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March 22, 2013 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-03-22

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Friday, March 22, 2013 - 5

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom A rts Friday, March 22,2013-5

P CAP lends voice
to incarcerated

Diverse deities clash in
ambitious 'SMITE'

tion fo
ily me
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was ta
at the
come ti
a work
are yo
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our vo
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said w
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I hadn
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isoners express University where students are
given a chance to facilitate these
mselves through workshops. English 310 and 319
cover theater and writing and
ltiple mediums are taught by Alexander. His
wife, Penny W. Stamps School
By JOHN BOHN of Art & Design Professor Janie
DailyArts Writer Paul, offers a course through
A&D that covers painting work-
'sday, atthe openingrecep- shops.
r the 18th annual Prison To join a course, students
ve Arts Program (PCAP) must have a meeting with Alex-
ition, over 500 eager fam- ander in which he explains
mbers and friends of the exactly what the students are
erated walked through getting into in addition to asking
llery observing their loved them about why they would take
artwork. A few of them such a course.
ipated in a reading of cre- "Why do you want to work
writing that their loved with someone that everybody
sked them to do. Some of else thinks is dangerous?" Alex-
adings were from those ander asks.
e since returned home University alum Sari Adelson
prison. All of this came joined PCAP during her under-
er for what is the largest grad years. After graduating in
al Prison Arts exhibit. 2007, she continued working
1990, Arthur F. Thurnau with PCAP and since then has
sor of English William become one of the four curators,
" Alexander found that along with Alexander, Paul and
his students, Liz Boner, Charlie Michaels.
king art supplies to two "Prisons are not pretty plac-
at the Florence Crane es," Adelson said. "They are not
n's Facility in Coldwater, happy places ... there is no sen-
The lifers were enrolled sory input whatsoever."
University but couldn't The prospect of working with
:o the campus. Alexander, incarcerated youth or adults
and fellow student Julie didn't make her uncomfortable.
io came together to offer The discomforting part was her
shop to these two women. experience with the prison sys-
sder brought with him an tem itself.
se in which he allowed the "The most difficult part for me
n to ask him, Boner and is having to go in and out of this
io any questions they had. gated area where someone com-
e first question was, what pletely pats you down, puts you
su doing here? Are you through a metal detector, makes
ng us?" Alexander said in you take your shoes and socks
rview with the Daily. "We off, makes you pull your hair
speak very honestly... and behind your ears, looks in your
y not have answered them nose and mouth," Adelson said.
tly, but they could hear in "It's a constant reminder, for
ices that we were trying me, of the fact that I'm in a space
hard. So, at the end, one where people feel it's necessary
m turned to the other and to be precautious or fear that the
e need to open this up to people I'm about to work with
ole prison." are going to be dangerous. And
y of the 120 women who for me that is really problematic.
up for the first workshop Because it's a shift in the way we
d up. understand human beings and
sen I came in, they stood what it means to have a sense of
'cle and held hands which humanity."
't asked them to do," Alex- "Getting to that space where
said. "So there was some- all the women I will be working
pecial in the room. Then with are waiting for me, that's
o exercise which was the the moment I look forward to,"
exercise." Adelson added.
exercise, Vampire, can That space that Adelson and
nd in any theater group. other students arrive at can
are asked to walk around, vary between facilities. In some
losed, and scream when cases, it's a classroom. For the-
el hands on their throat. ater projects, it can be a stage
rrectional facility, where or a gymnasium or whatever is
could be dealing with his- available. But what remains the
of abuse or rape, the exer- same across every workshop is
ouldn't translate well. the philosophy behind the pro-
idn't know where I was," gram.
der said. "But then I "Everyone has equal space in
ed the ones that were left that room," said LSA senior and
id, 'We're goingto be here English 310 student Emily Caris.
week from now on."' "We are there as facilitators,
e that first meeting, they not teachers," Adelson said.
together, performed 606 "This is not about coming in
ontinuously forthe past 33 with a lesson plan and being,
making them the longest- for the most part, white middle-
women's prison group in to-upper-middle class girls/
untry. Over the years, this women from the University of
project exploded into a Michigan who say, 'This is what
'of others including cre- we're going to learn and this is
riting and painting work- how you're going to learn it and
as well as more theater you're going to learn it because
ms offered in correction- it's important."'
ities throughout the state In theater groups, the stu-
higan. A large contribu- dents play roles; in painting
this effort are the courses workshops, students share their
der has offered at the own work and talk about their

