Last night was the annual Celebration of the Arts! A reading and reception for the unveiling of ABSENCE 2012 – Volume 14 Literary and Arts Review. The reception was held in the Ostermayer Room of the Student Community Center on the campus of Penn State Greater Allegheny in McKeesport, PA.
ABSENCE a magazine that showcases a selection of literary and visual art work submitted by full and part time students, faculty, staff, and alumni of Penn State Greater Allegheny. Works including original poetry, fiction, non-fiction, creative non-fiction, visual arts and photography are judged by student editors using a blind-review process to ensure that all submissions are judged solely on artistic merit. The magazine is published annually by the Penn State Greater Allegheny Press. This year the magazine printing was done by Penn State Multimedia & Print Center, University Park, PA.
From ABSENCE 2012 Volume 14 Statement of Mission:
The Mission of ABSENCE, published by Penn State Greater Allegheny Press, is an annual publication of a high quality literary and visual arts review for the PSUGA campus and surrounding community. The Review’s goal is to provide all full- and part time PSUGA students, faculty, staff, and alumni with a shared venue for their creative endeavors, and to generate interest in the arts in the Greater Allegheny community, and the Mon Valley in particular. ABSENCE also provides students the professional opportunity to prepare for careers in publishing and document design both paper and digital. Several student editors have gone on to careers in publishing.
This year I submitted 10 photographs, the maximum that can be submitted. Five of the photographs were submitted at the Fall deadline of December 12th, 2011 and five were submitted in the Spring by the February 17th, 2012 deadline. In early April I received not one but two emails from the Associate Editor, Ms Jessi Hank indicating that 6 of my 10 photographs had been selected for inclusion in the upcoming edition. Just like last year, I was extended an invitation to attend the opening reception and speak about my work. This was awesome news! Very exciting! Despite being away on vacation in Key West and not having a consistent internet connection I managed to email a response and acknowledge my attendance at the opening. Unfortunately my “75 word reflection on my creative work” did not make it in time to be included in the contributor’s notes at the back of the publication. That was one of the emails that got stuck in the queue. Oh well…
This year’s reception was similar to last year in several regards. Dr. Clifford Manlove, PhD, Senior Faculty Advisor and Publisher mc’d the event. There were hors d’oeuvres, singing, dancing, acting, poetry reading, drawings and photography. I got to talk with some of the editors, the faculty and some of the students about the publication and more importantly to me, photography. It was a really good time. My photographs were well received. I had several questions about HDR photography from the students. Hopefully I steered them in the right direction.
Unlike last year there a couple of new things. First, near the conclusion of the reception there were three short student films shown that were very entertaining. Two of them were presented by Lori Hepner, Assistant Professor of Integrative Arts and one was presented by LIQUID BONEZ (a.k.a Darian Stansbury). Some of Darian’s work can be seen here:
Second, at the conclusion my presentation I announced that just yesterday I had received notification from the Greater Harrisburg Arts Council that one of my photographs had been accepted into Art of the State: Pennsylvania 2012 at the State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg. Since the student editors had just selected the same photograph for this edition of ABSENCE just before the Art of the State notification, I vowed to donate any prise money that I might receive from Art of the State back to PSUGA for their use in a future ABSENCE publication. Needless to say I got a resounding round of applause! Now we wait until the Art of the State opening on June 16th, 2012 to see if I win any awards.
I would like to again thank Dr. Manlove, all the PSUGA (pronounced “sue-ga”, I learned last night) student editors, and everyone involved in putting together this fine publication. I had a wonderful time and I am looking forward to next year. Keep your fingers crossed for Art of the State!