Fantasy Art Exhibit open for submissions

James Butkevicius

A fantasy art exhibit, hosted by the Artisans’ Alliance, will be held in the Carpeted Dining Room on Nov. 30, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Submissions are open to the public. The submission deadline is Nov. 20.

Artisans’ Alliance president Michael Clark is creating the exhibit with the goal of preparing artists for the real world. “They need to know that there’s a process,” Clark said, explaining that the exhibit is an avenue for artists to get their work out instead of just leaving it in their rooms to collect dust.

“Fantasy” became the exhibit’s theme after winning a vote held during an Artisans’ Alliance meeting. Clark encourages participants to interpret the theme however they want.

Art instructor Nathaniel Smyth will be holding a demo on how to “mat” the submissions, a process that involves cutting mat board, a substance similar to a dense foam, to fit the dimensions of the piece so that it will be ready for presentation.

The demo will be held in the Fine Arts Building on Nov. 18 at 11:00 a.m., exact location to be determined.

Smyth will also be jurying the event, meaning that he will make the final decision on which pieces make it into the exhibit.

Participants are allowed up to three submissions, one of which may make it into the actual show.

Clark stresses that the three submission limit is the only rule or guideline for the exhibit outside of the theme, believing that an excess of limitations will restrict artistic expression.

Non-traditional media, ranging from sculpture to performance and everything in between, are strongly encouraged.

“If you have something obtuse or awkward, just let me know,” Clark said.

Student Taylor Matson, who plans to become President of the Artisans’ Alliance next semester, says that he will be submitting an interactive audiovisual piece for the exhibit featuring a projector on three panels and a Microsoft Kinect setup that will respond to the movements of exhibit-goers.

The Artisans’ Alliance is making a comeback this semester after consisting of solely Michael Clark last semester. There are now six members.

A poster for the event was designed by Artisans’ Alliance member Stormie Tibbs, with collaboration and input from other members during a club meeting.

It will be placed in the Fine Arts Building on Wednesday, Nov. 11, to raise awareness for the exhibit and offer a taste of what to expect.

“Drones” make a demonstration at Vol State

Kalynn Meeker

Volunteer State Community College held a free seminar hosted by Director & Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, Kevin Cook, to showcase Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Technology on Oct 30 2015 at the Walington Science Field Station.

Most people as “drones” commonly know UAVs.  However, the Federal Aviation Administration said this is a word to avoid when speaking of the modern police machines.

“The word ‘drone’ has a negative public connotation, because people think of large unmanned military aircraft with weapons,” said Cook.

The correct names are Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or Unmanned Aircraft Systems said the FAA.

Cook went to Madison, Wisconsin and completed a UAV Law Enforcement Operators course in September 2015.

He was then able to come back to Tennessee and purchase two Phantom 3 Professional UAVs for the Criminal Justice Department at Vol State by means of the Perkins Grant.

He held the seminar as a public service for Middle Tennessee law enforcement, corrections and emergency services personnel to teach them about the uses and regulations of the UAS.

Corrections, Law Enforcement, and Corrections Agencies were invited to the event as well as criminal justice students to be introduced to the two new UAVs at Vol State.

Cook said Hendersonville Police Department personnel, City of Lebanon Emergency Services Unit personnel, Springfield Police Department personnel, Tennessee Department of Corrections personnel and criminal justice students attended the event.

According to a website that sells this specific model of UAV,, they are 1,259 dollars apiece and have these features: 4K Video /12 megapixel photo camera, integrated 3-axis stabilization gimbal, easy to fly, intelligent flight system, live HD view, dedicated remote controller, powerful mobile app with auto video editor and vision positioning for indoor flight.

Since these UAVs are readily available to the public, the FAA is taking regulatory actions for public safety. They are possibly making each buyer register their UAV through the FAA by Nov 20, 2015.

There are current basic regulations put in place by the FAA that owners of the UAVs cannot do including flying  over 400 feet, flying within 5 miles of an airport, flying over stadiums or crowds of people flying  in a reckless manner and flying at night.

Cook said Tennessee has developed its own laws concerning UAVs. For instance, the Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act, 39-13-902, Lawful capture of images — Use for lawful purposes, and 39-14-405, Criminal Trespass are some of the laws in place to protect civilians from unlawful uses of the UAVs.

Though these laws are in place, Cook said, they are just not tested in courts enough and are vague.