own experiences. Together they
create a collaborative artistic
environment where anyone is
free to suggest the direction the
workshop takes or the prompts
they write on or the scenes they
"That's the point of PCAP, is
that everyone has this creativ-
ity," said LSA junior and English
310 and 319 student Talia Hor-
witz. "It's just that a space needs
to be created for that to come
out in. My creativity definitely
comes out through PCAP with
the boys in the workshop."
Alexander and Paul have put
on the exhibition for 18 years
now. The first exhibit had 72
paintings on display from 50 art-
ists. This year, the PCAP exhibi-
tion will host 428 works of art
from over 200 artists. All of the
pieces are up for sale, the prices
being determined by the artists
or with help from the curators.
Since the artwork, once it leaves
the prison, cannot go back inside
the prison to be with the artist,
PCAP makes sure that the art-
ist has named a family or friend
who they would like the art to go
to in the event that they cannot
sell the piece.
"We're very on top of mak-
ing sure this work has a home
that the artist wants it to go to
because it can't go back to stay
with them," Adelson said.
PCAP also encourages those
who attend the gallery during
its two-week display to write in
a guest book about their expe-
riences with the art and the
exhibit. The comments are then
sent back to the artists.
"We hear some of the guys
have said, 'I wait and wait until
that packet arrives because I
want to see the comments people
are leaving,' and they sleep on
it," Adelson said. "I know guys
who keep it under their pillow
and sleep on it at night because
that's the world to them reflect-
ing back on something that they
did. And for most of these men
and women, that kind of valida-
tion doesn't exist. It certainly
doesn't exist inside prison."
The exhibition, having out-
grown its original space at the
Rackham gallery, is quickly
requiring additional space
beyond the confines of the Dud-
erstadt. While PCAP originally
started with correctional facili-
ties within a 120-mile radius
of Ann Arbor, last year PCAP
received a grant to work on
expanding to correctional facili-
ties in the upper-part of the
Lower Peninsula and the Upper
Peninsula that usually don't
have access to PCAP; as always,
however, an artist from any
institution in Michigan may sub-
mit their artwork for the exhibit.
"For me, there's a palpable
energy when everything is
up," Adelson said. "One of my
closest friends who was in my
workshop when she was still in
prisons, who came home a few
years ago, she said 'I can hear
their voices. I know what it's
like to be every person on this
wall.' It's really special. I urge
everyone to have that moment.
To disconnect from the whole
law, prison, crime triangulation
to just come in and look at the

Daily Arts Writer
It has to be pretty boring to
be a god, sitting on Mount Olym-
pus or battling in Valhalla for
all eternity.
Thankfully for A
deities every-
where, Hi-Rez SMITE
Studio's entry
to the Mas-
sively Online Hi-Rez
Battle Arena
(MOBA) genre,
the recently out-of-closed beta
"SMITE," pulls gods from every
pantheon and puts their power
in players' hands.
"SMITE" stands out from its
peers by offering four different
game modes and an over-the-
shoulder perspective. The lack
of an overhead camera restricts
visibility, making Combat feel
more similar to "World of War-
craft" than "League of Leg-
ends" or "Dota 2." All attacks
are "skillshots," meaning they
must be manually aimed, adding
another layer of difficulty to the
frantic combat. Player accounts
level up as they play, unlocking
access to new game modes.
The standard three-lane,
tower-pushing extravaganza is
present in "SMITE" via the Con-
quest game mode, where two
teams of five gods fight for domi-
nance. Each base is protected by
three Phoenixes and a Minotaur,
powerful creatures who pun-
ish overconfident teams. Jungle
monsters provide buffs rang-
ing from reduced cooldowns on
abilities to team-wide multi-stat
upgrades. Organized teams can
play in unranked and ranked
modes, the latter offering bans
and favoring tactical god choices
and decision making to climb in
For those tired of game after
game of team-centric, base-
taking tedium, "SMITE" offers
three other modes - joust,
arena and domination. Joust is a
condensed version of Conquest,
where players face off one-on-
one, trying to get rid of each
other's respective towers and


He's one hell of a bouncer.

