|Feb. 15, 2007
The St. Bonaventure Ski Team is comprised of six students who, two nights a week, put the books down and bundle up to venture to nearby Holiday Valley in Ellicottville.
The six students came together and formed a bond as friends, a team, and a family. A majority of the members joined the team looking to do what they love, race. The other skiers simply loved to ski.
Brian Cappellino, a junior finance major, explained, “I joined because I liked skiing. I had never raced before joining, so between learning that and skiing different mountains, it was an adventure.”
Todd Perry, a freshman biology major, has been racing for 13 years. Ski racing is a competitive sport but that doesn’t take the fun out of the sport for this team.
“Although we usually place lower than we would like, it is still fun,” said Perry.
Team members pay $400 in dues every season. The dues paid are matched by the school to assist in paying for two nights of training a week, lift tickets, four races a season and some traveling expenses.
Ski racing is an expensive sport, the equipment is not cheap and the entry fee is $85 a racer per race.
Robert DeFazio, director of intramurals and club sports, explained the benefits of a smaller team. “The benefit to a smaller team is that everyone gets the chance to race, with the entry fees as expensive as they are, if they had more skiers cuts may have to be made,” commented DeFazio.
With no official recruiting in place, the Ski Team members hope to expand their squad and funding in the future with the help from current students and alumni.
Luke Donius, a senior biology major, said, “I am trying to get alumni more involved. I have gotten one donation and I am hoping to have an alumni reunion.”
Next year seniors will try and expand the team in numbers. Donius believes this is possible because “there are more good racers at Bona’s than actually join the team.”
Don Aldo Brunacci, Prior of the Cathedral of San Rufino, Assisi died in the early morning of February 2, 2007. He was best known to the St. Bonaventure University community as a 2002 recipient of an honorary degree for his heroic work to save hundreds of Jews during WWII. And thousands of pilgrims remember him as their host at the Casa Papa Giovanni.
In the summer of 2002, Don Aldo gathered several pilgrims from SBU, including Sr. Margaret Carney, and myself and asked why we didn’t bring more students to Assisi to study their Franciscan tradition. I recalled that conversation as I led the very first class of students in the Franciscan Heritage Program to Assisi that very morning.
Several weeks earlier, Judy and I had gone to Assisi to pay our respects to Don Aldo. We found him bed-ridden and weak. I informed him that I had finally brought students to Perugia and Assisi, and he complimented my progress in learning Italian. I joked that I was now even more worried for his health! He smiled and I knew his mind was still sharp as he simply replied, “Ninety-three years; ninety-three years.” That was to be my last encounter with Don Aldo before his appointment with Sister Death.
I did not know that as I entered Casa Papa Giovanni on a spectacularly sunny morning after we had hiked up from San Damiano to Santa Chiara and then across town to a lunch appointment just a few doors from Don Aldo’s. I left the group to call on him and inquired whether he would be strong enough to grace my class with a brief visit. Instead I walked into his wake.
“E’ morto!” announced Rita, his devoted assistant, as she led me to his casket in the tiny chapel by the front door. And so he was. To his distinctive bearing of strength and gentleness, now was added peace.
The funeral was the very next day at his beloved San Rufino. It was a remarkably local affair for a man I had always considered a global citizen, and whose walls boasted tributes from world leaders and celebrities. Now the church was packed with family and townspeople including the local boy and girl scout troop that he had once led, wearing their uniforms and holding high their hand-made wolf and bear banners.
Of course, there was a tribute from the President of Italy read by Mayor Claudio Ricci, and a stirring tribute from Assisi Bishop Msgr. Domenico Sorrentino. The bishop recalled Don Aldo as a man with a “passionate and contagious” Christianity, who “spoke with his works and many acts of charity” and “whose big heart of love broadened the horizons of hope for so many.”
But surely the most dramatic moment in the service was when a diminutive bearded man, Prof. Gustavo Reichenbach, donned a Jewish yarmulke and began to recite the mourner’s Kaddish in Hebrew. A chemistry professor at the University of Perugia, he represented the remnants of the Jewish community there, which includes some who survived because of Don Aldo’s courage.
The next day the Corriere dell’Umbria reported that this tribute made the Assisians even more proud of their citizenship, which seems amazing enough in the birthplace of Francis and Clare. But I understood. My moment of pride had come just before when Bishop Sorrentino described Don Aldo’s special appreciation for his honorary degree from “L’universita’ di San Bonaventura a New York.” The newspaper’s headline read, “Assisi non dimentichera’ fratello Aldo” to which I’m proud to add, “Amen, St. Bonaventure University, let us not forget our brother Don Aldo.”
(Chiariello is director of St. Bonaventure University’s Franciscan Heritage Study Abroad Program in Perugia, Italy. For further information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.sbu.edu/italystudy.)
The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts presents Whaam! The Late 20th Century Art Scene from Jan. 31, 2007, through Feb. 17, 2008, in the Quick Center’s West Gallery.
