Last year the Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center introduced the Community Arts Awards, an opportunity to recognize members of the community who contribute to the arts in Bloomington.
This year’s Community Arts Awards will take place at 5:30 p.m. Friday in the Waldron Arts Center and will include workshops in various non-traditional artistic skills, one of which will be a theatrical makeup workshop led by IU alumna Lily Walls.
Walls said she began practicing theatrical makeup — specifically wound, gore and specialty makeup — when she was studying theater at IU. Walls graduated in 2015 and has since been working on shows at the Ivy Tech Waldron.
“It’ll be really fun for people,” Walls said. “It’ll be like adult face painting in a way. It’s another thing that I see with Halloween and people and their interactions with costume — it’s become kind of like ‘buy it, buy what exists,’ which is great and fun, but people can find a lot of fun in what they can create themselves.”
Ivy Tech Dean of Fine Arts and Artistic Director Paul Daily said last year’s event included artists demonstrating their particular focuses, and this year’s theme stemmed from a greater interest in connecting with the attendees.
“This year we’re hoping to engage the participants more so that they actually take part in what is happening, the original idea being you can learn a new skill in 15 minutes,” Daily said. “For the hour you’re here, you can walk away with four new skills.”
The other workshops will be ceramic tile-glazing with Marcy Neiditz, creative banner-making with Keith Romaine and paper book-making with Amy Brier.
Walls said she typically does makeup for the shows she designs wardrobe for, because with smaller theaters, all these sorts of jobs are combined for one person to manage.
The most recent run of “Sweeney Todd,” an Ivy Tech student production, called more for special effect makeup, though Walls said she often prefers actors without makeup for less thematic shows in smaller venues.
“If the show had been a show that didn’t need specialty makeup, I probably would have had them in no makeup,” Walls said. “There’s kind of a tradition of the stage face, which I understand for big houses, but for smaller spaces a bare face can be a lot more interesting.”
Songs from the recent production will also be performed during the Community Arts Awards event for those who were unable to see the full stage show.
Makeup provides the opportunity to express a character’s traits before they speak lines, Walls said. The look of a particular actor must reflect not only that character’s identity but also their life before the events occurring onstage.
This includes wounds, which Walls will be focusing on during her workshop Friday.
“Wound makeup can seem very simple, but there’s a real choreography,” Walls said. “If there is a wound in a show, I have to act it out. If there’s a wound that happened previously that has to be specified, I have to sit with the actor and really see how that would play out on their face, what that would look like.”
The awards recognize individuals and centers supporting the arts, and recipients are selected by an independent panel outside of the Ivy Tech Waldron, Daily said. The venue serves as a location to celebrate the winners.
This year’s individual recipients include Ted Jones, winner of the Arts Advocate award and a former director of technical facilities at the Jacobs School of Music, and Lee Williams, recipient of a Special Citation and Lifetime Achievement award and the man responsible for starting the Lotus World Music and Arts Festival.
The awards given to centers include the award for Arts in Business, given to the Monroe Convention Center; the award for Arts in Education, given to Rhino’s Youth Center; and the award for Regional Arts Service, given to the Lawrence County Art Association and the Wiley Art Gallery.
“What I always hope that people recognize is the amount of time and effort involved in any artistic venture,” Daily said. “It’s never the result of one artist, that one artist has countless people behind them. Even then, one artist has put in so much time and effort. I want people to walk away keeping in mind that the arts are a community effort.”
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