Eric Feuerborn

USAO Gears Up for Huge Spring Triad April 2

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Live music, colorful art, food booths, and academic excellence combine each spring at the University of Science and Arts in Chickasha for the Spring Triad. This year's events are scheduled April 2.

Combining the statewide high school Scholastic Meet, the Montmartre Chalk Art Contest and the Droverstock music festival, the Spring Triad is the largest one-day event each year on the USAO campus. Last year's activities drew more than 2,500 people.

The day begins with the Montmartre Chalk Art Contest, a colorful display that blankets the campus oval in vivid artwork by students of all ages. Last year’s contest yielded more than 330 original chalk art drawings from more than 830 artists from across the state. More than 70 Oklahoma schools participated.

Contestants are issued a six-by-six-foot numbered square on the campus oval. Artists compete in four different categories using water-based, temporary chalk only. More than $2,000 in cash prizes were awarded at last year’s event. The chalk art contest is open to the public.

Jacquelyn Knapp, assistant professor of art, said the chalk art contest gives artists a great opportunity to express themselves.

“Because of its fun, unique approach, Montmartre offers a venue of artistic expression unlike any other event,” she said. “It is a place for artists to show off their creative abilities, but it is also a place for participants to discover that they, themselves, are artists.”

The event begins at 7:30 a.m. An entrance fee of $10 is required at registration. Registration is issued on a first-come, first-serve basis. Judging will begin at noon with an awards ceremony following at 1:30 p.m.

A full listing of rules and regulations for Montmartre 2009 are available on the USAO website at www.usao.edu/news in the “Contests & Competitions” column. Additional information is available from Knapp by e-mail at facknappj@usao.edu or telephone at (405) 574–1303.

The Droverstock music festival kicks off at 9 a.m. with live bands from across Oklahoma, Kansas and Nashville playing Southern Rock, soul, country and mixes of music styles.

Shevy Smith kicks off Droverstock. She is a folk rock singer from Kansas. Chickasha band Anti-Mortem is scheduled to perform at 10 a.m. with a Southern Rock sound. At 11 a.m., acoustic singer/songwriter Steve Means is scheduled to perform. He is from Nashville.

Stillwater country artist Nick Gibson will take the stage at noon. Gibson has toured with Kenny Chesney and has premiered songs on Oklahoma City radio station 101.9. Shortt Dogg is scheduled at 2 p.m. The group is a show and dance band from Oklahoma City with an R&B/funk/pop sound.

Vanditos is scheduled at 3 p.m. and John Rush is scheduled at 4 p.m. Rush is often labeled as the "Human I-Pod." He plays original music and takes requests during his shows. Harmful If Swallowed is scheduled at 5 p.m.

The evening performances begin at 6 p.m. with Ladd Smith. Smith is a guitarist and singer who has his own unique style of music. The music on the Droverstock stage concludes at 7 p.m. with Chickasha band Fatboy and the Lunchwagon. The group is a mix of blues, soul and funk. The group says they are influenced by the great blues from the Mississippi Delta.

In addition to live music, Droverstock features several free activities, such as inflatable games. Attractions also include air brush tattoo vendors and more.

Various student clubs and organizations will be selling food at booths around the oval. To commemorate the event, Droverstock t-shirts in four different colors will be available from the USAO Bookstore.

Droverstock is free and open to the public. More information is available online by clicking the Droverstock link under “Upcoming Events” at www.usao.edu/news.

The triad’s third event is the USAO Scholastic Meet. With more than 1,000 students competing in academic disciplines such as math, science, music, history and other subjects, the competition is the largest academic meet in the state.

A drama competition has been added to this year's event. Performance order will be determined on a first-come, first-serve basis. The teams of two students will present a staged, memorized scene from a script.

Over the past 29 years, the Scholastic Meet has attracted high school students from 50 Oklahoma counties annually to the Chickasha campus in hopes of taking home trophies for their achievements.

More information about the Scholastic Meet is available on the USAO website listed above or from coordinator Dr. Darryel Reigh, professor of chemistry, by e-mail at dreigh@usao.edu.