Whaam! comprises prints, drawings, photographs and ephemera from some of the brightest lights of the New York art scene of the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s, including works by Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Keith Haring, Annie Leibovitz and Jean-Michel Basquiat, among others.
The single-owner collection of art and ephemera from which the exhibition was drawn was assembled by a collector who counted many of the participants as close friends. Some of the most important artists and provocateurs of 20th-century American art are included, as are some lesser-known, but fascinating figures.
The exhibition covers a period of almost breathtaking creativity and change in the art world. In the ‘60s, art forged strong links with independent film (Andy Warhol was a noted filmmaker himself) and in the ‘80s with music and dance, particularly hip-hop, reggae, world beat and alternative (Yoko Ono is known as much for her music as for her visual art), and these connections are illustrated in the exhibition.
Much of what happened in visual art in the ‘60s was a reaction against the heated, angst-ridden, manipulations of the Abstract Expressionists. Pop Art, which came to prominence in America in the early 1960s, took as its subject matter familiar images from popular culture, many of which had filtered down from the worlds of advertising and design.
Warhol, who started out as a designer and illustrator, was one of the main proponents of Pop, and his affectless images of repeated soup cans and pop stars are almost as ubiquitous today as were his original sources.
Minimalist art and Color Field painting, represented in the exhibition by Sol LeWitt and Helen Frankenthaler, employed simplified geometric patterns and large areas of more or less flat, strong color. These artists set themselves apart from the expressionists by eliminating any emotional, mythic or religious content and creating works of cool precision and gestural, painterly abstraction.
Conceptual art from the ‘70s and ‘80s takes audiences out of the galleries and into the streets with environmental and site-specific installations and sound art where the intellectual process of art-making is as important as the artwork itself.
The turbulent women’s rights movement, and later the AIDS epidemic, brought radical politics into the downtown art scene via such artists as Valerie Solanas and Keith Haring. In fact, the brew from which art was being made by the 1980s was strongly flavored not only by “drugs, sex and rock n’ roll,” but by personal and gender politics, graffiti and urban culture, dance and the cult of the artist as celebrity.
The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts is open Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays noon to 4 p.m. The galleries of the Quick Center are free and open to the public year round. For general information or group tours, call 716-375-2494, visit www.sbu.edu or e-mail Quick@sbu.edu.
Tickets go on sale Wednesday, Feb. 14, for The Magic of Ireland, a live spectacle of traditional Irish dance, music and song, coming to St. Bonaventure University at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 11, in the San Damiano Room in Francis Hall.
The Magic of Ireland offers an authentic Irish cultural experience with award-winning dancers performing traditional Irish dance that has been around as long as there as been music to perform. The musical production has toured extensively throughout the United Kingdom and Europe, performing more than 400 shows.
The show consists of
10 to 12 regular members all of whom are champion Irish dancers,
accompanied by up to five multi-instrumentalists singing and playing 11
different instruments, including the accordion, fiddle, guitar, Bahrain,
pipes, whistles and flutes.
“The University is proud to host The Magic of Ireland and to celebrate through dance, music, and song a land that is rich in tradition and spirit,” said Steve Plesac, director of student activities.
The show runs nearly two hours and includes 16 costume changes.
It is presented by the Office of Student Activities at St. Bonaventure. Tickets are $20 and are available at the Reilly Center Ticket Office, Tops Friendly Markets, tickets.com or by calling 888-223-6000. All seats are reserved.
For more information about The Magic of Ireland, visit http://themagicofireland.ca/home.html.
On Saturday, Feb. 17, Joseph LoSchiavo, executive director of The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts (QCA) at St. Bonaventure University, will be in the main lodge at HoliMont Ski Resort to present a short “fireside chat” during an Après ski social from 3 -6 p.m.
LoSchiavo will introduce HoliMont members to the many cultural and entertainment opportunities represented by the Quick Center, located a short distance east of Ellicottville between Allegany and Olean.
Established in 1995 on the St. Bonaventure campus, the QCA is a 57,343-square-foot facility housing a museum, a 312-seat theater and the offices and classrooms of the University’s Department of Visual and Performing Arts.
The University’s Permanent Collection of about 3,000 objects is larger and more comprehensive than that of museums in many mid-sized cities. A broad spectrum of fine and applied art and historical artifacts, the collection spans from the very beginnings of civilization to the 21st century. Drawing from six centuries and as many continents, it represents work from North and South America, Europe, Asia, India, Africa and Australia. Approximately 325 paintings and objects from the permanent collection are on view year round.
In addition, the QCA features a diverse program of self-produced and national touring exhibitions, as well as a full season of performing arts, including music, dance and theater presentations, film series, symposia and exciting special events. Special performances of children’s shows during school days also offer a fun alternative to families staying at HoliMont.
The University and
the Quick Center want to roll out the red carpet to HoliMont’s members,
including the entire Ellicottville community and encourage everyone to
visit and explore one of the region's best-kept secrets. (Just don’t
forget to take off your ski boots!)
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February 16, 2007