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King Creativity Fund Supports 14 Projects for 2012-2013

  • News Image
    Marie Smith stands with the Baroque violin she has rented with the help of a grant from the King Creativity Fund.
    LUCAS ADAMS
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    Nathan Balke (left) Jose Andres Soto-Pasillas (center) and Kelsey Abel (right) received a grant from the King Creativity Fund to design and build a low-cost eco-dome. (Photo by Lucas Adams)
    Lucas Adams
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    Vicente Estrada-Carpenter plans to continue working on a small nuclear fusion reactor he started last year with a grant from the King Creativity Fund.

Projects include the construction of a low-cost eco-dome and the re-creation of Baroque violin music

As an aspiring violin teacher, Marie Smith wants to learn as much about the violin as possible. This includes learning about the earliest violins, which are different from the violins that are used today.

Smith will have an opportunity to do this in the coming months thanks to financial support from the King Creativity Fund.

Smith is using a grant from the King Creativity Fund to rent a replica of a Baroque violin from a company in California called Ifshin Violins.

“Many of the modern classical instruments we know of today, like the violin, underwent a great deal of development during the Baroque era,” Smith said. “The famous Stradivarius violins were crafted during the Baroque and creativity in composing new styles of music for violin seemed to explode.”

Smith said differences in construction between Baroque and modern violins affect the sound considerably and create a completely different palate of expression for a violinist.

“Violinists have to rethink a lot of their technique when they attempt to play a Baroque instrument, but if they succeed, the result is a rich sound that contains a spectrum of colorful possibilities,” she said.

Smith is trying to find a local musician who can help teach her about how the Baroque violin is played. “This is a fairly exotic field of music, so people who are involved in it are usually extremely eager to share their knowledge and experience,” she said.

She then plans to play some Baroque music on the rented violin as part of her senior recital, which is set for April 13, 2013.

“The purpose of this project is to create a musical experience that I would otherwise not be able to have until graduate school,” Smith said. “I’m really dedicated to learning as much as I can about the violin, and that includes its history. I want to hear the same sounds that Bach heard when he composed for violin, and see how it effects the way I play his music.”

In addition to opening up new opportunities for her as a performer, Smith said her King Creativity project will also help her as a music teacher.

“In my day-to-day teaching, I often find that my students are very curious about the history behind the music they are studying, and I want to be able to offer this kind of information to them,” she said.

Smith’s violin arrived in early December. It is slightly smaller than her personal violin, and much lighter. Smith said playing it was going to take some getting used to, but she likes the sound it produces.

“This is a good project for me because I can test this to see if it something that would be worth the investment in the future,” she said. Smith’s advisor for her King Creativity project is Eri Lee Lam, associate professor of music.

Other King Creativity projects that have been funded for 2012-2013 are as follows:

  • “Low Cost Eco-Dome.” Kelsey Abel, Jose Andres Soto-Pasillas and Nathan Balke plan to create a stable and easy-to-assemble dome structure modeled after a Buckyball. The faculty advisor for the project is Steve Alexander.
  • “Nuclear Fusion Reactor.” Vicente Estrada-Carpenter plans to continue working on a small nuclear fusion reactor he started last year along with project newcomer Jose Andres Soto-Pasillas. The reactor utilizes recycled deuterium tubes as a fuel source. The faculty advisor for the project is Steve Alexander.
  • “2013 SU Art Festival.” Stacie Glowka is organizing this event, which has become a yearly tradition for SU art and music students. The 2013 festival will be held on Saturday, April 6. The faculty advisor for the project is Bruce Cain.
  • “The Fine Line: Painting as Objects or Objects as Paintings?” Rebecca Gordon plans to paint different common household objects such as a chair, a table and a lamp to show that painting as a work of art is not restricted to the traditional canvas. The faculty advisor for the project is Star Varner.
  • “Where’s Waldo?” Amir Hessabi, Bryony McLaughlin and Chancellor Clark plan to develop a GPS tracking system that will aid in locating Pirate Bikes. The faculty advisors for the project are Walt Potter and Anne Hines.
  • “An Artistic Expression of Particle Physics Through 3D Modeling.” Curran Johnston plans to use Southwestern’s new 3D printer to make models of Z-prime bosons, a recently proposed subatomic particle. The faculty advisor for the project is Steve Alexander.
  • “Thermoacoustic Generator.” Karl Kleinsasser and Caroline Weston plan to build a generator that will use a heat source such as the sun to amplify a small source sound which will then be used to generate electricity. The faculty advisor for the project is Steve Alexander.
  • “Bubble Display.” Eric Oden plans to use computer programming to time bubbles to form images in a set of 64 liquid-filled tubes. The faculty advisor for the project is Steve Alexander.
  • “Strongholds of Insecurity.” Tess Outlaw plans to create three art spaces on campus that represent the mindset created by narrow-minded thinking. The faculty advisor for the project is Mary Visser.
  • “SU Splash: Students Becoming Teachers.” Kavita Singh, Cori Gagliardi, Chris Gilbert, Sara Goodma, Elizabeth Grenadier, Morgan Gribble, Robert Lehr and Jeanne Wehde are organizing a one-day program called “SU Splash” that is designed to introduce high school students to the liberal arts and Southwestern. Students will come to campus for one day to attend classes taught by students, staff and faculty, as well as other volunteer teachers from around the community. The faculty advisor for the project is Stephen Marble.
  • “Southwestern Commuting and Vehicle Usage Reduction Study (Pirate Ride).” Jesse Chiu plans to measure the feasibility of a rideshare project at Southwestern and offer a “Walk/Bike/Ride Day” on campus. The faculty advisor for the project is Jim Kilfoyle.
  • “PolyPavement Sand Sculpture.” Ellen Hinds plans to create a sculpture made of sand and PolyPavement. The faculty advisor for the project is Steve Alexander.
  • “HIV Through Music.” Phillip Wozny, Winston Myers, Rachel DeLong, Michelle Moses and Stinson Seuser plan to create a musical metaphor to show the process by which HIV moves from cell to cell. The musical demonstration is scheduled to take place on Dec. 1 and will be held in conjunction with a fundraiser to support HIV research. The faculty advisor for the project is Fumiko Futamura.

Students will present their projects at a symposium to be held on Monday, April 8, 2013.