Running a College

About 200 athletes will circle several miles of asphalt and trails on the Westmont campus for the 27th annual Westmont College Cross Country Invitational Saturday, September 15. Local athletes and teams are welcome to participate in the race.

The men will run an 8,000-meter course starting at 9:30 am; women will run a 5,000-meter course beginning at 10:20 am.

Two dozen teams have been invited including Caltech, University of Redlands, Fresno Pacific, Cal Lutheran, Biola and Vanguard Universities.

Westmont men’s and women’s cross country teams have won the invitational the past three years.

“There is a home course advantage and our teams have been relatively good,” says Russell Smelley, head cross-country coach.

Most of the course, which starts and ends on the track, is at the lower end of the 111-acre campus.

“The visiting teams get to see a whole new place in Southern California and the local running clubs always enjoy it because it’s not a road race,” Smelley says.

The entry fee is $5 for individuals without a team affiliation, $25 per team or $45 for combined men’s and women’s teams. For more information, contact Smelley at 805-565-6108.

Sculpture Garden Planted

Five oversize metal compositions are sprinkled around the Reynolds Gallery lawn as part of “Ed Inks Sculpture Garden” on display through mid-December. Inks, who chairs the art department at Santa Barbara City College, is a well-liked teacher and respected local sculptor. Inks will be at a reception at the gallery Thursday, September 27, from 4-6 pm.

Ink’s work often explores the idea of being inside and outside. “Wedding at Canaan,” an open structure of rods forming a vessel on its side, allows the viewer to be physically inside while looking out. “Musical Chairs: At-one-ment” explores the nature of relationship by connecting two rusted chairs with their backs to each other.

Inks says that through visual references, the sculptures “touch on social and spiritual themes without being dogmatic or limiting.” By presenting familiar objects in unconventional ways, Inks invites viewers to look at the world from a new perspective.

Inks was a featured artist in the State of the Art Gallery 2006, a two-month exhibition along State Street. He also appeared in the documentary film, “Much Ado About W,” which explored last year’s controversy of Colin Gray’s arrow-studded "W" sculpture.

“I believe art should be in the public eye,” Inks says. “I value art that challenges the viewer and keeps them coming back and I hope my work does that.”

The exhibit runs concurrently with “Georges Rouault: Miserere et Guerre,” which will be inside the gallery through mid-October.

Sound of Music

Westmont music professors will vocal and instrumental pieces ranging from opera to jazz at the “Fall Faculty Recital” in Porter Theatre Friday, September 14 at 8 pm. The free program will offer the community and students a taste of the breadth and depth of the department.

Highlights include a cantata by Dietrich Buxtehude featuring baritone Michael Shasberger, Adams professor of music and worship, accompanied by violins, cello and harpsichord. The program also features jazz compositions written and performed by pianist John Enrico Douglas, and C. Chaminade’s “Portrait” sung by soprano Celeste Tavera accompanied by flutist Laura Roth and pianist Heather Levin.

Two short pieces composed by Professor Steve Butler, “Crying for Help” and “Forgiveness,” will be performed by vocalist Nichole Dechaine and pianist Paula Hatley. The compositions are part of a cycle of 25 songs based on poems by Randy VanderMey, professor of English.

“The faculty recital is important to us as musicians,” says Butler, chair of the music department, “but also for students who will hopefully be inspired towards mastery of their own musical endeavors.”

Sports Action

The women’s soccer team will be at Westmont’s Carr Field Wednesday, September 19, at 4 pm to take on California Lutheran University, their final tune-up before entering into Golden State Athletic Conference play.

The women’s volleyball team returns to action inside Murchison Gym Tuesday, September 18, at 7 pm against California Baptist.

Led by senior Malinda Reese, Golden State Athletic Conference Volleyball Libero of the Week, Westmont won the Roberts Wesleyan Volleyball Tournament in Rochester, New York.