Cook said he taught about topics included case law, legal limitations, usage of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s) (search and rescue (children/elderly), evidence photography, tactical deployments, event security planning, and prisoner escapees, and many other practical lifesaving operations.

He also gave each attendee the chance to learn to fly the UAV in which he said they picked up on quickly.

“The participants of the seminar felt they learned a great deal, and many of them were interested in taking information learned about UAV’s usage and technology; and potentially obtaining one at their agency,” said Cook.

ACE Showcase with Royce Lovett

Barbara Harmon

Royce Lovett performed at Volunteer State Community College on Nov. 4 for the ACE Showcase event.

Lovett opened with an original song that he had written about hip hop.

When his song had finished, he told the audience some things that were going on with him.

“I’ve been on the road since Sept. 11, and I’m tired and excited,” said Lovett, “and extremely happy to be here with you guys.”

He had been hearing positive feedback about his album “Write it on the Wall” that had come out in Oct., he said.

“Yesterday I got some news that it did number 10 on the Billboard Chart for gospel,” said Lovett.

Lovett also sang “Writing on the Wall,” which made 93 on the Billboard Chart in Oct., he said.

“If you like this song, and you want to hear it on the radio, please call your radio and tell them to play it,” said Lovett.  “I would really appreciate that.”

“A lot of my musical career, because my music is different, you’re told it’s not going to get radio play, but it actually did and it got on the Billboard Chart,” said Lovett.  “And I’m really excited about that.”

He said that “Writing on the Wall” is about what is happening in the world today with pointless killings and how he feels that what everyone needs is love.

After the song ended Lovett reintroduced himself and said, “I like writing music or playing a rap, and I grew up listening to hip hop and soul music, so I guess that is how this thing happened.”

When the show was over Lovett signed autographs and took pictures with the students.

Maggie Lewis, a former Vol State student and now owner of Elevated Talent Group, said she met Royce in Jacksonville, Fla., at a conference he showcased.

“I just talked to him and wanted to represent him, so that’s how that happened,” said Lewis.

She said she does his corporate and college bookings, and she has been representing him since March.

“Royce is finishing up his “Write it On the Wall” tour, and then I’m just hoping to get his name and his music out there to just help him share his story,” said Lewis.

Lovett said that he started writing in 2003, after he found Christ.

“I was like, yo God what should I do with my life, and then I felt like it was music,” said Lovett.

“So that’s when I started being serious about being purposeful about something,” said Lovett.

He said when he was growing up he was always in a choir, his mom sang at church, and he had also been in a dance group, but was a lot more interested in sports.

“Things kind of changed after I really fell in love with music, and I just kind of found out who I was after that,” said Lovett.

Lovett feels like his songs are mostly about love, because he believes everything relates back to love, he said.

“Once you find out what love is, then you find out what you love to do and your purpose,” said Lovett.

“Then, after you find your purpose, you find your security,” he said.

Lovett enjoys having the opportunity to perform at colleges, because if the students really like him then they take his music back to wherever they are from, he said.

“Today was a little different, because the atmosphere was a little more relaxed; in the sense that everyone is doing something,” said Lovett.

“But when I perform at colleges with my band, it gets loud and sweaty jumping around.

“I throw water on people; you stage dive and stuff,” said Lovett.

He said he also loves it because it’s his age group, and they are all thinking about the same things.

“All you think about in college is love, purpose, and security,” said Lovett.

As far as his accomplishments go, Lovett would like to “take over the world,” he said.

More seriously: “I hope to do this for the rest of my life, see everything to be seen in the world, pay my bills on time, and inspire people—that’s it,” said Lovett.

“I encourage everyone to continue to learn who they are and who other people are.

“I’m still learning,” said Lovett.  “I think that’s what makes you good at whatever you do, if you keep learning.”

Lovett had something else to add.

He said the first five people that take a picture of this, post it with #VSCCroycelovett and tag him in it, will get a free necklace.

Tabitha Sherrell, Coordinator of Student Activities for Student Life and Diversity Initiatives, said Lovett had performed at a national conference (APCA) in March that Dr. Kenny E. Yarbrough, Th.D., CDP, Director of Student Life and Diversity Initiatives, and Gabrielle Stanton, a Vol State student, had attended, and they both really enjoyed his performance.

“When Gabrielle came back, she went to the Student Government Association (SGA),” said Sherrell.

