Indiana University

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Monday, February 9, 2009

Last modified: Monday, February 9, 2009

One-man shows in the spotlight during IU's ArtsWeek 2009

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Feb. 9, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Three one-man shows are on the bill during Indiana University's annual ArtsWeek (Feb. 19-March 1). Each show is distinct, but ArtsWeek coordinator Sheryl Knighton-Schwandt says all are examples of the excellence on display during ArtsWeek.

"ArtsWeek is thrilled to be supporting these three artists by making their efforts more widely available to the public," said Knighton-Schwandt. "These works feature different genres -- painting, playwriting, and a photodocumentary -- but all three demonstrate exceptional talent and fascinating interpretations of our 'Art and Politics' theme."

Artist John Schoolman's "Colorful Canes" exhibition (Feb. 17-March 8) will be displayed at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures on the IU Bloomington campus. Schoolman, a folk artist who turned 100 years old on Jan. 22, creates political walking sticks that express his strong sense of "patriotism" and feelings about war. Schoolman has made hundreds of canes, each one a display of colors, shape and political motifs. Traditional Arts Indiana will host an opening reception Feb. 20 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the Mathers Museum. At the reception, Schoolman will talk about his art and answer questions from the audience.

Fire in the Garden opens Feb. 26 at 8 p.m. in the John Waldron Arts Center in Bloomington. Written by Ken Weitzman, a visiting professor of playwriting and screenwriting in IU's Department of Theatre and Drama, this one-man play reflects on the experience of Norman Morrison, a Quaker from Baltimore, who set himself on fire outside the Pentagon in 1965 to protest U.S. policy in Vietnam. During his self-immolation, Morrison held his one-year-old daughter (who survived). More than 40 years later, in Weitzman's play, a new father, haunted by Morrison's act, asks why. In 2007, Weitzman's play The As If Body Loop was produced as part of the Humana Festival of New American Plays at the Actors Theatre of Louisville, and he has won several awards as a new and emerging playwriting talent.

ArtsWeek's third one-man spotlight shines on the screening of the documentary My Vietnam Your Iraq (Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. on IU's Bloomington campus in the Radio-TV Center, Room 251). The documentary tells the stories of Vietnam veterans whose children have served in Iraq, exploring the pride, challenges, fears and possible bitterness that parents and children face when one is serving in a war. Filmmaker Ron Osgood, a professor of telecommunications at IU Bloomington, says he was inspired to create the documentary after attending a Veteran's Day event in Chicago in 2005.

"I attended the dedication of the Chicago Vietnam Veteran's Memorial, and it was easy to see that veterans made up the majority of attendees, many of them my age and wearing something that identified their unit or branch of service," said Osgood. "I attended a rally sponsored by the Vietnam Veterans Against the War, and two young soliders back from Iraq spoke out against the war. I was impressed by their courage to speak in this public forum. These two events convinced me to develop a documentary that connects these two wars. I knew my story would be about Vietnam veterans whose own children served in Iraq."

About ArtsWeek

Since its inception in 1984, ArtsWeek has grown into a significant annual showcase for the wealth of creative work at IU and in the city of Bloomington, with prestigious performers, artists and journalists from across the country taking part in ArtsWeek activites. Over its 25-year history, ArtsWeek has extended artistic expression in startling new directions, from graffiti to 3-D computer modeling, ballet to computer-enhanced dance performance, ice carvings to sound gardens, poetry to a pie-laden table sculpture in the middle of the street.

For more information and a complete schedule of events, see the ArtsWeek 2009 Web site at

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