Baluyut travels with students to South Africa

Art History provides humanity with evidence of its triumphs and follies; the latter always in hindsight and full of violence, suffering, and pain. From the antebellum plantation mansions looming upon laboring slaves in the Deep South to the internment camps in Auschwitz that gassed Jews, architecture stands as a concrete witness to our collective loss, shame, and ignorance. This is also the case in South Africa whose system of racial segregation from 1948 to the 1990s called apartheid was instituted by those in power (i.e., minority white population) upon the Black Africans, colored people, and Asian South Africans, engendering political, economic, and social division and inequity, as well as death through its oppressive policies. Rather than occurring overnight like the erection of the Berlin Wall, apartheid’s wheels were set in motion under Dutch and then British rule. By the early and late 20th century, the incarceration of Indian civil rights activist Mahatma Gandhi and anti-apartheid revolutionary Nelson Mandela, among others, at the military fort and prison-turned-museum in Johannesburg was inevitable. This architecture of brutality presents itself as a mirror for all, the raison d’etre of the Global Engagement Travel Grant 2018-2019 that Dr. Pearlie Rose S. Baluyut (Art Department) received from the SUNY Oneonta Global Engagement Office directed by Dr. Vernon Larson.

Designed to broaden students’ global perspectives, increase student engagement, strengthen student-faculty international research and creative activities, and promote and support global connectedness at SUNY Oneonta, Dr. Baluyut took four of her Art History students to an all-expense-paid trip to Johannesburg, South Africa during Spring Break from March 3 to 10, 2019. With the expert facilitation of Dr. Alison Kearney—host faculty and collaborator who previously visited SUNY Oneonta to give a Curator Talk in Dr. Baluyut’s ARTH 218 (Art of the 20th Century) course in Fall 2018—at the University of Witwatersrand (or Wits University) where Mandela once studied, this travel provided the students with a critical and humbling view of a global landscape filled with lessons and opportunities.

Working closely with the Wits University host students Boitumelo Molalugi, Kundai Moyo, and Lesole Tauatswala, SUNY Oneonta student Xavier Neal-Carson, Quwabe Rose, Kaitlin Scott, and Laressa Tuch were able to develop a greater understanding of identity politics, social justice, and human rights through art and creative research and applied-service learning activities at the Wits University, Wits Art Museum, and Play Africa, a non-profit community organization that serves families and children from disadvantage backgrounds. Moreover, the students visited the Apartheid Museum and were taken on a behind-the-scene curatorial tour of Constitution Hill (the court, prison cells, and art gallery), both of which preserve the ‘architecture of brutality’ and, at the same time, aspire towards South Africa’s rebuilding on a stronger democratic foundation through adaptive reuse. With first-hand knowledge and an unforgettable international experience, the American and South African students are in a better position to serve as advocates of mutual cooperation and catalysts of global (ex)change to ensure a kinder future for themselves and the generations to come.

1. BALUYUT - South Africa 030519

Public Events Committee seeking applications for funding

Got Funding?

The Public Events Committee currently seeks applications for funding of “public events” on the SUNY Oneonta campus for Fall 2019 and Spring 2020.

Typical events that meet the “cultural and educational standards of the college” include guest speakers; arts and cultural activities; readings; concerts and public performances; and presentations geared to increase the positive cultural relationship within and between the college and the surrounding community.

Generally, funding awards are between $300 and $1,000. Funding requests should demonstrate that substantial funding (preferably more than 50%) is sought from additional sources.

The “college sponsored” event should be held on campus and should benefit the entire campus community, NOT just a narrow interest group or population.

All proposals should include a budget and advertising plan.

The proposal must be submitted by a member of the faculty, staff, or a current or retired employee of the college.

For complete submission guidelines, link to the application form, and sample proposals, visit the Public Events Committee’s web page by searching for “Committee on Public Events” or going to

Questions? Contact Public Events Committee Chair, George Hovis, at or at 436-2571.

Application Deadline: Friday April 26, 2019

Mask & Hammer to present “The Shadow Box”

The Mask & Hammer Theatre Club will present “The Shadow Box” at the Hamblin Theatre in the Fine Arts Center from March 21-24. March 21-23 showings will be at 7:30 p.m. and the March 24 showing will be at 2 p.m. The production is by Michael Cristofer and directed by Lisa Bianco.

“The Shadow Box” is a Pulitzer Prize-winning play about three terminally-ill cancer patients who face physical and emotional challenges as they approach the end of life. The three are attended and visited by family and close friends: Agnes and her mother Felicity, estranged further by the latter’s dementia; Brian and Beverly, whose marital complications are exacerbated by Brian’s new lover, Mark; and Joe and Maggie, unready for the strain of Joe’s impending death and its effect on their teenage son.

Tickets for the show go on sale March 11. Tickets are available at the Hunt Union box office from 1 to 10 p.m., seven days a week, or by reserving online at Also available at the door one hour prior to performance.

$3 with SUNY Oneonta ID, $5 General Admission

SA Funded

Science Discovery Center event to cover “fake science”

Join astrophysicist Joshua Nollenberg and archaeologist Cynthia Klink for a discussion titled, “No, Definitely NOT Aliens: Resisting Fake Science in Astronomy and Archaeology,” on Tuesday 3/26 at 5:30 p.m. at the AJ Read Science Discovery Center, SUNY Oneonta.
Moderated by Doug Reilly (Science Discovery Center) and Renee Walker (Anthropology), the discussion will consider examples of pseudoscience, such as 2018 claim by two Harvard astrophysicists that an object detected in space might be a “fully operational probe sentintentionally to Earth vicinity by an alien civilization” (Bialy and Loeb 2018) and the popularity of The History Channel’s series, “Ancient Aliens,” which has promoted the idea that ancient monuments like the Nazca Lines of Peru and the Giza pyramids of Egypt were built by visiting aliens—not the local peoples of these regions.
The discussion will be focused on what astronomy and archaeology really tell us, and why it is important and necessary not only to promote science education and science literacy, but also to talk back and resist fake science.
This event is free and open to the public.

Rhea Nowak’s work displayed at solo exhibition

Rhea Nowak has a solo exhibition of current prints titled “The Cairns” at the Art Center of the Capital District in Troy, NY. The exhibition is up from March 5 until April12, with a reception on March 29 from 5 to 9 p.m. during “Troy Night Out” and an Artist’s Talk on Thursday April 4 at 7 p.m. This is free and open to the public.

Tapestry of Diversity call for nominations

Greetings Campus Community!

The President’s Council on Diversity (PCOD) has opened the call for nominations for the 2019 Tapestry of Diversity Award. The award, established in 2010, recognizes individuals or groups for exceptional contributions in fostering diversity and inclusion at the college through leadership, service or support. We have streamlined the process and look forward to reviewing your nominations for a 2019 awardee. The deadline for nominations is Thursday, March 14 at noon.

To submit your nomination, click here. The Tapestry of Diversity Award Ceremony will take place on April 16. More details to follow.

If you have questions, please contact Faith Tiemann at