April 24, 1998

  Volume 50A

Celebrating CSUS' 50th Anniversary

Number 48

[ Resident Artist - Career Center - Student Awards -
Broadcasting Alumnus - CD Reviews - 15 Seconds of Fame ]

Artist cuts through the female image

Mixed-media exhibit uses paper to depict the exploitation of women


This week, Irene Pijoan completes a sojourn as Artist in Residence which culminates with a student-assisted show of large cut-paper and mixed-media artwork at CSUS' Robert Else Gallery.

The show is a conjecture of the convergence of emotion, intellect and sensation by way of her unusual blend of media and techniques.

Although the title "artist in residence" might conjure up images of some artist toiling behind a plate glass exhibit window, the term specifically denotes a person working and exhibiting in an academic setting in which he or she does not teach. With Ms. Pijoan, a tenured professor at the prestigious San Francisco Art Institute, residencies have varied from a full year of literal lodging, such as the University of Georgia, to the seemingly mere moments at CSUS.

"What a residency is about, usually, is an artist who is given a time and space to work," said Pijoan, "and in this case, my space is a gallery. So this is a process of students' being able to participate and observe an artist work and to learn from that." Pijoan adds that CSUS' Robert Else Gallery is normally an exhibition gallery, and not a work space; however, in this instance, it seemed appropriate to incorporate functioning activities into that pre-show gallery space.

To that end, students and she worked to create an approximately 30-foot-long vertical representation of notable women from California's 49er gold country era. Some depicted individuals are perceived as virtuous, while others might be seen as users. Yet women of that period stand out as anomalous characters and colorful entrepreneurs -- and often martyrs. Perhaps a main point is that women of the 1850s era gold rush were a relative sliver of the then extant populace, and Pijoan and her proteges have worked out a deliberate theme and execution to seize upon these details.

"You think about the stereotype of the prostitute as the main female figures," said Pijoan, "but women became rich by such activities such as baking pies for the miners, investing, or being involved in political pursuits."

Depicted women range from a Chinese sex slave, to a Paiute Indian "lobbyist," to an African-American financier. These she confronts with her trademark amalgam of iconographics, alphanumeric characters and symbols, plus the added effect of shadow-driven, quasi 3-D cutouts.

It should be added that this excised roster of California pioneer women, and other works, uses a heavyweight paper; the seamless roll of specialty paper that she used to create the pioneering women piece, for example, cost about $120 -- not to mention the approximately 130 #11 Exacto knife blades expended on that and other works during Pijoan's several-day residency period. Born in Switzerland to a Swiss mother and a Spanish father, Pijoan attended CSUS during the late 1970s, then finished her Master's of Fine Arts degree at UC Davis. After several longer-term artist-in-residencies, where she experimented with many media including sculpture and painting, she has now made her home in Berkeley, where she executes much of her work in a well-equipped home studio.

Pijoan's highly evolved intellect attempts to reconcile things sensual and emotional, with those of a technical bent. This is especially noticeable in a large work dealing with the memory of her mother: Here Pijoan claims to have fused a computer-manipulated image of a stairwell in a French tower with that of a series of brain scans. The visual result is curiously sensual and organic, and is oddly and powerfully evocative -- subjectively to the viewer of the piece, and perhaps even more compellingly to the artist regarding the legacy and symbolism of her mother.

Pijoan's exhibition continues through April 30 between noon and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, at the Robert Else Gallery, in the Art department complex of the CSUS campus. Classes are welcome, and may phone 278-6166 for group reservations.

On the prowl for career opportunities:

Career Center offers students advancement possibilities


Maybe you need some cash to get through the summer, or maybe you're just serious about starting a career.

Don't know where to start? The best place to begin your job search is right on campus -- at the Career Center, located on the second floor of Lassen Hall.

Sadly, of those students questioned, many didn't know the center existed.

In fact, the center houses many resources and has a staff that is ready to serve. Many workshops are offered, including those on how to fine-tune interviewing techniques.

"I could use some spicing up on my interviewing skills. I haven't gotten a resume together, but if they could teach me how to do it, I'll do it," said Samantha Beltram, a communication studies major.

Students also have access to the center's computer workstation to build their resumes.

If you already have a resume, the center has a program called Fast-Match. It's designed to help various employers fill full-time, professional positions quickly. Resume files are kept on file for four months and then purged. Resubmit another resume anytime thereafter.

