More than one thousand students attended OLLI classes last semester. One of these days we may have to get our own OLLI building; maybe it will be a dream come true. Several of our crowded classes had over ninety students in attendance. Our students apparently love opera because all of the opera classes were filled.
Our Plays/Theatre class, taught by talented professionals William Fitzpatrick and Patrick McDonough, covered the background of Irish playwright John Millington Synge. Carl Curtis, our technical expert, facilitated the Current Events class. Whatever Carl does is done with excellence.
Linda Carr’s Memory into Poetry class had a wonderful end-of-the-term party.
In addition to all the regular classes, there were three free lectures open to OLLI students, friends and visitors:
• William Havlicek presented a different view of Vincent Van Gogh, questioning whether or not the
artist cut off his ear;
• An Orange County Senior Services representative provided information about services available to seniors, such as low-cost housing and food stamps;
• Three panelists discussed Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). Judi Delgado, representing AMD.org, explained the physiology of the eye and what causes AMD, which affects about 35% of older adults. Dr. Avani Patel talked about the many technical devices available to help overcome low vision. Nancy Hendrickson, representing the Braille Institute, discussed services available for the blind as well as people with low vision. This presentation provided much needed help to members of the audience who were not aware of what is available.
Jerry Loeb, our in-house theater expert, played a role in Murder on the Nile at the Long Beach Playhouse. A group of OLLI members attended the opening night gala on January 16th. Jerry was fabulous.
John Donohue, our iconoclast, celebrated his ninetieth birthday on March 26th. Happy Birthday, John. . . may you have many more. John has attended classes at Senior University/OLLI from day one in 1998. Education keeps John going.
Our satellite classes are doing very well. Pine Avenue had eleven classes last semester, JCC had one class, and LW had five.
Have a great summer, be healthy, and do something different.
Walking the university campus is always an experience that brings pleasure, but especially at this time of the year. Trees in full blossom hint at the newness of the season and tease the students with the fact that they too are entering a different phase of their academic life. What remain tried and true are the sculptures that stand in silence at different places on the campus. They too have a story to tell that most likely is unknown to the majority of those that traverse the school’s vast acreage.
In the Sunday Los Angeles Times Calendar Section dated April 1st, an outstanding article concerned with the sculptures gives not only the history but present-day plans concerning the repair and upkeep of these works of art. In 1959 an international series of symposiums that had been launched in Europe was held in the United States. Brian Trimble, the interim director of the University Art Museum, stated, “It was a response to the war and to the politics of the era.” Artists wanted it known that as human beings they could work together, be civil, and not engage in destructive wars.
The symposium brought together artists from all over the world, including Poland and Japan. They were then connected to local industry representatives who brought to them an introduction to the region’s cutting-edge industrial technology.
For example, the artist visiting from
Poland worked with North American Aviation Corp. in Orange County and produced a sculpture that is very familiar to campus visitors. It is the large bulbous form entitled Now. It appears to take on the quality of an explosion that’s been frozen in stainless steel. Now, because of the weather, and wear and tear, the large sculpture is showing signs of old age and is in need of some restoration.
This is where things become interesting for those who frequent the campus. The Getty museum has provided an opportunity to have practical case studies that exemplify the challenges of working with outdoor sculptures. The Getty is also collaborating with the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach. A three-day conference will be held in October concerning the creating and conserving of art in public places, the title of which is ”Far Sited.”
The University Art Museum is open seven days a week and offers a downloadable PDF map for a self-guided tour. This is available at www.csulb.edu/explore/university-art-museum. What a wonderful way to obtain more knowledge of our local college and take pride in its history and future.