tage po
with th
ing the
and nat
an unb
skill an
Hill typ
of five
with the

urs, using every advan- tial 500 tickets at a constant rate,
ssible. with a constant back-and-forth
a is the Team Death- between teams making for nail-
of "SMITE." Players bitingly close games.
off in teams of five, "SMITE" is an ambitious
with 500 tickets, with game that delivers on all fronts.
and god kills knocking Its 32 gods have very little over-
off of the enemy team lap between them and each offer
e ultimate goal of reduc- over-the-top abilities: Poseidon,
sm to zero. The camera for instance, can call upon the
ure of combat makes this Kraken, and Hindu god Bakasura
elievably intense test of can regurgitate consumed foes.
d reaction time. Aesthetically, there isn't much
to be desired - the crowd roars
in Arena, hearkening back to
rena-sty le gladiatorial matches; the world
Y beyond the map is every bit as
ibat delivers beautifully detailed as the char-
acters and their surroundings.
1 all fronts. With patches and fixes rolled
out regularly and strong ties to
the community, Hi-Rez Studios
seems every bit as committed
ination is a King of the to keeping "SMITE" as great as
e game mode where teams the gods populating the game
players aim to control are committed to beating the
n obelisks defended by living (and unliving) hell out of
Sand Guardians pulled each other. Gamers everywhere
from "Aladdin." The team will find a solid, rewarding and
leastamountofcurrently intense multiplayer experience
ed obelisks loses its ini- in any one of "SMITE"'s modes.

'Spirit of Detroit' focuses
on past racial tens ion

To request an application,
e-mail arts@michigandaily.com

Daily Arts Writer
For much of the country,
Detroit serves as an example
of the lost American dream. To
them, Detroit
is nothing but Spirt of
urban decay, a Detro
murder capi-
tal, somewhere Saturday
to avoid. But and Sunday
for the people at 7 p.m.
of this region,
Detroit is so UMMA
much more. Free
It's not only a
major industri-
al center. It's a place where many
can trace back their roots. For
decades, the city was a melting
pot for European immigrants,
Southern sharecroppers, rich
and poor, black and white. But
long-standing segregation and
institutionalized racism within
the city led to one of the most
violent civil clashes in U.S. his-
Thick black clouds of smoke
billow from buildings; snipers sit
on rooftops; tanks of the Michi-
gan National Guard roll through
the city streets. These are the
images that come to mind when
talking about the 1967 Detroit
riot. However, the emotional
responses to these images vary
greatly from person to person. A
new play examines this riot vs.
rebellion point of view and also
the similarities that bind Detroi-
ters of all races.
"Spirit of Detroit," written
by native Detroiter and Univer-
sity alum Mercilee M. Jenkins,
examines the turbulent events of
1967, including the riot-rebellion
and the Algiers Motel Incident,
in which police murdered three
unarmed black youths.

Residential College drama to -do with a long-brewing ani-
lecturer Katherine Mendeloff, a mosity in the city between the
close friend of Jenkins, will be white police and the black com-
staging the play with students munity," Mendeloff said. "That's
from her course, Contemporary where rebellion comes in, and
Plays on Race, in conjunction where you'll hear white people
with the LSA Theme Semester say it was a riot, and black people
"Understanding Race." Each say it was a rebellion."
production will be performed at For many, the violence was
the Helmut Stern Auditorium at civil disobedience, as the Afri-
the UMMA and will be followed can-American community of
by discussions on the impact on the city faced marginalization
the city. and discrimination, with no
The play is told from the per- recourse in terms of political
spective of two characters that advocacy.
have grown up together in the "It was something born out
same East-side neighborhood. of a long history of abuse that
Anthony, an African-American just got sparked, it wasn't com-
man, and Lucy, a white woman, ing out of nowhere," Mendeloff
experience the violence togeth- explained. "The city government
er. was all white, the state gov-
ernment was all white and the
police department was all white
Jenkins'sp1a and tended to target young black
en inSSen."
casts light on Productions that deal with
such heavy topics can often be
riot-rebellion uncomfortable for audiences, but
Jenkins's play tries to capture
of 1967. varying facets of the situation.
"It's actually avery funny play.
Lee (Jenkins) writes wonderful
dialogue, and the relationship
"The main focus of the play is between Lucy and Anthony is
the relationship between these really engaging and somewhat
two young people," Mendeloff flirtatious," Mendeloff said. "It's
said. "We see them as children, not like a history lesson, and it's
we see them as older'adults, and not doom and gloom. It has a lot
we see them primarily as teen- of different aspects."
agers caught up in the events of "Spirit of Detroit," much like
the riot-rebellion." the residents of Detroit, main-
"Spirit of Detroit" examines tains an optimistic outlook on
the role of race in terms of how the future of the city.
the violence was perceived by "The play focuses a lot more
citizens. Though the events were positively on the future of
largely categorized as a riot, for Detroit," Mendeloff said. "That
marginalized minorities it was was something that I felt was
an act of protest, stemming from important because there are so
frustrations with blatantly racist many people doing really good
policies and power structures. work in Detroit, trying to bring
"The riot-rebellion had a lot change to the city."

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