful RSU campus for this outdoor art festival," said Rice, who is serving as festival co-chairperson.

The festival will be held from 12 noon to 8 p.m. Friday, April 29, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, April 30.

This year's featured artists will be Kathy Kosins, a nationally recognized jazz vocalist and abstract painter, and Jerry Emanuel, a Native Oklahoma artist known for his unique wood sculptures.

A highlight of this year's festival will be a free jazz concert by Kosins at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 30, in the Will Rogers Auditorium.

"This will be a wonderful opportunity to hear a nationally touring jazz vocalist free of charge right here in Claremore," Rice said.

Artwork in a variety of media by artists across northeast Oklahoma will be displayed under tents on the campus lawn in a festival atmosphere, and available for sale.

The art will be judged during the festival by independent judges, and awards will be announced at a ceremony during the festival, said Gary Moeller, RSU art professor and co-chairperson of the festival.

The festival also will feature a free children's art tent with hands-on, "take home" art activities for children of all ages, sponsored by the RSU Student Art Association. Art activities for children will include clay workstation, found object collages, face painting, ink fingertip art and more.

This year, musical and theater performances will take center stage at the Art on the Hill Festival. Performing on two festival stages will be RSU Choir, Will Rogers High School Jazz Band and area bands, including Last Slice, Musician's Workshop Band and Blue Fire Foley.

The RSU Renaissance Club will present "Shakespeare Shorts" and RSU Theatre will present several ten-minute plays, written and directed by RSU students, throughout the festival. RSU Radio will conduct a live remote from the campus during the festival.

The public also is invited to visit the new campus art gallery, located in the recently expanded and renovated Baird Hall. The RSU Senior Capstone Exhibition, an annual exhibition of art by graduating RSU seniors, will be on display in the gallery during the festival.

Art on the Hill t-shirts will be available for sale during the festival, at the discounted price of $12 each. In addition, commemorative festival poster prints, designed by Denny Schmickle, RSU art professor, will be available for sale for $25.

Art on the Hill Festival Sponsors include, at the Patron of the Arts level, AES Shady Point, Oklahoma Arts Council, Lafarge of Tulsa and Key Construction; at the Master Artists level, Bill and Vicki Beierschmitt, Robson and Robson, Verona Swank and Leonard and Kathy Szopinski (Possibilities Scholarships); at the Aficionado level, Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism, RCB Bank, Larry and Peggy Rice, TRC Disaster Solutions and Wal-Mart; and at the Apprentice level, Danette Boyle, Cherokee Casino – Will Rogers Downs, Michael and Clarice Doyle, First Bank Oklahoma, Tony and Donna Schenck of Pryor Printing, Inc., Jim and Cindy Smith of Musgrove-Merriott-Smith Funeral Service and Crematory and Claudia Story.

Art on the Hill Planning Committee members include Rice and Moeller, co-chairs, Virgil Lampton, David Wolfe, Deshane Atkins, Leonard Szopinski, Sharon Kern, Claudia Story, Brent Ortolani, Randy Riggs, Clarice Doyle, Heather Isaacs, Bryce Brimer, Denny Schmickle, Sherry Alexander, Jordan Wong and Dr. Kirk Weller.

For a complete schedule of Art on the Hill Festival events and a list of participating artists, visit