All services are free to enrolled students, and graduated students have a six-month grace period following graduation. A $25 fee is charged to alumni to use the center for a year.

"The hardest part is making sure that you're well-qualified for the job," says Ron Juco, a graphic design major.

According to center staff, preparation is the key to success. To be prepared, research the companies you're interested in working for. Fortunately, the center has its own library. There students can find company binders that provide detailed profiles of various businesses throughout California.

Also available are job binders with listings of internships and seasonal, volunteer, student-assistant governmental jobs, as well as part- and full-time positions.

"Just try to have some experience in the field that you're applying. It really makes a difference," says journalism major Liz Baidoo.

Baidoo conducts her job hunt through classified ads, the phone book and the increasingly popular Internet.

"We have our own job line, which operates 24 hours, and an online job-listing service called JobTrak," said Carol Williams, coordinator of experienced education program at the Career Center.

From January to April, over 2,000 people visited the JobTrak online service. Students must present their ID to the receptionist to get a password to access the service (www.jobtrak.com).

Some students worry that their summer job will fade once the season is over, or that school schedules may conflict with an employer's needs.

Williams responds, "That's why it's advisable for students to come to our center because those employers are looking for students. They understand specifically the students' needs -- and accommodate."

So don't lose hope. It's not too late to find the perfect job.

In fact, the Career Center will be open through the summer.

CSUS awards standout students


CSUS will be honoring its best and brightest this Sunday during the Honor's Convocation from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Music Recital Hall.

President Donald Gerth will be awarding 32 students from an equal number of departments with medallions for their outstanding achievements.

Candidates for the award are either current graduating seniors or graduates from the Fall of 1997 that have shown outstanding achievement in both academic and social roles.

According to Sonya Lovine, the event coordinator, "Each department on campus was asked to pick one nominee for the award based on GPA, participation in campus organizations, leadership qualities and their positive contributions to campus life."

There are approximately 43 undergraduate academic departments on campus but, according to Lovine, only 32 of those chose to nominate a student.

Out of those 32 nominees, the overall winner will be named the Outstanding Senior for CSUS. The winner of this award will receive a plaque in addition to the medallion.

Immediately following the convocation, the audience is invited to enjoy a concert performed by the Symphonic Wind Ensemble and a reception.

This event is open to anyone in the campus community interested in attending and has no admission fee.

Former student finds radio success


Charlie Weiss never got around to graduating from CSUS. He was too busy observing one of the most exciting eras in human history.

Weiss saw Robert Kennedy the night before he was killed. He met Ken Kesey, author of "One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest" and civil rights activist Stokely Carmichael. He remembers his diner with Yogi Berra as one of the finer moments in his life.

When Weiss enrolled at CSUS in 1966, he was 16 years old.

For someone who grew up in Placerville, Sacramento was a big city.

"It was like a metropolis to me," he said.

Weiss began his stint at CSUS as a drama major. He wanted to act -- to get into the "big ring."

But after a particularly grim semester within the major, he chose to spend his days with Stevie Wonder and Jimi Hendrix. He became a broadcasting major -- and fell in love with broadcast radio.

Weiss got his first taste of radio in 1966, when he signed on at CSUS' student-run station, KERS. The station eventually evolved into KXJZ -- a public radio station currently licensed through CSUS.

His position at the radio station allowed him to follow current events.

"At that time in the '60s, things started to get pretty crazy, politically," said Weiss, who decided to co-host a radio show called Crystal Reflections.

"It was the talk of the campus," he said.

The show's guests ranged from beat poet Allen Ginsberg, who read his poetry on the air for hours -- to Billy the saxophonist, a local "stream of consciousness" poet.

As a representative of the media, Weiss met some of the most pivotal figures of the 1960s -- including guitar legend Jimi Hendrix.

The 17-year-old interviewed the band over breakfast in Hendrix's hotel room, before walking to the bar for a round of screwdrivers.

"I don't remember much about that interview," Weiss said. "I was too in awe."

Weiss did not, however, report solely on music. He covered marches on the Capitol by anti-war groups and the United Farm Workers.

"The campus was really open to new thoughts," he said, remembering how issues could easily draw emotional response during the '60s.

Weiss' own roomate in Draper Hall, in fact, was an extremely political individual. In a display of his opposition to Ronald Reagan's campaign for governor, the roomate hung a banner outside their dorm window reading "Help Ronnie kill a commie for Christ."

