Entertainment briefs: Sept. 1–7

Amanda Benzin, CMU dance instructor

Ben Reigel, theatre arts department instructor

Two instructors join CMU theatre arts department

Colorado Mesa University’s theatre arts department has two new faculty members.

Amanda Benzin, who received her master’s degree from the University of Colorado and was part of the Chicago-based Jump Rhythm Jazz Project for six years, will give instruction in tap, jazz and hip hop, according to a news release from CMU.

Benzin will choreograph for CMU’s fall dance concert and will direct the spring dance concert, the release said.

Benjamin Reigel, who has a number of theater credits to his name, is the founder and artistic director of The Backbone Ensemble Theatre and a former instructor at Western Michigan University. Reigel brings to CMU “expertise in acting and directing with special skills in stage combat and Shakespeare,” the news release said.

Reigel will direct “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” which opens in February.

Paleontological illustrator chosen as artist in residence


Melody Brooke Safken, an illustrator and instructor at Colorado Mesa University, will be the Mesa County Libraries’ 970West Studio artist in residence through Dec. 4.

“Safken specializes in paleontological art and creature design with a strong foundation in vertebrate anatomy,” said a news release from Mesa County Libraries. “Her work can be found internationally, including promotional art for the film Jurassic World, museum reconstructions, businesses and private collections.”

Safken also is working on her graphic novels titled “The Bearer Chronicles.”

Safken’s studio hours at 970West Studio will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. each Wednesday through Nov. 29

During her residency, Safken will be leading the following events:

Teen Drawing Workshop, 3 p.m. Sept. 18, in the Central Library Teen Area. Safken will cover the basics of paleontological illustration and help participants understand bone structures and how they effect a drawing of a dinosaur. This workshop is for teens ages 12–18.

Dinosaur Drawing Workshop, 2–4 p.m. Sept. 20 in the Central Library Children’s Area. Safken will offer kids and families step-by-step instructions for drawing dinosaurs.

Paleontology and the Art of Illustrating the Past, 6:30 p.m. Oct. 11, in the Central Library Mesa Community Room. Safken will give an “introduction to the field of paleo illustration and why it is an integral part of paleontology,” a news release says.

This event is part lecture, part drawing workshop. Pre-registration is required and can be made through the event calendar at mesacountylibraries.org or by calling 243-4442.

Annual ceramics sale set for September


The Art Center’s annual pottery sale takes place Sept. 1–30 in the courtyard at 1803 N. Seventh St.

The sale features ceramics handmade by Art Center instructors and students. Proceeds go to the ceramics department for the acquisition and maintenance of equipment and tools, as well as class and workshop scholarships.

Call 243-7337 or go to gjartcenter.org for information.


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