William Simpson Fine Arts Series | Springfield College

William Simpson Fine Arts Series

Welcome to the spring 2024 season of the William Simpson Fine Arts Series at Springfield College. 

The new season of the William Simpson Fine Arts Series at Springfield College will entertain and inspire.

Experience the arts with magnificent work from artists and performers from both inside and outside the Springfield College community. Attendees will be dazzled by dance performances, captivated by art exhibitions, and delighted by concerts and literary events.

All programs are open to the public, and most events are free of charge unless otherwise noted.

If you would like to receive email reminders before each event, we encourage you to email us at simpsonartsseries@springfieldcollege.edu.

Art Exhibit

Blizzard in Blizard

January 29-February 19
William Blizard Gallery
Second Floor, Blake Hall, Open Monday-Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Closing Reception: Monday, February 19, 4-5:30 p.m. at the William Blizard Gallery

Snow is forecast for the gallery and the Springfield College community is invited to join the festive flurries by submitting artwork that celebrates the beauty and intrigue of winter. Visit the gallery throughout February to see the flurries accumulate!

Open Call specs: Winter theme. Abstract and/or representational, all art mediums are welcome. If work is framed, a hanging wire must be included. Unframed work will be pinned to the wall. Size limitations apply. Artwork may be submitted throughout the duration of the exhibit as space allows. Please contact gallery director, Kellie Murphy, at kmurphy17@springfield.edu for more information about how to submit your artwork. 

Photo by Anne Fischer, Graphic Designer, Office of Marketing

a photo of a brightly painted rainbow chair in a snowy background
Music Concert

The Kyshona Trio

Wednesday, January 31 at 7:30 p.m.
Marsh Memorial Chapel

Kyshona is an artist ignited by untold stories and the capacity of those stories to thread connections in every community. With the background of a licensed music therapist, the curiosity of a writer, the resolve of an activist, and the voice of a singer—Kyshona is unrelenting in her pursuit of the healing power of song. Her music blends roots rock, R&B, and folk with lyrical prowess.

Audiences will find a common thread of empowerment, overcoming adversity, and finding hope in her work. The show doesn’t end when the last song is sung. After her powerful performances, concertgoers often ask, "What can I do?" Her response? "Listen."

You won’t want to miss this incredible opportunity to hear the Kyshona Trio live on campus.

Photo of musician Kyshona
Theater Performance featuring guest artist Sara Felder

Side Show: Juggling from the Margins

Wednesday, February 21 at 7:30 p.m. 
Appleton Auditorium, Fuller Arts Center 

Side Show is a funny, theatrical, and moving meditation on the balancing act of being human. In a collage of juggling routines and stories from Jewish Brooklyn and queer San Francisco, Felder confronts issues of fear, gender, parents, economic class, college, and more, while keeping audiences laughing along the way. 
A vibrant performer, masterful juggler, and irresistible monologist, Felder brings to her performance a queer sensibility along with rich imagery provided by object-play, compelling text, and visual metaphor. Best known for her solo play, June Bride, about a traditional Jewish lesbian wedding, Felder is excited to bring the radical and witty Side Show to Springfield College.

Her work has been hailed as “hilarious and triumphantly heartwarming” by the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Photo of Sara Felder by Peter Rosos

photo of performer Sara Felder holding juggling balls
Poetry Reading

Author Oliver de la Paz

Monday, February 26 at 7:30 p.m.
Harold C. Smith Presentation Room, Stitzer Welcome Center at Judd Gymnasia

Oliver de la Paz is the Poet Laureate of Worcester, Mass., for 2023-25. He is the author and editor of seven books: Names Above Houses, Furious Lullaby, Requiem for the Orchard, Post Subject: A Fable, and The Boy in the Labyrinth, a finalist for the Massachusetts Book Award in Poetry. His newest work, The Diaspora Sonnets, is published by Liveright Press (2023). With Stacey Lynn Brown, he co-edited A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Poetry, American Poetry Review, and elsewhere. He is a founding member of Kundiman and he teaches at the College of the Holy Cross and in the Low-Residency Master of Fine Arts Program at Pacific Lutheran University.

Photo of author Oscar de la Paz in a garden
Art Exhibit

Taking Deep Breaths

March 4-21
William Blizard Gallery
Second Floor, Blake Hall, Open Monday-Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Closing Reception: Thursday, March 21, 4-5:30 p.m. at the William Blizard Gallery

In this first in a series of gallery-based printmaking workshops, Mary Ellen Hluska, PhD, ATR-BC, invites students, faculty, and staff to a hands-on exploration in printmaking. No experience necessary.

A recipient of a 2023 Springfield College Empowerment Grant, Hluska was recently accepted into a year-long mentorship program at Zea May's Print Studio in Florence, Mass., where she is studying the concept of printmaking for both studio art and as a methodology of clinical practice in art therapy.

Monoprint Madness Workshops:
Wednesday, March 19, 12:15-1:15 p.m. 
Wednesday, March 20, Noon-2 p.m. 