When the university demanded they take the banner down, fellow dorm residents responded by hanging a slew of posters painted with inane campus-pride slogans -- effectively camouflaging the banner and protecting their freedom of speech.

Weiss remembers the students of his generation as being very optimistic, with a lot more "verve" than today's students.

"But I think we were very na´ve, too," he said.

Weiss currently finds people are less politicized now.

"The leading edge of the baby boomers have families and mini-vans and houses they have to support," he said. "The politics have changed."

Weiss left CSUS in1969, following the inexorable draw of the outside world.

For approximately 15 years, he played guitar and wrote lyrics for his band -- Orphans of Love. It was through the band, in fact, that Weiss met his wife, Kathlene.

"We needed a bass player. She's a very good bass player," he said, adding, "She auditioned for a 20-year relationship."

When Weiss wasn't playing with his band, he was working for KZAP, 98.5 FM, on and off for 13 years.

Weiss heads the Sacramento Theatre Company's media relations department. The transition from radio to public relations was easy, he said.

But he hasn't left radio completely. He rides the air waves, reporting the traffic on 100.5 FM, the Zone, and Arrow 108 FM.

"That's just about as much radio as I want right now," said Weiss, who feels the industry is now too corporate.

When he isn't working, Weiss spends time with his wife and son, Aaron, who is currently attending Sacramento City Junior College.

As for his own education, Weiss still hasn't abandoned his dream of graduating.

"I do regret it," he said of dropping out. "If I had the time and money, I would do it."


Little Plastic Castle

Ani Di Franco


Ani Di Franco excels in "Little Plastic Castle." While some may recall her earlier works, "Not So Soft" and "Not a Pretty Girl," she is probably best known as a result of Alana Davis' cover of "32 Flavors."

The album successfully combines folksy intimacy with punk rebellion -- a recipe for a head-rockin', knee-boppin' good time.

Di Franco's New York, tongue-in-cheek sarcasm and frankness provides a humorous and touching rendition of her ideas.

She illustrates some of her more serious, personal experiences through common philosophies that are easily relatable -- and usually set to a funky, toe-tapping beat. With defiance and deliberation, Di Franco proves her sovereignty in the kingdom of "Little Plastic Castle."

This record is moody and complex -- like a woman -- and is the latest of a dozen albums from Di Franco's "Righteous Babe" record label.

Out of a possible five stars, "Little Plastic Castle" receives four.

Chris Knight

Chris Knight


Chris Knight's self-titled debut album has every characteristic of a stereotypical country album -- slow rhythm, deep voice and twangy sound grouped with the typical lyrics of "I lost my dog, my wife and my house burned down" of country music.

What this album lacks in upbeat style, Chris Knight makes up for in talent and uniqueness. Every song is written or cowritten by him, a skill not often found in the country music business. Also, with the variety of musical instruments used, Knight's voice always stands out from the music so you can understand the lyrics.

The best cut on the album is "William." Any and everyone can relate to this song, It tells the story of a boy who Knight grew up with who lived in an abusive family and ran with the wrong crowd. The simplicity of the bare vocals and acoustic guitar are what makes this song hit so close to home.

Out of a possible five stars, "Chris Knight" recieves three and a half.

15 seconds of fame


Danielle Henderson

CSUS Junior

Major: Communications Studies

Minor: Business

What was the best advice you ever received?
"Follow your heart."

How do you plan to use your education?
"I hope to work for a business organization, because I'm interested in both business and communications."

What is your favorite form of recreation?
"Shopping -- if I have the money, which is not always the case. I enjoy buying CDs at a mall."

If you had to choose a "peak" experience in your life thus far, what would that experience be?
"Going to England in 1994 when I graduated from high school, meeting some of my mom's family for the first time and experiencing a different culture and way of life."

What is your attitude about laundry?
"Never have your brother do your laundry, because it'll come back different colors ... you will have yellow spots on white shirts."

Any thoughts on food and cooking?
"Can't cook. When I'm at home, my mom cooks. I like fast food and Taco Bell in particular, and I would probably say I eat to live, rather than that I live to eat."

What do you admire about your parents?
"They are high achievers, they have tender hearts and are very giving."

What do you most dislike about your sibling?
"I have one brother, and he is always on the telephone."

Please state your personal stance regarding GPA?
"To try to keep it above a 3.0."

What advice do you have for your fellow CSUS students?
"Pick a major that makes you happy. Get involved, but don't take so many units that you will not have time to smell the roses and enjoy the college life."