“Every year after we come back from APCA we do a showcase at the SGA meeting to show everybody the stuff that we saw and what we thought was good, and then they vote on what they liked.

“SGA voted Royce as one of their top performers that they wanted to see on campus,” said Sherrell.

stigmatizing life

Sara Keen// Editor-in-Chief


People always make statements about embracing who you are.  You have heard things such as “be who you are,” or “don’t let anyone tell you what you can or can’t be.”

But it seems that when one tries to do just that, they are only struck down by the very society that encouraged it.  It is as if you can only be who you are if that matches society perfectly.

Even worse, you can only embrace the positive, “socially-acceptable” life experiences you have had.  While we happily share grades, acceptance letters, and the happy sides of our past, we often hide the negative parts of our lives.

Why is it that society has forced us to feel so negatively about our own complex being, that we have to hide some of the most important events in our lives?

There is no shame in any incident that changed who you are or made you stronger.  Whether it was surviving an illness or struggling with a mental illness, no person should have to feel ashamed that they have that hardship in their life.  There is no shame in feeling at peace with your past because your past made you into who you are now.

It may be difficult to do, to say that you struggled with something awful or that you’re still struggling.  I have struggled, and more than likely so have most of the people you would encounter every day.

Sure, it probably is not the brightest idea to proudly announce or display some hardships, but there is no need for shame.

There seems to be a stigma on fairly common events that impact lives.  Mental illnesses, miscarriages, abuse, racism, and even sexism have been stigmatized as things we should not discuss.  That is not at all the case.

For a society to grow, that society must understand the problems it faces.  People cannot continue their lives hiding the awful things in life.  If a person keeps too much to himself or herself, then that person is likely to crack under the pressure.

We are not immune to pain, disgust, tragedy, or illness.  We are humans, considered the most intelligent species on Earth.

That intelligence allows us to push ourselves further into advancement.  That intelligence also causes us to think more about the world and the events that take place.

We are also compassionate and empathetic.  We can understand the feelings and emotions of others.  There should be no shame in embracing our experiences.

The human experience may be the only one we get, so do not feel ashamed of yours.

Volstate Host Halloween Party

Barbara A. Harmon

The Halloween party at Volunteer State Community College on Oct. 30 was a success.

“For a Halloween party the day before Halloween, and we counted a little over 80, that’s pretty good,” said Tabitha Sherrell, Coordinator of Student Activities for Student Life and Diversity Initiatives.  “That’s the most we’ve ever had for a Halloween party.

“We ran out of food, which is better than having a bunch of leftovers.

“Everyone seemed to really like the costume contest, and we did a raffle—a door prize,” said Sherrell.

She said that she saw more faculty staff in attendance at this year’s party and possibly a few from the community.

Sherrell said among those that attended were also students who brought their children.

Some children participated in the coloring contest and will possibly come to the homecoming game for their prize, she said.

Domino Hunt, Secretary of the Student Government Association and a Vol State cheerleader, was overseeing the coloring contest table.

“A lot of kids were engaged,” said Hunt.  “The 3-year-olds loved it.”

“Some of the older kids were distracted, but I think they had fun.

“Everything is a superhero right now; that’s a big deal,” said Hunt.

She said those that entered the contest need to come back to the homecoming game, if they want to receive their prize.

There were 13 contestants and the winner will be announced during the halftime of the men’s game, she said.

Fran Henslee, staff, brought her three children to the party.

Henslee had attended the Halloween party at Vol State the year before last, and said she feels this year’s party was more family oriented.

She said that is why she chose to bring her children this year.

The activities she enjoyed the most at the party were the crafts, she said.

One of her children said he liked the food the best, and another said the cookies.

Lori Miller, Secretary of Student Life and Diversity Initiatives, said that people were appreciative of this event.

“What I heard from everybody was it was really nice to have this offered, and thank you for putting this on,” said Miller.

Student Life and Diversity Initiatives will also be sponsoring the spirit lunch and overseeing everything for the upcoming homecoming game, said Sherrell.

“They will do a photo booth, and one of the students will run it, but Lori and I will oversee it, make sure everything goes smoothly,” said Sherrell.

She said they will also make sure all the buildings have some sort of decoration before the game.

“We [SLDI] have three family friendly events, we’ve done two and they’ve both been successful, so I’m excited to see what homecoming in going to look like,” said Sherrell.