Artwork: Mary Ellen Hluska, Winterberry 2023

a portion of a screen printing of winterberries
Poetry and Collage Event

We Were Shipwrecked

March 27-29, 2024
William Blizard Gallery
Second Floor, Blake Hall, Open Monday-Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Artist Talk and Reception: Thursday, March 28, 2-4 p.m. at the William Blizard Gallery

A sneak peek at a poetry and collage project by Missy-Marie Montgomery, PhD, Springfield College professor of English and assistant dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, and Trish Crapo, a photographer and collage artist, who has also written for Provincetown Arts, Edible Pioneer Valley, and the Women's Review of Books.

As featured in issue 33 of Kolaj magazine, Montgomery and Crapo have been collaborating on this multi-media exploration project that pairs poetry and collage. The two longtime friends have been invited to present their work at the annual Kolaj Fest in New Orleans this summer. They’re excited about the new meanings that are sparked when image meets language.

Image: “to love all these things which we are about to leave” by Missy-Marie Montgomery


portion of a collage created by Missy Marie Montgomery
Presented by Springfield College Theater

Defying Gravity

By Jane Anderson
Directed by Martin Shell
April 5-7 (Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m.)
Appleton Auditorium, Fuller Arts Center

Defying Gravity is a clever and uplifting play about the outer limits of human possibility that weaves together stories of the bystanders touched by the 1986 space shuttle Challenger disaster. At the center is the teacher selected as the first civilian in space, who perishes with the shuttle explosion, and her daughter as both grown woman and child. Past, present, and future lives unfold in an impressionistic collage that affirms our impulse toward exploration, wonder, and astonishment, even in the face of great loss. Dramatic, comic, and deeply moving, Anderson’s play explores our need to reach beyond the boundaries of normal thinking, dare the universe, and "defy gravity."

Defying Gravity will be the final Springfield College Theater production under the direction of Martin Shell, who is wrapping up 30 years of producing theater at Springfield College.

Suggested Donation: General public: $5, students and senior citizens: Free

Defying Gravity is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc. concordtheatricals.com

a variety of people's hands reaching up to the night sky where there is a shooting star
Art Exhibit

Kaleidoscope - Graduating Undergraduate Student Exhibition

Featuring works by Senior Art, Art Education, Art Therapy, and Art and Design Majors
April 8-18
William Blizard Gallery
Second Floor, Blake Hall, Open Monday-Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Closing Reception: Thursday, April 18, 4-5:30 p.m. at the William Blizard Gallery

This exhibit will showcase the work of graduating seniors in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts. Works and presentations will include a wide range of creative materials ranging from drawing, painting, sculpture, to digital and experimental formats.

Artists: Noel Bollenbach, Isabella Bruns, Nahjae Cogman-Pitts, Brittany Cotter, Dante DiGiovanni, Irene Gulnick, Keeley Joyal (junior), Rachel Justice, Jayden Kement, Kendra Lash, Fritzroy Mayhew II, Christopher Sanabria, and Carsyn Viner

Artwork by Noel Bollenbach, Art and Design Major, Class of 2024

a round shape on a black background filled with a kaleidoscope of colors
Featuring the Springfield College Community Chorus and Springfield College Band

Annual Spring Concert

Tuesday, April 23 at 7:30 p.m.
Marsh Memorial Chapel

The annual Spring Music Concert will feature the music of the Springfield College Community Chorus and the Springfield College Band, along with selections from students involved in music studios across campus. Welcome in the warmth of spring with some music that’s sure to get you moving in your seats! 

members of the Springfield College Community Chorus and Springfield College band perform during a concert
Dance Performance

Spring Dance Concert

April 26-28
Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, 3 p.m.
Appleton Auditorium, Fuller Arts Center

April 26 at 7:30 p.m. Reservation
April 27 at 7:30 p.m. Reservation
April 28 at 3 p.m. Reservation

The Spring Dance Concert will feature new dance works by student choreographers as well as senior projects in a wide range of styles from contemporary to tap. Don’t miss this exciting event! 

Tickets: General admission: $10, students: $5, senior citizens and children: $3

a group of dancers performing on stage
Art Exhibit

Graduate Art Therapy/Counseling Majors Exhibition

April 29-May 11
William Blizard Gallery
Second Floor, Blake Hall, Open Monday-Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Closing Reception: Saturday, May 11, Noon to 2 p.m. at the William Blizard Gallery

This exhibit showcases the graduate students of the Art Therapy/Counseling program. Artwork mediums include printmaking, painting, drawing, mixed media, and sculpture.

Artwork: detail of installation ”It Holds What It Can” by Emma Halloran, Graduate Art Therapy/Counseling Major

an illustration of a hand holding a cup with text from a book over it

If you have a disability and require a reasonable accommodation to attend any of the William Simpson Fine Arts Series events, please contact Julie Calhoun at least two weeks in advance of the event date, at jcalhoun2@springfield.edu or (413) 748-3930 to discuss your accessibility needs.

William Simpson Fine Arts Series Committee Members, Spring 2024: 

Department of Visual and Performing ArtsArt ExhibitsLiteratureMusicDanceTheater
Christopher Gagne, ChairKellie MurphyRebecca LartigueChristopher Gagne, Committee Chair
Sarah ZehnderMartin Shell 
(413) 748-3277(413) 748-3930(413) 748-3189(413) 748-3277(413) 748-3158(413) 748-3443