PREVIEW: Campus entertainment events for the spring semester

School’s back in session: the stress of crashing classes, the strict routine of waking up early and being punctual, and waiting in long lines at the bookstore. But amidst all the seriousness, there’s also plenty of fun to be had.

From late night dance parties to interactive art exhibitions, SF State’s creative departments and student organizations have a variety of events planned for the spring semester.

Next month, The Fine Arts Gallery will present SmART Space, an interactive exhibit in memory of Stephen Wilson, an art professor and head of the Conceptual and Information Arts program at SF State who passed away Jan. 10 of last year. The idea for the exhibit is rooted in Wilson’s works and writings and will feature motion-activated sculptures and interactive artworks from several West Coast artists. Local composer and media artist Pamela Z and SF State sculpture professor Kal Spelletich will perform at the exhibit’s opening Feb. 21., which runs through March 15.

“I’m showing a piece called 100 Electronic Art Years,” said Maggie Orth, one of the participants in the exhibit. “It’s an electronic textile artwork woven with circuits. The fabric heats up with the push of a button and changes colors.”

If interactive art isn’t your thing, then head over to The Depot, located on the lower conference level of the Cesar Chavez Student Center, for music, comedy performances and karaoke sessions.

The Depot’s booking manager Gio Acosta and booking assistant Stephanie Escoto are convinced that the bands scheduled to perform this semester are the best ones yet.

“We are getting bigger and bigger names to play at our school,” said Escoto. “We’re trying to have bands come through before they become huge.”

SF State students will get a chance to see an intimate set from “beach goth” rock band The Growlers Feb. 24, along with a secret Noise Pop Music Festival guest who will be announced the day of the show, and down-tempo electronica band Keep Shelly in Athens in April. Both bands are on the bill to perform at Coachella, one of the biggest music festivals in the world.

Canadian dream-pop group Memoryhouse will hit The Depot stage in March, and several of our own SF State student bands such as Date Crepe, Hungry Skinny and Schmiegen will present their musical endeavors in the upcoming months.

The highlight of the University Dance Theater’s annual showcase will be Kimi Okada’s “I Look Vacantly at the Pacific… Though Regret,” featuring choreography by advanced students and faculty members Ray Tadio and Cathleen McCarthy. The theme of the performance is a comedic take on attempts at cross-cultural understanding and will run for three days starting March 1 in McKenna Theatre, located in the Creative Arts building.

The McKenna Theater will also present the comedic play “Sorry Fugu,” a satire about restaurants and critics, written by T.C. Boyle and directed by John Fisher, March 6.

The monthly Noise Complaint dance parties will continue throughout the semester in the Cesar Chavez Student Center. Franko Ali, vice president of University affairs at Associated Students, Inc., will unveil information about SF State’s music festival, to take place in late April or beginning of May, during Noise Complaint Feb. 17.

“It’s the second year running which is really exciting,” said Ali. “It’s going to be a lot bigger than last year.”

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