Staff Writer, Sarah Burke
As much of a music buff as I am, I was a bit nervous about attending Turtlenecks and Jazz on Thursday, February 13. I thought everyone would be touting their knowledge of Duke Ellington and Miles Davis, making me feel quite ignorant and a little out of place. Instead, the event hosted by KAUG Radio was inviting and warm, featuring the works of spoken word artists, visual artists, and musicians. Even a communications major like me could enjoy basking in the amazing art blossoming all over Augsburg.
I entered the Foss Center with a small notebook in hand, ready to scratch down notes about every little detail. Instead, I found myself drifting off listening to the music of the jazz band, Kansas Plates, and sitting in the soft candlelight. The Foss atrium was filled with candle-lit tables and people scattered about the room. Drawing students perched at every corner, sketching the space with sharpened pencils. One room held visual art, such as the work of Ebelin Morales Delgado. Delgado appreciates the creation of artwork purely for the sake of enjoying it. Her pieces displayed soft, almost romantic sketches and paintings of people and common objects. Delgado gave me the inside scoop on the Minneapolis Underground art scene. “It’s hard to get noticed because there are so many artists,” she explained. Minneapolis is home to so much art, making a name for yourself can be somewhat tricky. That didn’t discourage her, or the numerous other visual artists featured such as Slo Martin, Drey DK, and Ezra McNair.
The next part of the night was the spoken word portion. Artists such as Jack Fischel and Terrence Shambley graced the room with their exquisite vocabulary and beautifully crafted poetry. Fischel, a Baltimore native, spoke of what Minneapolis was like at night, letting the audience reminisce about their memories. “Minneapolis shines at night,” Fischel said, “while the gold medal mill is lost in dreams of former glory/ while teenage warriors/ crash together in basements/ worshipping in communal ecstasy.” Terrence Shambley gave a particularly heart-wrenching piece titled “How to Love an Alcoholic in Two Parts, Ending with a Drunk Stumbling Down Maryland Avenue.” This poem knit together bits of Shambley’s life with jarring images of living with an alcoholic parent. “I don’t tell her I buried the bottle/ of vodka she chilled on the porch/ that winter morning I was too little/ to hurl the thing,” they said. “I don’t tell her I heard a thump/ the other night and clambered up the steps/ to help her shadow off the kitchen floor.”
When the poetry ended, the jazz resumed. I left the space energized and wanting to create; I, too, wanted to write stories and share my art with other people. Art has this beautiful ability to make meaning out of language and sounds and experiences like nothing else. I just wanted to bathe in it.
Ziz Immelman and Mars Kirchoff, along with all of the members of the KAUG radio station, created a night Augsburg students haven’t seen in a while. Join them in the Auggie’s Nest every Tuesday at 6:30. If it’s half as good as Turtlenecks and Jazz, you’ll have a great time.